LOCAL NEWS

Record Numbers Expected At Little Sahara Over Easter Weekend

Apr 2, 2021, 10:37 PM | Updated: 10:55 pm

NEPHI, Utah – Little Sahara Recreational Area was closed last year due to COVID-19 concerns, but the Juab County sand dunes could see record numbers this year with people wanting to get outside and play.

There are other ways to have fun, but it’s hard to beat the smiles you get when you’re pretty much flying through sand.

Tammi Shepherd knows that feeling.

“It was absolutely amazing,” she said with a smile as big as the mountain she had just come down. “We do this every year.”

Shepherd and her family were visiting the Little Sahara sand dunes in Juab County.

Camping here on Easter weekend has become a family tradition.

“It’s just all the toys, the people, the environment. We love watching everyone,” she said.

It’s even more special to her this year since Little Sahara was closed last year because of coronavirus concerns.

“It was awful. We had planned it and were ready to come and then we had to cancel,” said Shepherd.

She’s not the only one.

Lots of people at Little Sahara had similar stories.

It might mean a lot more people will be visiting this year than normal to make up for lost time.

“You ask what to expect this year, and we really don’t know,” said Brent Pulver, chief deputy for the Juab County Sheriff’s Office.

He said about 20,000 people normally visit Little Sahara on Eater weekend to ride the dunes and camp in their RVs.

That number has even been closed to 40,000 people in past years.

“It basically becomes a city out here,” said Pulver.

No matter how many people visit this year, Pulver said the Juab County Sheriff’s Office is ready.

There are ambulances on standby, extra officers and even a medical helicopter for emergencies.

“We want people to have fun, but we want people to do it safely,” said Pulver.

Bad crashes do happen out here almost every year. There have also been many people who have died in crashes.

“I can’t even count how many notifications I have done over my career,” said Pulver. “Those are hard, just to even find the words, to tell a family that their loved one has passed away. Especially from something as senseless as an ATV crash.”

Since Little Sahara might be busier than ever this year, rider safety is being stressed as hard as ever.

“We want everyone to keep that message in mind,” said Stephanie Graham, Bureau of Land Management spokesperson. “It’s going to be exciting this year but please be careful.”

There’s also a safety message parents might not have expected to see at Little Sahara this year.

It’s to talk to your children about underage drinking.

“The number one thing that helps prevent underage drinking is the kids knowing that their parents don’t want it,” said Amanda Reynolds with the Juab County Jump Coalition.

That coalition teamed up with the group Parents Empowered at Little Sahara to help parents talk to their children.

There is also a scavenger hunt set up in the dunes for parents and their children to work on together highlighting the problems with underage drinking.

Since lots of children are riding and camping with their families, Reynolds said this weekend provides the perfect type of family bonding time to have those kinds of talks.

“It’s extremely important to us,” said Shepherd. “We always make sure our nieces and nephews are near us and that they’re safe and doing the right things.”

Because no matter how much fun Little Sahara is, the only thing better is everyone making it back home.

“Our number one focus out here is safety,” said Pulver. “Have fun and be safe.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

...
Andrew Adams

Family members remember Utah woman killed in Idaho crash

Family members on Tuesday were remembering a Utah woman killed in a weekend crash that also left her father critically injured. 
1 day ago
Utah Rep. Burgess Owens. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)...
LINDSAY WHITEHURST and SAM METZ Associated Press

All 4 Utah House incumbents win GOP primaries

All four members of the U.S. House from Utah defeated Republican primary challengers Tuesday.
1 day ago
U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) leaves the U.S. Capitol on April 25, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Senate r...
SAM METZ and LINDSAY WHITEHURST, Associated Press

Sen. Mike Lee fends off 2 opponents to win Utah GOP primary

Sen. Mike Lee has won Utah’s Republican primary by fending off attacks from two challengers who didn’t vote for former President Donald Trump in 2020.
1 day ago
The suspect of a bank robbery at Brighton Bank in South Salt Lake. (Credit: South Salt Lake Police)...
Michael Houck

South Salt Lake police search for bank robbery suspect

South Salt Lake police are searching for a suspect involved in a bank robbery that happened Tuesday,
1 day ago
Michael Carpenter (left) and Blake Shumway (right) were killed in a plane crash Friday morning in C...
Alex Cabrero

Family members remember, honor two USU plane crash victims

Family members of Michael Carpenter and Blake Shumway — who were killed in a plane crash Friday morning in Cache County — say they never thought a week ago that they would be planning funerals.
1 day ago
(Brigham City Fire Department)...
Madison Swenson

Two extricated, taken to the hospital after head-on crash in Brigham City

Two people were extricated from their vehicles Tuesday following a head-on collision in Brigham City.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Record Numbers Expected At Little Sahara Over Easter Weekend