BLM braces for influx of visitors to Little Sahara Recreation Area over Easter weekend

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FILLMORE, Utah — The Bureau of Land Management expects an influx of about 20,000 visitors to the Little Sahara Recreation Area over Easter weekend.

To prepare for this high-volume weekend, staff are increasing and tools and technologies are being implemented to better serve the public.

“BLM is continually looking for new ways to improve our ability to respond to emergencies, protect public health and safety, and serve the public,” said BLM West Desert District Manager Michael Gates. “We are grateful for our continued partnerships, the opportunities to use advancements in technology to support emergency response, and the construction of new buildings that put public service first.”

Due to a large influx of visitors, the BLM, Juab County Sheriff’s Office, Juab County Emergency Medical Services, Juab Search and Rescue, Utah Highway Patrol, Utah State Parks and University of Utah AirMed staff will be on hand.

New for 2022 is a newly purchased sand car, which will improve the BLM’s responsiveness and emergency effectiveness in the recreation area for search and rescue, casualty transport, and = force patrol order. The backboard used by BLM responders is a custom construction specifically designed to transport casualties out of the sand dunes at the Little Sahara Recreation Area.

In the fall of 2022, the BLM will open a new visitor center that offers improved energy efficiency, simpler payment systems, improved Wi-Fi capabilities, and a small conference room for educational events. The current 44-year-old Visitor Center is open to customers until construction of the new Visitor Center is complete.

“The public should be prepared for long wait times to access the recreation area,” said BLM Fillmore Field

Manager – Cindy Ledbetter. “We encourage the public to purchase their passes in advance through

Recreation.gov so they can bypass the pay cab and enjoy US public lands faster.

Passes can be purchased on Recreation.gov at https://go.usa.gov/xz7mc, through the Recreation.gov app or by calling the National Reservations Hotline at 1-877-444-6777. Passes must be printed and displayed on the vehicle’s dashboard. Visitors who purchase annual passes on Recreation.gov must present the QR code at the Visitor Center, BLM Fillmore Field Office, or BLM Salt Lake Field Office to obtain a vehicle sticker. The QR Code can also be printed and affixed to the dashboard of the vehicle and is valid until a sticker is obtained. Vehicles displaying the current annual pass or paid overnight passes purchased in advance will be directed past the fee kiosk and into the recreation area.

Visitors are advised to keep the following information in mind:

  • The Visitor Center will extend its opening hours over the bank holiday weekend to: 8am-10pm Friday April 15, 8am-8pm Saturday April 16 and 8am-4pm Sunday April 17.
  • Overnight permit fee is $18 per vehicle. This fee includes use of the area for two days and one night. Discounts are available for people with disabilities and seniors. Active visitors must provide documents to the Visitor Center staff for free access.
  • The annual pass is $120 and can be purchased online or in person at the Welcome Center, BLM Fillmore Field Office and BLM Salt Lake Field Office.
  • Guest WiFi, called LittleSaharaGuest, is available in the Visitor Center parking lot for purchasing passes online.
  • The recreation area offers four campgrounds for a total of 255 upgraded campsites with access to potable water, flush and vault toilets, and RV dump stations. Scattered camping is available outside the campgrounds.
  • All visitors to Sand Mountain are required to park 20 feet from paved roads.
  • Large bonfires and wooden paddles are not permitted in the Little Sahara Recreation Area.
  • Safety flags are required for all off-road vehicles (ORVs) and all-terrain utility vehicles (UTVs). Flags will be available for sale at the Visitor Center and on the Vendor Row.
  • Children under the age of 8 are not permitted to operate an OHV/UTV on public lands, roads or trails in Utah. Children between the ages of 8 and 15 can use an OHV/UTV if they have a certificate of education issued by Utah State Parks or the equivalent certification from their home state.
  • Persons 16 years of age or older may drive an OHV/UTV if they have a valid driver’s license or an approved OHV education certificate.
  • The construction of tunnels and deep pits in the sand is dangerous and prohibited.

The Little Sahara Recreation Area is located in Juab County and comprises 60,000 acres of BLM-managed public lands featuring sagebrush plains, juniper-clad hills, and free-moving sand dunes. The area offers top notch ORV recreation opportunities and is known as “Utah’s Greatest Sandbox”. Learn more about: https://go.usa.gov/xuqk2.

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