Alvord Desert Oregon: How to Plan a Trip? It can get cold here! Write a Review. With the walls closing in at home, my family and I decided to head out to the Alvord Desert for some much needed solitude and wide-open space for a weekend in mid-May. We came around July and it was hot but a bit chilly at night. Windsurfers on Alvord Lake. Currently, it’s $8 for the hot springs, $5 for the access road, and $60 a night for a bunker. Currently, it’s $8 for the hot springs, $5 for the access road, and $60 a night for a bunker. and there is a hefty fine for having one. To avoid any potential issues, it's best to camp on the south, east, or north sides of the playa. The Outbound works best with JavaScript enabled. 4. The Alvord Desert Playa . South Steens Campground. Don’t forget, there’s so much more to do in the area. So you’ll come out of this experience having spent $5. I know, a bit bizarre and why would one want to dip into hot water when it’s hot outside, right? Camping in the Alvord Desert. Read Jayne's blog for our September 2012 trip. © 2020 The Outbound Collective - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy. Camping One of the biggest draw cards for visiting the Alvord Desert is being able to camp on the desert playa. So maybe don’t bring your favorite black sweater! And the best part? What’s left is an alien landscape. The Alvord Desert is beautiful, barren playa in Eastern Oregon. The drive down to the Playa is pretty rough here, but you can camp either on the Playa or near the small parking lot, that has trash bins and a vault (pit) toilet.
Go frolic on the massive salt flat, snap some photos, get those feet extra dirty and dusty, and come back to a place with four walls to lay your head at night. We'll send you top Oregon hikes, camping spots, waterfalls, rafting locations, and more straight to your inbox! 2.6K likes. ), Alvord Hot Springs has rooms to rent right outside the desert! According to the dark sky map, this is one of the darkest places in Oregon. Go frolic on the massive salt flat, snap some photos, get those feet extra dirty and dusty, and come back to a place with four walls to lay your head at night. This will be the wisest choice as other roads aren’t obvious or in good condition (Frog Springs is the other option). The plan was to camp for a couple nights, and hike and explore during the day. If you think you’re coming here for a spa getaway, you should look elsewhere. It’s actually really easy, simply route yourself to Alvord Hot Springs and use their access road. I can’t recommend camping at Alvord Desert enough, but you’ll need some more info and tips…. Another thing to note, everything you bring will get very dusty. Hike Pike Creek Trail in the Steens Mountains, Take in the View from Steens Mountain Summit. Continue Reading There are several dispersed camping areas in the vicinity. the hot springs are a bit rough looking. The access road is the only needed thing to camp on Alvord Desert. The 70-mile mountain range dominated the horizon. Their prices are reasonable for their rooms, the hot springs, and their access road. We recommend that you at least spend one night camping on the salt flats as it is a unique experience and there aren’t too many places that you can do this. Seriously, pack whatever you bring in back out and let’s leave Alvord Desert the way we found it. I will travel along the Oregon Coast, north to south, followed by the Columbia River Gorge.. Jackman Park Campground is located on the flanks of Steens Mountain, within the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protective Are... Overview:Located below the east face of Steens Mountain, Mann Lake attracts anglers as much for its remote, rugged splendor as for its ab... Overview:South Steens Campground is located in the heart of Steens Mountain. I knew Mann Lake was supposed to be only 13 miles down the gravel road. Burns and Fields both have gas stations, fill up before you head out here. Hot Springs near Alvord Lake LATITUDE: N 42°32.603 LONGITUDE: W 118°32.067. Alvord Desert. We camped … If You Go: Alvord Desert. It is truly a unique landscape and when people see a photo of it, the most common response is thats in Oregon? The west side of the desert is mostly private land, so try camping on the north or south end (or the far east if it’s not too windy). Alvord Hot Springs – Unassuming but also, pretty amazing! It’s possible to get a glimpse of wild horses, killdeer, and snowy plover on the playa itself, as well as a variety of other animal and bird species in the surrounding mountains and springs. A Comprehensive Guide to Visiting Wallowa Lake State Park—Adventures and Camping Landowners can’t fence this area off, so it’s not obvious! The payment to Alvord Hot Springs to use their facilities are all optional. The Alvord Desert is beautiful, barren playa in Eastern Oregon. And as I took a step onto the lakebed, I heard absolutely nothing. Not too shabby! by Nina Ragusa | Mar 26, 2019 | Camping in Oregon, Eastern Oregon, Hot Springs in Oregon, Camping on one of the largest playa lakes in the state will be something else! The payment to Alvord Hot Springs to use their facilities are all optional. HORSE CAMPING. Reviews of Fields-Denio Alvord Desert Access 1 person has reviewed this location. There is often an issue at the Frog Spring entrance with trash and human feces, please don’t be that person. The playa is dusty, and it’s seriously a photographer’s paradise with so many angles, frames, and different lighting, it’s truly magical. Turning left onto East Steens Road was the first of many changes to our unplanned plans. GPS: 42.5065, … There’s a bin and bathroom too! Oregon Free Camping Andrews Fields-Denio Alvord Desert Access Fields-Denio Alvord Desert Access BLM. The Alvord Hot Springs manager was kind enough to let us use his private road to have access to the desert. Cows were our only competition for a campsite. The Alvord Desert playa, which can be either wet or dry depending on the time of year, is one of the largest playas in Oregon—six miles wide and 11 miles long. Drive straight for a while then turn where you want. Again, this area has a lot of private property. We settled on camping there for the night. After that, you’re free to roam the desert by bike, foot, or car. A stillness blanketed the Alvord Desert. There are many ranches along Fields-Denio Road, so be careful of cattle on the road. Tag Archives: alvord desert camping. That’s always step number one no matter what you’re doing. Continue Reading Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress. Exploring The Owyhee Canyonlands: Hiking, Rafting, & Camping 1.7m members in the camping community. Look up if there are fires in the area. It made for a cool look as it seemed the desert was never-ending but of course, this could be disappointing to others, and the smokiness in the air wasn’t the greatest either. Alvord Lake south from Mann Lake. Please keep this in mind when in the area and be respectful to your neighbors. Please explore responsibly! Now we just need some craft beer. Nobody wants to set up camp in the dark so get that part over with. Alvord Desert, Fields Oregon. I … Now, don’t let me paint a picture for you that you’ll enter some magical place with a beautiful pool surrounded by intricate tiles and the sweet, soothing sounds of spa music in the back…. Located in Harney County, Oregon, and tucked into the Steens Mountain rain shadow, the Alvord Desert is one of the most isolated and unique land formations in the state. With some areas only receiving 5 inches of annual precipitation, it is also one of the driest locations in Oregon. Continue Reading A Guide to Hart Mountain Hot Springs & What to Do in the Area Visitors will find picnic tables and grills at 36 family campsites amid juniper and sage. Drop a pin at the desert entrance for yourself so you don’t have trouble finding it when it’s time to exit. RV Parks. Beautiful camping area located on BLM land. There's our trusty Aldi tent again, sans rain fly! Seriously though, camping in Alvord Desert is where it’s at, and I think you’ll do just fine spending a night on the playa. The access road is the only needed thing to camp on Alvord Desert. It could be muddy which wouldn’t equal a desert but instead, a mud patch in which you’d surely get stuck in. really!? A subreddit for campers concerned more about the act of camping and less concerned about hiking long … Speaking of mud patches, if you’re entering through Alvord Desert Hot Springs (info below) don’t turn left onto the desert from the access road, it’s where the hot spring water runs off to and it’ll sink a car. You’d think that a bunch of planning is involved, special gear is needed, or perhaps you’d need to get a permit or to jump through hoops to be able to camp at such an epic place…. Even in summer, bring something to snuggle up in at night. SPOILER ALERT: There are more alien landscapes and hot springs! The desert isn’t frequented, but this doesn’t give you a free ticket to be a wild man, take precaution driving on the desert, keep an eye out for wildlife roaming, and people too! Here are more helpful posts on camping in Oregon and more adventures around Oregon. Camping at Alvord Desert couldn’t be any easier. If you get to Alvord Desert and decided, eh, camping ON the desert may not be my thing after all (what?! The desert gets an average of 7 inches of rain a year, and is one of the hottest, driest places in the state. Overview: South Steens Campground is located in the heart of Steens Mountain. Be sure to pack out everything you pack in. There’s limited/no phone signal out here so get whatever info you need prior to getting out here and enjoy your digital detox. Did you kno Not good! Use your best judgment and avoid the western edge for camping. All the stuff we brought for camping on Alvord Desert. There are dispersed camping sites near the hot springs. The closest bathroom facilities are located at Frog Springs on the west side (w/ access to the playa, new bathrooms, and trash cans for free) or the Alvord Hotsprings, for guests or $2 per use. We have seen RVs and trailers camped here. We came around July and it was hot but a bit chilly at night. However, large camper vans and other such vehicles may find it difficult to navigate the bumpy trail that actually leads to the desert. We have seen RVs and trailers camped here. However, if you’re a guest of theirs, it’s included. Private lands aren’t fenced, so keep a distance that you don’t trespassing private property. It’s free too! Continue Reading Get ready to feel like you’ve been transported out of Oregon and on to another planet…, RELATED: 29 Awesome Things to Do on an Eastern Oregon Road Trip. We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. Everything You Need to Know About Camping At Alvord Desert & Alvord Hot Springs Located in Southeastern Oregon is a place where you’ll find a 12-mile long and 7-mile wide dried up lake bed that was formed when water evaporated and left behind its salt minerals. Here’s more about us and here’s our ultimate list of Oregon adventures. Be aware that open fires are illegal (as well as fireworks!) ? ... Campendium users haven't asked any questions about Fields-Denio Alvord Desert Access. Sacrifices needed to be made. The Alvord Desert is a 12 by 7 mile dry lake bed, located in SouthEastern Oregon (aka: the middle of nowhere!). The equestrian site, designed specifically for horse users, is directly adjacent to the family campground. I've now booked my flight and car rental for April 25 - May 13. Welcome to our site where we share info on adventures in Oregon—In case you haven’t gathered that by now… We like camping, hiking, traveling, puppies, van life, warm beanies, cold beer, and all things adventure. The Alvord Desert WSA consists of a prominent basin and a desert plateau lying east of the ridge of Steens Mountain. We hope this helps you plan a really cool Alvord Desert camping experience! Winter will be cold but if it’s been raining? Last Updated on September 26, 2020 Oregon is surprisingly diverse in its landscape. Oregon lover, adventure seeker, travel blogger, beer and wine drinker, dog person, master of the messy bun, and geography nerd. Camping At Alvord Desert. It’s $5 to use this access road as it’s private. So the Alvord Hot Springs will be a little oasis for anyone shivering and sporting a red nose. The Alvord Desert was once a giant lake extending 100 miles from end to end with an estimated It is one of the largest playa lakes in Oregon created when rainwater fills shallow depressions in the landscape leaving behind salt minerals as it evaporates. It’s pretty much free! 29 Awesome Things to Do on an Eastern Oregon Road Trip Camping here VS indoors… Not a hard choice for us! My website: www.coyotetrips.com. Luckily, you don’t have to pack much to enjoy Alvord Desert. First, how does one even get to Alvord Desert? The sun will set behind the Steen mountains and then rise opposite of them; I suggest you watch them both! Otherwise, bring a shovel and TP. At a desert? With the jagged Steens mountains and relaxing Alvord hot springs on one edge and barren sagebrush hills on the other, the playa is a flat expanse of white sand unlike anything you'd expect to see in Oregon. See 3 traveler reviews, 13 photos and blog posts. When you think Oregon, you see beautiful coast, dense green forests, and snowy mountains. Write a Review Write a Note Share a Video Submit a Blog Post. The dusty white crackled land that’s backed with the majestic Steen Mountains is a playground for few in-the-know people looking for a different type of adventure. More Things to Do in Eastern Oregon Write a Review. You can check out more about Alvord Hot Spring here. Regardless if you’re using the Alvord Hot Springs or staying at their property, you’ll probably end up here at the least, to use their access road to the desert as mentioned. On a similar note, coming between December-June could bit a bit risky. From the Alvord Desert you can drive 2 hours to the top of Steens Mountain, a 9,500-foot tall mountain overlooking the desert!There are beautiful big canyons in every direction, lots of critters to see, and such a unique landscape. The Alvord Desert is on BLM land and primitive camping is allowed. Alvord Desert itself is barren, but wildlife and birds find their way around. Drive the highest road in Oregon to the top of Steens Mountain (and sleep there if you’ve got a campervan!). The Pueblo Valley and Alvord Desert region is rather remote. Consider yourself in the minority as this spot isn’t too popular and we’re here to share with you everything you need to know about camping at Alvord Desert. — Check out our Oregon gear page! Camping at Alvord Desert is FREE. Camping on the Alvord Desert Rules & Tips. Alvord Hot Springs, New Princeton: Address, Phone Number, Alvord Hot Springs Reviews: 3.5/5 ... the ability to take the private access road to the desert playa, the night sky -- it is all worth the drive. So just make sure you’re checking the lows and the highs, so you know what temperature it’s going to be and can pack accordingly. ARE YOU ADVENTURE READY? The Alvord Desert is a desert located in Harney County, in southeastern Oregon in the western United States.It is roughly southeast of the Steens Mountains.The Alvord Desert is a 12-by-7-mile (19 by 11 km) dry lake bed and averages 7 inches (180 mm) of rain a year. The road for the Pike Creek Trail is a few miles north of the Alv... Driving on the 205 you will turn onto the Steens Mountain Loop Road at the Frenchglen Hotel State Heritage Site, then continue to drive 27 miles up into the Steens Mountain Wilderness, following the main road until you see the turnoff towards the ... From a parking area just below the summit of Steens Mountain, this 2.5-mile hike (1.25 each way) descends 1200 feet into a cirque at the head of Wildhorse Canyon to the shores of Wildhorse Lake. What you want to eat, what time of year you’re going etc does all play into it though. Alvord Hot Springs LLC, Alvord Desert / Princeton. I rushed to get a photo before sunset started, but was too late. We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. The dominant feature of the study area is the Alvord Desert. 29 Awesome Things to Do on an Eastern Oregon Road Trip, Everything You Need to Know About Camping At Alvord Desert & Alvord Hot Springs, A Comprehensive Guide to Visiting Wallowa Lake State Park—Adventures and Camping, A Guide to Hart Mountain Hot Springs & What to Do in the Area, Exploring The Owyhee Canyonlands: Hiking, Rafting, & Camping, Your Guide to Exploring The Painted Hills—Oregon's Most Alien Landscape, If it’s a windy night, I’d recommend camping closer to the Steen Mountain Range side as the mountains provide a bit of shelter from the ever-strong wind that rips through Alvord Desert, however…. Alvord Hot Springs is very simple and if we’re honest with each other (we’re friends, right?) The area is not fenced, but it is up to you to be aware of where you are on the playa. Did you know you can get 100 extra karma points for bringing out your trash out? Continue Reading Two mountain ranges separate it from the Pacific Ocean—the Coast Range, and the Cascade Mountains. You’ll see tire tracks from others who had a bit of fun swerving here and peeling out there… Have your fun but also be respectful of anyone else out on the desert and of the potential farmers and neighbors on the outskirts of the desert. (No cell service). Hi! You are allowed to drive out and camp anywhere on the playa except for along the west side, which is private property. This isn’t to say they aren’t worth going to as the stars look mighty magnificent as your body sizzles in the natural pool and soon you’ll forget that you’re kind of sitting in a human-made hole in the ground with some corrugated metal as a mini shelter and a wooden bench. Friday, September 25, 2020 Posted in Oregon, Travel Guide, USA. You can drive onto the desert from several different dirt access roads along the Fields-Denio Rd, coming from the town Fields. Seriously though, camping in Alvord Desert is where it’s at, and I think you’ll do just fine spending a night on the playa. With the jagged Steens mountains and relaxing Alvord hot springs on one edge and barren sagebrush hills on the other, the playa is a flat expanse of white sand unlike anything you'd expect to see in Oregon. Camping on Alvord Desert is an experience, and the views are just jaw-dropping. The fun thing about it is that they have bunker style rooms. The nearest town worthy of that name is Burns, more than 100 miles to the northwest. Hot Springs on East Steens Road. (More info on this place below!). ... We inquired about access to the public lands across from the Alvord Hot Springs in an effort to enjoy some dispersed camping on public lands. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your Fields-Denio Road Fields, OR 97710 541-573-4400 541-473-3144 Official Website. Hot Springs? Alvord Desert Camping – Where to Camp for Free at Alvord Desert The Frog Springs national recreation site is located only about a mile southwest of Alvord Desert Hot Springs. In terms of what to wear for this camping experience, it depends on when you come. We came in July and there was one nearby which clouded the Steens in the morning. But the road to get to the playa might be too much depending on the vehicle you have. The Fields-Denio Road, the main road along the East flank of Steens mountain and the access to the Alvord Desert… Luckily, you don’t have to pack much to enjoy Alvord Desert. While Steens Mountain looms to the west, the shimmering salt flats of the Alvord Desert unfold to the east. We were in an old VW Jetta and she held up just fine, so no need for a big 4WD vehicle or anything. Continue Reading Be sure to pack a few layers, and if you’re thinking of arriving in the winter, you may want to think again. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more! Well, the desert does get chilly at night, and if you’re here later in the year, it’s downright cold. So again, nothing fancy, but it’s all part of the experience, right? You’ll be freezing and you’d need to pack some serious gear to keep yourself warm at night. The Alvord Desert lies like a crumpled piece of paper smoothed over a flat surface with mountains towering 5,000 feet above and directly to the west. Costs of Camping at Alvord Desert, Oregon. All set up. Hi again, I mentioned in my previous post my interest in going to Oregon for a photography/hiking tour. The Alvord Desert is located in Harney County in southeastern Oregon. The Alvord Desert is a magical, beautiful, desolate place, and far off the beaten path and well worth visiting, just be sure to leave no trace and pack out what you pack in. adventures and follow local regulations. You can camp on the Playa, but you must remember that the part of the west side of the desert is private property as well. Your Guide to Exploring The Painted Hills—Oregon's Most Alien Landscape RV Parks Near Me Top Searched ... Oregon Free Camping Fields Alvord Desert Alvord Desert BLM. And speaking of fires, usually, no campfires are allowed July-September. If you come to Alvord Hot Springs with the need for warming up and relaxing under the stars, you’re in the right spot. There are few places to stay, and the campgrounds are what would be referred to as dispersed. 'Getting into hot water has never been more fun!' The Alvord Desert is a stunning and fun place to visit, treat it well so that others can enjoy the beauty also! Once you get here, set up camp. Check out what to do in east Oregon. Make sure your vehicle can handle the drive on the playa! Don’t forget, you can access at Frog Springs too, for free! We’re Nina and Garrett, two full time travelers who are kind of obsessed with Oregon. Starting at approximately 4300’,  Pike Creek trail is about 5.4 miles RT to Pike’s Knob, out and back, however the entire hike is stunning and there is no wrong place to turn back. Things to Do in and Around the Alvord Desert 1. The Alvord Desert is one of Oregon’s most remote places, located underneath the Steens Mountains in the far southeastern corner of the state. Desert region is rather remote north sides of the driest locations in Oregon camping in Oregon, Guide! A step onto the lakebed, i mentioned in my previous Post my interest going! For visiting the Alvord Desert region is rather remote to getting out here and enjoy your digital detox aware open... And snowy mountains visiting the Alvord Desert enough, but was too late be careful cattle. Just fine, so it ’ s more about Alvord Hot Springs be! Fence this area off, so it ’ s actually really easy, simply route yourself to Alvord Springs. 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