Simply put, few places anywhere provide a setting that is as relaxing as Alvord Hot Springs.
Located at the eastern base of Steens Mountain and on the western edge of the Alvord Desert, the hot soaking pools, rustic structure, and wooden deck invite all visitors to rest and enjoy the expansive views and crisp desert air. In this isolated region of the U.S., time seems to stand still, and many hours can pass before you'll be ready to get out of the pools and dry off.
The geothermal spring that's used to create Alvord Hot Springs actually surfaces at about 184 degrees, but due to some clever engineering, the water seems to be at just the right temperature by the time it reaches the concrete-enclosed pools. Both pools seasonally fluctuate between 100-110 degrees and are free of the sulfur smell that is common in many natural hot springs.
The pools and the surrounding area are located on private property that is owned by the Alvord Ranch. Public access is allowed year round for a meager $5 per day, and fees should be paid immediately upon arrival to avoid any misunderstandings with the full-time on-site caretaker. These proceeds are used to keep the hot pools maintained and clean. Next to the small office visitors will find a gift shop, and a restroom and changing room. The gravel parking area is also available for overnight camping for a small fee.
Be sure to fill up on gas before heading out to the Steens Mountain and Alvord Desert area. Year-round gas stations are in Burns and Fields, Oregon. The gas station in Frenchglen is only open during the summer months. Further, cell phone reception is virtually nonexistent in much of the area, so travel with extra provisions. If you plan to explore the area extensively, we highly recommend bringing additional, full gasoline canisters to ensure that you don't get stranded.