On the north end of the Alvord Desert lies Mickey Hot Springs, a unique and somewhat hard to find collection of geothermal vents. Here, boiling mud, glassy pools, and steamy streams heat to as much as 180 degrees and release pressure from the same geologic fault that created Steens Mountain.
Like Borax Lake + Hot Springs, the soil here looks like it is dusted with snow. The soil contains sodium borate, the salty mineral commercially used to create borax. Sodium borate deposits are very common around seasonally dry lake beds, creating what are known as "salt flats."
Note: Follow driving directions for the hot springs closely, as you have to watch for the dirt road turnoff from Fields-Denio Road.
Be sure to fill up on gas before heading out to the Steens Mountain area. Year-round gas stations can only be found 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. Travel with extra provisions, and if you plan to explore the area extensively we highly recommend filling up and bringing with you additional gasoline canisters to ensure you don't get stranded.