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Open Year-round
?
Reservations possible?
No
RV Hookups
No
Potable water
No
Please respect the outdoors and leave no trace. One tip how to dispose of waste properly: Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information, visit https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

At the base of Steens Mountain's rugged eastern face, a few worthy primitive campsites line the banks of Pike Creek and provide  ideal places to overnight in this beautiful and isolated environment. The campsites enjoy the protective shade of cottonwood trees and thick willows. With few camping options located on the east side of Steens Mountain, these campsites are a great asset to any outdoor adventurer traveling though. To camp here, be sure to check-in first at the Alvord Hot Springs, which manages these private sites. Note that the campground managers expect prompt payment before checking in.

If you are itching for a better perspective on the Alvord Desert, follow the creek 1-mile upstream to the Pike Creek Mine. For those that wish to access the nearby trailhead, it is free to park at the BLM sign and walk in, or there is a day use fee to drive in and park at the trailhead parking area (payable at the Alvord Hot Springs). Fees escalate for parties greater than two.

Note: The short 0.6-mile access road up to the campsites requires a four-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicle. Two-wheel drive vehicles are best parked near the cattle guard at the road's entrance. Should the campsites already be occupied, primitive campsites are also available at Mann Lake and in the gravel parking area of Alvord Hot Springs.

Travel Safe

Be sure to fill up on gas before heading out to the Steens Mountain and Alvord Desert 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, 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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Shaded campsites adjacent to creek. View of Alvord Desert.

Cons

Rough four-wheel drive road access.

Pets allowed

Yes

Managed by

Friends of Alvord

Address

Princeton, OR 97721
United States

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Comments

08.20.16
We were in the area on Sunday Aug 14 2016: After returning home, we were asked for feedback from the Friends of Alvord via their automated email from a credit card transaction. Friends of Alvord, we learned, run the Pike Creek Campground. Please note our response to them for feedback and their response back to us. It should be noted, there were NO signs that said "No Trespassing" "Private Property" or anything of the sort. The signs only stated that the campground was run by Friends of Alvord. When we talked to them to pay the fee, they stated that they only own the road, not the campground.

Please also take note of this article and the comments from two others people negative experience in this area: http://www.oregonlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2013/07/alvord_hot_springs_has_changed.html

Our feedback to Friends of Alvord: After driving all day to the Alford desert area we stopped at the Pike Road campground to check it out and have lunch. From the website we read about Pike Road Campground we were under the impression that this area was BLM land and had no fee to camp associated with it. The road sign mentioned a fee but like with most outdoor federally run places we have always been able to stop and check out the place and then pay the fee for use afterward with no issue. We had already planned on sleeping on the flats area the first night but wanted to check out the camp because we wanted to sleep there the following evening. So after eating a quick lunch and stretching our legs we drove down the road to the Friends of Alvord site to check in and find out more information about their services. But when we arrived we were not greeted in a very friendly way. The woman that was posted out front demanded $5 immediately and began to tell us how we were in the wrong. We felt that that was not a good way to greet guests and a family that was potentially going to use the services available that are offered to the public for use. She sent us down to the office to pay the fee and another woman came out of a trailer who didn't smile or say hello. I was taken back by the treatment these people showed because we genuinely were there to use their facilities and wanted to know more about the area, but that is not what happened. The second woman (by the way they didn't offer their names or greet us by saying welcome or anything) just walked annoyedly into the office area and got out her ledger and said "$5? … You're lucky she (the first woman) didn't charge you $25." I paid the $5 and tried to warm up the woman by asking about camping and the hot springs. She kind of obliged but I felt that she was not happy to be doing her job and was hurrying to get me out of there. We left not pleased by the customer service. I would not recommend to anyone to stay there because the attitude of the hosts are pretty rotten and not welcoming. Additionally, if you are going to run a camp ground, hot springs, and other services you should be more clear with your signage. I would have liked to have been more educated about the area and this was a perfect opportunity to for the caretakers to educate, but that didn't happen. I hope the caretakers read this and improve the signage, take a bit of time to educate guests, and welcome people coming to the area.



Their response:


Alvord Hot Springs LLC
Hi

So sorry you had a bad experience. Had you heeded the sign and done the right thing, your experience would have been a happy one. You would have been educated and had many options to enjoy Pike Creek, yet you chose to trespass and assume you knew more than the signage stated.

We have many guests that read the sign, come to the springs, learn all about the options and the area they are in and they all leave completely happy and rejuvenated.

You and your wife on the other hand, ignored the signs, made assumptions, then blamed us for your poor decision.

The caretaker in the office is correct in that policy for people ignoring the signage, pic nicking and 'stretching your legs' and trespassing are usually met with a $25 fine or being turned in for trespassing. Trying to be nice, I charged you a day parking fee. Apparently you are the type of people that complain even though you were given a break, ignore signage and then sneer and give the bird finger as you are leaving.

We were as unhappy with you and your wife as you were with us.
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