Alvord Hot Springs

Once Public, Now Commercial Alvord Hot Springs Rides Again

The old, free Alvord Hot Springs that we have all come to know and love over the years is gone as of early 2013. The Davis Family (owners) have torn down the old structure and built a new one complete with parking lot, bathrooms, pay camping, store, showers and on-site caretaker. Access for 24 hours costs $5.

Alvord Hot Springs

The two large concrete tank pools surrounded by decking and benches with a covered room off to the side retain much, if not all, of their former glory.

Alvord Hot Springs Map and Directions

Alvord can be reached via the Fields-Denio Road (East Steens Road) from either the north (from Burns) or the south (from Fields). From the north, drive approximately 41 miles south on the dirt Fields-Denio Road from Highway 78. From the south, drive 23 miles north (12 miles paved) to reach the signed Alvord Hot Springs.

Related Links:

Alvord Hot Springs Video

Alvord Hot Springs Soak Stats:

Season: All
Type: Roadside
GPS: 42.544 118.533
Elevation: 4,080 ft
Land: Private (Commercial)
Fee: Yes
Restrictions: No
Usage: High
Visibility: Moderate
Temp: Adjustable via wood plugs
Water Clarity: Semi-Clear
Odor: Sulfur
pH: n/a
Area Features: Steens Mountain, Alvord Desert
Closest Food/Gas: Fields
Trash: Low
Bugs: Low-None
Wildlife: Moderate
Camping: On-site and nearby
Clothing Optional: Yes
Pit Toilet: Yes

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18 thoughts on “Alvord Hot Springs”

  1. Pingback: High Desert Hot Springs |

  2. Had a great soak here in the silence of winter 06. Saw only 1 car in the two days we were there. Beautiful.
    Thanks for posting the photos CG. I saw the photos of the abused bath house. Bummer.

  3. We stopped through on our way back to Pendleton after memorial day. I’ve been through here probably half a dozen times, and this is the first time I’ve been disappointed. Someone had evidently used the pool to take a soapy bath, and the inlet pipes were all in disarray, so no fresh water was circulating, hence a very disagreeable soapy scum. Perhaps since Carl is gone, no one is caring for this place any longer. Anyway, I wonder what kind of inconsiderate idiot uses something like this with soap. :^(

  4. Just stopped in on April 6 and 7, it was great! The open pool was hot and relaxing, while the sheltered pool was kind of cold. No trash to be seen, overall it was awesome!!!

  5. I just stumbled upon this post of yours with the “Related Links” at the bottom that included (in the middle) a link to my blog post about Steens/The Alvord Desert and Hot Springs. Thank you so much!

  6. I found it a great place to have a good private soak, locals antd tourists use it, in turn, clothing optional, if used in turn. It’s a short walk from the road, two pools of differents temps, 5 degrees apart, or so.

  7. Sadly, the Alvord Hot Springs is history. Don’t even waste your time. With any luck, some redneck with a front-end loader will just backfill the pools with steer carcasses and playa dust, and finish off the job they started a couple of years ago… That’s about when the property owners decided to convert this tiny magic dot of wild hope in the desert into a pay-to-play roadside beer stand. Do the property owners have a right to turn this rare and soul-cleansing jewel into a “business”? According to Oregon law, of course they do – but there’s a difference between “rights” and what’s RIGHT. It shouldn’t take a genius to figure out exactly how much NOTHING a mid-desert pay-by-the-hour hot tub is going to turn in profits – even if you manage foist some cheese curls and a liter of diet Mr. Pibb on that once-a-month Land Rover full of German tourists who got lost on their way to Winnemucca. A scenic jaunt across central Nevada should make that abundantly clear. So – you say a naked hippy pooped by your spring? … And it was ‘cuz they ate a cheeseburger at Fields Station? CHRIST SAVE US FROM CHEESEBURGER POOP. You say somebody’s going to singe their lip on a faulty bong and sue you? Oh yeah – here comes a thundering heard of them thar big city lawyers from Burns, chicken little.
    Best of luck to y’all – and the Alvord Hot Springs, LLC.

  8. You’d think a “live-in caretaker” would make this place safe. But a friend and I had a narrow escape recently, and it was one of the caretaker’s creeper friends who was threatening us, while the caretaker did not do much at all. The creep’s opening line when he arrived was, “Are you two girls naked? Want to come home with me and my friend?” and things degenerated from there. When we left, they followed us on the trail out of the hot springs, and to the parking lot. We got in our car, locked the doors, and started to drive off, but they got in their giant redneck truck and pulled up alongside us, asking where we were camping that night. We told them that was none of their business, and made them leave first so they couldn’t follow us. We saw them head down the road to where they suspected we were camping, and so we booked it south (the opposite direction). They noticed we weren’t coming, obviously. And as we went, we watched for them. With their headlights glimmering in my rearview mirror, we kept driving and driving until we reached Nevada and slept in my car, holding knives all night. Thank goodness it wasn’t any worse. Not going back there anytime soon.

  9. This type of activity should be reported to officials, especially since it is a “paid “site! I visited this beautiful spring several times in the past, my last was just as the owners were starting their development project which boded badly as these posts suggest… for shame for shame!

  10. Pingback: Traipsing About | Solitude in the Steens Mountains

  11. While there hasn’t been a post on the Alvord in almost a year, it’s time to let everyone know the truth, and stop the rumors that aren’t true. With connectivity of the world through the internet and hot springs books, and sites like this one, the Alvord Hot Springs faced serious issues. What was once a spot built for the cowboy and ranch hands to soak off long hard days, (this is presently still the case), the stray adventurist and hiker would wander upon the springs. For the past 45 years the owners have let people camp and soak and wander and hike. Unfortunately, hundreds of people a month are now informed and driving out to the springs. Sanitation became a very serious issue, as well as liability. There was some thought about bulldozing the springs. So very many of us are thankful that this was not done. Instead the owners decided to see if management of the springs would eliminate the issues of sanitation. The fees are incredibly reasonable. The original pools are still there, they were not torn down. They are improved with water valves, which anyone that has been there for years will tell you is a great improvement for regulating the water. The pools are a nice walk away from the camping area as they are from the road. There is still peace and quiet as you soak. There aren’t lights at night, except for the campfires, so star gazing while soaking is still perfectly fantastic, the coyotes are still singing in the evenings and the birds are serenading in the morning. The soaking experience is different for each individual. There is no denying though, that the Alvord Hot Springs are still every bit as wonderful as they always have been, given the force of change in a world that is getting smaller as people populate and advance into the future. The Alvord Hot Springs welcomes you, we try to keep things simple and enjoyable.

  12. I started going to the Alvord Hot springs about thirty years ago but stopped going about 10 years back due to the lack of upkeep, trash and general riff-raff that made it a less than enjoyable experience. After reading the review above, I decided to give it a chance and am sure glad I did. The new caretakers are wonderful, the springs are clean and not a piece of trash to be seen anywhere. Joe and Rose are simply great, they made us feel right at home. The rustic feel of the place remains, but now you can camp very close, there is a store with some essentials, and for those of you like me who has to check their email even on vacation, there is internet. This is simply the best thing that could have happened to save this little spot of heaven.

  13. Ten years ago my friend and I visited the Alvord Dry Lake on a landsailing trip. The hot spring pools provided a very pleasant soak at the end of day. At that time there were the pools and,well just the pools. This year we found two very competent and agreeable people managing the locale and doing a first rate job of it.Without spoiling the rustic essence of the pools they have added a simple shower[attached to the pools} and a short distance away,an office with wi-fi some essentials,and a few mementos for sale. There is now a restroom which I found to be well kept and clean. These changes all are all improvements…..however the best improvement is in meeting Rose and Joe,two people who have enhanced the place just by being there.I think that Amazing Amazon would be as impressed as I was at how much two caring people can transform a soaking pool into an oasis.Pay this place another visit A.A.,you’ll be impressed.

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