The Hot Spring:
Alvord Hot Springs is in a beautiful and remote location with the Alvord Desert on one side and Steens Mountain on the other. Several springs emerge next to the road at about 170 degrees F forming a small marshy area and hot creek. A large 4 inch pipe is set up in the creek that brings about 120 degrees F water to the pools. The temperature in the pools can be controlled by raising or lowering the end of the pipe changing the slope in the pipe and flow of hot water to the pools. When the pipe is up with a moderate flow the pools generally stay between 103 to 105 degrees F. If the pipe is left as low as possible with the maximum flow the pools can reach temperatures over 110 degrees F.
A wooden walkway leads from the road to the soaking area. Two four foot deep and ten by ten foot square concrete pools were built long ago and have been used by ranchers and hunters in the area. One pool has four metal walls around it to protect from sun and wind during the day, but still allowing stargazing at night. The other pool is open offering amazing views in all directions. A wooden deck was built more recently around the concrete pools with a bench and changing area. In the changing area is a picture in memory of a man that spent a lot of time maintaining and cleaning the pools.
Alvord is a very popular hot springs in the high desert of Southeastern Oregon because of how close it is to a well maintained dirt road. Camping is not allowed at the springs because it is on private property, but there is a large open area across the road that allows camping. During the day most passing vehicles stop to look or soak at the springs, and at night the pools are regularly filled with whoever is around drinking and having fun. Please respect the area and clean up all trash to keep these springs open to the public.