South Harney Lake Hot Spring

General Description: Extremely hot water springs creating a little river next to a seasonal dry lake with pools dug out of the ground and over a foot of silt on the bottom.
General Location: In the center of the southeast Oregon high desert just south of Harney Lake
Pool Type: Dug out soil and silt
Pool Temps: Extremely Hot (106° - 110° F), Very Hot (104° - 106° F)
(Click to enlarge.)
Accessibility: Year Round but now when wet beause of an unmaintained deteriorating dirt/mud road with ruts
Restrictions: None
Elevation: 4100 feet.
Distance from road: 0.00 mile.
Map Reference: Burns District BLM Map (north half), or Southeast Harney Lake OR USGS 7.5 minute quadrangle


The Hot Spring:

  Extremely hot water springs from the ground on the south end of the Harney Lake Basin creating South Harney Lake Hot Spring.  Ditches have been dug in the silt and dud lake deposits so the water flows to two dug out soaking pools.  The water cools to acceptable temperatures between 104 and 110 deg F depending on air temp and wind conditions.  Sometimes the first pool is too hot and the second pool is perfect, other times the first pool is perfect and the second pool is in disuse and nasty.  You can try to change the temperature if necesssary by changing the amount of hot water entering the pools with boards that have been left around.  Both pools have one to two feet of silt on the bottom, so get ready to get dirty!

  The hot spring is located on a parcel of private land that is open for public use, and allows camping.  Please respect the land so the owners continue to allow visitors to soak and camp.  An interesting note is that the Harney Lake Basin is a geothermal hot spot in a major caldera complex.  South Harney Lake Hot Spring is said to be the only soakable spring out of 25 springs and 35 hot wells.

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I soaked at s. Harney lake

I soaked at s. Harney lake hot springs this morning 3/23/16. Road poor but passable slow with my pickup and camper. 8 1/2 miles or so from the pavement. 11/2-2' 0f silt in first pool could be cleaned out with a bucket. Water at inlet 107, outlet 102 , second clear full of silt will have to be dug out.

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