Can you drive on the Alvord Desert?
Getting To Alvord Desert It is about 40 miles on unpaved Fields-Denio Road from Highway 76. From the south it is 23 miles on Fields-Denio Road and 12 miles of the first stretch is paved. You can drive onto the desert from several different dirt access roads.
Who owns the Alvord Desert?
Alvord Hot Springs is privately owned, by the Davis family that operates the nearby Alvord Ranch. Visitors who drove past the hot springs, 110 miles out in the desert beyond Burns, were long accustomed to soaking for free in the twin concrete pools that date to the 1940s.
Where is the Alvord Desert?
The Alvord Desert is a desert located in Harney County, in southeastern Oregon in the western United States. It is roughly southeast of the Steens Mountains. The Alvord Desert is a 12-by-7-mile (19 by 11 km) dry lake bed and averages 7 inches (180 mm) of rain a year.
What is Alvord Desert made of?
Playa lakes are formed when rainwater fills shallow, round depressions in the landscape, leaving behind precipitated salt minerals on the earth’s crust upon evaporation. This fault-bounded flat basin is a graben—that is, a basin down-dropped by faulting—about 8 miles wide and 70 miles long.
Does the Alvord Desert get snow?
The Alvord Desert in southeast Oregon gets about 7 inches a year in precipitation, including the occasional dusting of snowflakes. Sometimes the moisture on the playa freezes over and visitors can slide around on their shoes, according to Tara Thissell, the BLM public affairs officer in the area.
Is there service in the Alvord Desert?
It is free to use but isn’t serviced or easy to find. There are five springs located around the perimeter of the desert, including Mickey Hot Springs, Alvord Hot Springs, Tule Springs, Buckbrush Springs, and Borax Hot Springs. Alvord Hot Springs is the only one that you can soak in.
When did the Alvord Desert dry up?
The Alvord Desert was once a giant lake extending 100 miles from end to end with an estimated depth of 200 feet, a robust headwaters of a Snake River tributary. Today, the primary portion of this alkaline flat desert is roughly 20 miles long and 7 miles wide, and it is dry from July to November.
When should I go to the Alvord Desert?
Best Time Of Year To Visit Fall is the best season to visit Alvord Desert, as summer is too warm, winter is too cold, and spring is when the area has the most rainfall, making the desert floor muddy and hard to travel over.
Is there cell reception in the Alvord Desert?
There are year-round gas stations in Burns and Fields, Oregon. There is also a gas station in Frenchglen that is only open during the summer. There isn’t much cell reception out here.
Can you have a campfire in the Alvord Desert?
Camping at Alvord Desert is FREE. The payment to Alvord Hot Springs to use their facilities are all optional. Currently, it’s $8 for the hot springs, $5 for the access road, and $60 a night for a bunker. The access road is the only needed thing to camp on Alvord Desert.
Is there cell service at Alvord Hot Springs?
Travel Safe Be sure to fill up on gas before heading out to the Steens Mountain and Alvord Desert area. 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.
How big is the Alvord Desert study area?
The irregularly-shaped area is 37 miles long from east to west, and 20 miles wide, north to south, at the extremes, narrowing to 3 miles or less in three locations. The East Alvord WSA contains 21,600 acres of BLM land. In addition, one parcel of split-estate land (640 acres) is in the study area.
Where is the Alvord Desert in Harney County?
The Alvord Desert and East Alvord Wilderness Study Areas are located approximately 70 miles southeast of Burns in Harney and Malheur Counties. The eastern side of the Alvord Desert WSA is about 5 miles southwest of Burns Junction. The nearest highway is U.S. Highway 95, which forms much of the eastern boundary of the Alvord Desert study area.
Where is the Alvord Desert WSA in Oregon?
The western edge of the Alvord Desert WSA is partially bounded by the county road which runs from Oregon State Highway 78, at Folly Farm (over 40 miles to the north), to Fields and Denio. About two-thirds of the study area (on the east and south) is within the Vale District.
Which is the dominant feature of the Alvord Desert?
The dominant feature of the study area is the Alvord Desert. The desert is a large (more than 35 square miles within the WSA), clay-bottomed which catches seasonal runoff from the east side of the Steens, but is generally dry for nearly two-thirds of the year.