Boondocking near the Alvord Hot Springs


In March 2011 on our return to the Pacific Northwest after spending the winter touring the country, we had just left Zion National Park and were facing an early spring snow system baring down on Oregon and Idaho.

When we arrived in eastern Nevada our choices were to head north on U.S. Hwy 93 to Boise, or to turn west along I-80 to Winnemucca, then northwest through Denio, Nev., and Fields, Ore., to the Alvord Hot Springs in southeast Oregon.

The Alvord Hot Springs won. Why? Because it offers some of the most remote soaking hot pools in Oregon with delicious 112-degree water and is open year round. A perfect destination for a frigid, snowy day.

The springs sit on the eastern slope of the Steen Mountains on the western edge of the vast Alvord Desert at an elevation of 4,080 feet.

There is also free dispersed camping within easy walking distance of the springs on the privately-owned Alvord Ranch property. After years of providing free access to the hot spring, according to an e-mail from Paul Davis, a member of the family that owns the Alvord Ranch: “We are in the process as of March 1, 2013, of charging a fee to use this spring.”

Read more about Alvord Hot Springs by clicking on an article I wrote for RV Short

Photos: (Top) Dispersed dry camping across the road from Alvord Hot Springs. Our truck/camper on right. (Middle) Alvord Hot Springs soaking pools with Alvord Desert in background. (Bottom) Our camping site looking out at Alvord Desert. (Julianne G. Crane)

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