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Alvord Desert Camping Guide

The Desert camping is available for $25 per night in a very remote location. Thus, it is important to come prepared. Alvord Desert Camping welcomes those searching for peace of mind and solitude in the middle of the stark desert! One should know that it is a long drive to the SE corner of Oregon and prepare their itinerary accordingly.

Burns is the closest full-service town to the desert, and one should keep an eye out on their fuel gauge so that there is no fear of running out of gas! The gas stations to the south, Frenchglen, and Steens from the months of April to November.

There can be drastic changes in the weather conditions, so you should always check the weather forecast in Andrews. The temperature can fluctuate in the daytime and the nighttime, so you must pack your clothes to cater to the weather conditions.

Following are some of the most noteworthy sites at Alvord Desert Camping:

Alvord Hot Springs

Situated in Harney County, 87 miles southeast of Burns, the Alvord hot springs have rustic structures, hot pools you can soak yourself in, and plenty of recreational activities to indulge in! Alvord Ranch is the private property that owns the pools and the area surrounding the campground.

One should ensure to fill up the gas before they head out to the Alvord desert areas and Steen Mountain! If you plan on exploring the area at a stretch, it is recommended to bring full gasoline canisters so that you do not get stranded in the desert!

Pike Creek Primitive Campsites

There are a few primitive sites which are at the base of Steens Mountain’s eastern face. You will also stumble across primitive campsites that line along the banks of Pike Creek. These campsites have thick willows and the protected shade of cottonwood trees.

You should first check in at the Alvord Hot Springs for camping here! If the campsites are occupied, you can also check the campsites near Mann Lake. During the summer months, only the gas station in Frenchglen is open! Burn and Fields are two places where year-round gas stations are opened.

South Steens Campground

Located in the heart of the Steens Mountains, the South Steen Campground has 36 family campsites. It also has picnic tables and grills in addition. The place has alpine meadows, horses, sheep, and glacier-cut gorges. This campground has fifteen equestrian campsites and fire pits, hitching rails, and a few picnic tables for the family.

One should typically visit this site from mid-May through mid-November. Known as the state’s crown jewels, the mountain range is in Oregon’s high desert. Potable water is available for drinking, and vault restrooms are also available.

Jackman Park Campground

Tucked in the flanks of Steens Mountain, the Jackman Park Campground is the area that encompasses the landscape with stunning scenery, animal species, diverse vegetation, and glacier-covered hilltops. It is at an elevation of 7800 feet, and the Jackson Park Campground has some of the best fall colors that overlook Steens Mountain.

The peak period to visit this place is from mid-June to mid-October, and there are six campsites with fire grates and picnic tables. One should be mindful that the mountain weather can change suddenly! Located near the Kiger Gorge Overlook, this campground has a U-shaped valley!

Fish Lake Campground

Situated at 7400 feet, the Fish Lake campground offers visitors a great opportunity for picnicking, swimming, and hiking! This campsite is adjacent to Fish Lake in the Wallowa Mountains. It is located about 39 miles to the east of Medford. There are 23 campgrounds that border the banks of the surrounding rivers, and one should be sure to catch a glimpse of the valley!

The campground is known for its desert space, sparkling mountain lake, and willows and aspen. You can also bring your pet along, as pets are allowed at this site! Some other distinct features of this place are that it also has picnic tables and vault toilets. A majority of the people visit this site during spring and summer.

Fields station

One of the most beautiful campgrounds in Oregon, the Fields is a campsite known for its vast deserts of Eastern Oregon! This is one of the driest places in Oregon! This place is located 112 miles or 180 km south of Burns. It has 180 mm of precipitation per year and experiences a cold desert climate!

Many avid campers who want to experience the local wildlife visit this place. You are likely to come across geese, mule deer, elk, doves, and ducks in this place. Alvord hot springs and bog hot springs are the publicly accessible springs in this area. The Steens Mountain is located at a distance of 60 miles from Fields station.

Mann Lake

Situated to the north of the Alvord desert, the Mann Lake recreation site is a site that includes fishing, wildlife viewing, and hiking. The lake is famous for its pristine location and holds water all year long!

The lake is easy to access from its entire shoreline, and the site is known for its extremely stark contrasts! One should fill up gas before they head out to the Steens Mountain!

Willow Creek campground

A high desert area, the Willow Creek campground features a single pool in the middle of Oregon’s high desert region. The area also features two adjoining pools that have crystal-clear waters. Also known as the Whitehorse Ranch hot springs, the Willow Creek site is many miles from the nearest civilization.

You can also see a refreshing oasis in the middle of nowhere! It surrounds the rocky hill and a high-elevation desert plain.

Final words

Alvord desert is on the bucket list of many avid campers! The desert offers an incredible experience of bright low sky and mountain ridges that are a beautiful contrast to the Alvord desert!

Visitors visit this place all year long and come across deer, coyotes, wild horses, and many other wild animals. The desert area has a campsite located to the hot springs as well as throughout the entire property.

There are many settings to choose from, and you can choose the one that caters well to all your needs!

Written by Emma Parker

Hi, I'm Emma Parker, a passionate outdoors enthusiast and blogger. I love nothing more than exploring the great outdoors and sharing my experiences with others.

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