Don’t forget to pack swimwear so you can visit the hot springs nearby. August remains hot with highs ranging between 90 and 100 °F (32 and 38 °C) and lows between 50 and 60 °F (10 and 16 °C), though dropping towards the end of the month. It is roughly southeast of the Steens Mountains. A playa is a dry lake that is usually found in interior desert basins.

Two mountain ranges separate it from the Pacific Ocean—the Coast Range, and the Cascade Mountains. In areas where natural hot springs flow into the playa, especially around the Alvord Hot Springs, one can usually find nesting long-billed curlew. At the west of the desert is Steens Mountain looming over the lake bed, which makes a fabulous backdrop. Spring is when the area see’s the most rainfall therefore this is not the best time for camping on the playa. Great space for solitude and inspiration. The Alvord Desert experiences a cold desert climate (Köppen BWk). This is because the rain collects on the playa and the water is known to move very quickly which causes the desert floor to become very sticky and muddy making it difficult to travel across. At night, the temperature falls to between 20 and 30 °F (−7 and −1 °C), but will not normally fall much further unless Arctic air masses arrive. The eastern side of the Alvord Desert WSA is about 5 miles southwest of Burns Junction. Fall is also one of the driest times of the year. Clear nights continue to bring cold overnight temperatures which commonly drop to between 30 and 45 °F (−1 and 7 °C), but afternoon warming raises temperatures to between 50 and 60 °F (10 and 16 °C) in early spring and 70 and 80 °F (21 and 27 °C) in late spring. Phone reception can be a little spotty out here so make sure you have the directions written down somewhere. You can take a drive along the 52 mile loop road which begins in Frenchglen. On August 27, 2019, Jessi Combs died while making back and forth runs at Alvord Desert in an attempt to break O'Neil's record,[11] and in June 2020, the Guinness book of world's records recognized Combs' runs on that date as the official new world record of 522.783 mph (841.338 km/). All the more reason to camp out and spend the night under a blanket of stars instead of opting for a hotel room. [7] O'Neil reached 512.710 mph (825.127 km/h).[8][9][10]. Fall is moderate with high temperatures ranging between 60 and 80 °F (16 and 27 °C) and lows between 40 and 50 °F (4 and 10 °C).

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At the north is Mickey Hot Springs (42°40′41″N 118°20′48″W / 42.6781°N 118.3467°W / 42.6781; -118.3467 (Mickey Hot Springs)): an assortment of bubbling mud, pools and, the occasional geyser. Alvord can be reached via the Fields-Denio Road from either Burns if you’re coming from the north, or from the town of Fields if you’re driving up from the south. To the east is an unnamed natural hot spring, one of 40 or more along 25 miles (40 km) of the Alvord fault. The Alvord Desert sits on the east side of the Steens Mountain Range at an elevation of 4,000 feet. The Alvord Desert playa, which can be either wet or dry depending on the time of year, is one of the largest playas in Oregon—six miles wide and 11 miles long. The Alvord Desert sits on the east side of the Steens Mountain Range at an elevation of 4,000 feet. The previous women's Land Speed Record was set at Alvord Desert by Kitty O'Neil, in the jet-powered SMI Motivator, in 1976. [1], The desert is named after General Benjamin Alvord, who served as commander of the U.S. Army's Department of Oregon during the American Civil War.[2]. 97721 It is roughly southeast of Steens Mountain. They have restrooms and a small store run by live-in caretakers on the property.

Not into camping? Tyson Gillard Located in Harney County, Oregon, and tucked into the Steens Mountain rain shadow, the Alvord Desert is one of the most isolated and unique land formations in the state. It’s free too! Along with Steens Mountain, these topographical features create a rain shadow. On average, highs will commonly reach between 40 and 50 °F (4 and 10 °C), with a few rare instances where the temperature fails to break 32 °F (0 °C). You don’t want your tent to flood or have your car stuck in mud and be stranded. This warming can help trigger thunderstorms in combination with the unstable spring atmosphere.

The Alvord Desert is a desolate landscape with many unusual attractions. This guide covers the top things to do here and where you can stay whether you want to camp or prefer hotel accommodations. Night-time lows vary, with overnight temperatures dropping down between 60 and 65 °F (16 and 18 °C) throughout much of the basin. Several of the geothermal features in Alvord Desert Basin have been examined by a team of scientists and geologists[5] from the University of Idaho, Boise State University, and Idaho State University.[6]. The Alvord Desert is a desert located in Harney County, in southeastern Oregon in the western United States. ? The Alvord Desert is a desert located in Harney County, in southeastern Oregon in the western United States. The Alvord Desert is located in Harney County, in southeastern Oregon. Winter temperatures in the Alvord Basin are moderated through airflow from the south that stops the temperature from dropping too heavily. The area is largely unmarked but you can get there by taking Oregon Route 205 south past the Malheur refuge then follow signs east to the craters. We hope to inspire you to have your own adventure whether it be a cross-country road trip or a weekend getaway. Got any questions or your own travel tips on visiting the Alvord Desert? During the dry season the surface is sufficiently flat for driving or landing small aircraft. It is a surreal landscape and worth visiting on your way to Alvord Desert if you are coming from Burns. The Alvord Desert and East Alvord Wilderness Study Areas are located approximately 70 miles southeast of Burns in Harney and Malheur Counties. It can be thrilling with no speed limits. Its main feature is a large expanse of cracked earth—called a playa—that stretches outward like a flattened piece of crumpled paper.

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated with new posts & special offers. But be careful as there has been recent fatalities. GREAT Oregon Destination. At the south is Borax Lake (42°19′37″N 118°36′10″W / 42.3269°N 118.6028°W / 42.3269; -118.6028 (Borax Lake)) which is a thermal spring complex. Also remember this is the desert and the temperatures do drop dramatically at night and there is no protection from the wind so bring some warm layers. 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.

Autumn is the most ideal time to plan a visit when there is little rainfall and temperatures begin to cool down. Did you know: If you use the Roadtrippers mobile app, your trips will instantly auto-sync over... Ready for navigation and good times! In some locations temperatures will only drop to between 65 and 70 °F (18 and 21 °C). Spring is when the bulk of precipitation falls from thunderstorms. Stargazing in this area is fantastic because there is very little light pollution. The desert is situated over a tectonic fault that is responsible for the uplift of the Steens Mountain fault block and the numerous geothermal springs found here. The Alvord Desert is located in Harney County in southeastern Oregon. Alvord Desert; If you really want to get away from the crowds, take a trip out to the Alvord Desert in Southern Oregon and look for nice thundereggs at Pike Creek. You can stay at these hotels in Burns or at the rustic Frenchglen Motel in Fields. Another option is Willow Hot Springs but it is located much further away approximately 40 miles south of Fields but it is much bigger and is in a natural setting. The Alvord Desert was once a lake extending over 100 miles but has since completely dried up. The Alvord Desert is a desolate landscape; the snow-capped peaks of the Steens Mountain range tower above a cracked desert floor. This high pressure means very little precipitation, averaging less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) throughout the summer months. The nearest highway is U.S. Highway 95, which forms much of the eastern boundary of the Alvord Desert study area. This is one of the few year-round creeks out here, just north of the Alvord Hot Springs along the Fields/Denio Highway. Late day heat begins to set in by late June where highs reach between 85 and 90 °F (29 and 32 °C). The Alvord Desert is a desolate landscape; the snow-capped peaks of the Steens Mountain range tower above a cracked desert floor. Rainfall turns the playa into a small lake, and for a short time, makes travel across it difficult. The view of Steens Mountain for the Playa is something you should experience. Check the weather - if there is rain predicted you may want to re-think your plans or come prepared. Alvord Desert The Alvord Desert is a desert located in Harney County, in southeastern Oregon in the western United States.

From the south it is 23 miles on Fields-Denio Road and 12 miles of the first stretch is paved. In July the temperature commonly climbs to between 90 and 100 °F (32 and 38 °C). The outlet waters from the springs typically flow roughly one mile into the desert, and their reach roughly delineates the bird habitat. With some areas only receiving 5 inches of annual precipitation, it is also one of the driest locations in Oregon. I was in a sedan so I didn't venture to far. Be the first to add a review to the Alvord Desert. While Steens Mountain looms to the west, the shimmering salt flats of the Alvord Desert unfold to the east.

One of the biggest draw cards for visiting the Alvord Desert is being able to camp on the desert playa. You can search the creek bed, or explore the vast desert and other dry washes around this area. Despite the barren nature of the playa, some opportunities for wildlife observation exist. One of the best things about taking a trip out to the Alvord Desert is being able to visit the hot springs found in the area.

You can learn more and see some pretty cool images in this article published by the Oregonian. Drove out on the flat from the Frog Springs access point. The nearby Steens Mountain Wilderness contains populations of bighorn sheep, mule deer, elk, and pronghorn. Steens Mountain to the northwest from the Alvord Desert, "Jessi Combs awarded the Guinness record as fastest woman on earth", "Aqueous Geochemistry of Thermal Waters in the Alvord Basin, Oregon", "Extent and location of the geothermal aquifer in the Alvord Basin, Harney County, Oregon: A study based on Strontium Isotope Geochemistry of rocks and fluids", "The Renaissance Woman of Danger—That's Tiny Kitty O'Neil", "Deaf stuntwoman Kitty O'Neil sets women's land-speed record", "Mythbusters Star and Race Car Driver Jessi Combs Dead at 39 After Jet-Car Crash", The Wilderness Society: Wilderness in Oregon’s High Desert,, Deserts and xeric shrublands in the United States, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 25 October 2020, at 07:18. The area see’s very little rain with only seven inches on average annually.

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