Camp on the Alvord Desert

Added by Sonora Mindling-Werling

The Alvord Desert is beautiful, barren playa in Eastern Oregon. With the jagged Steens mountains and relaxing Alvord hot springs on one edge and barren sagebrush hills on the other, the playa is a flat expanse of white sand unlike anything you'd expect to see in Oregon. 

You can drive onto the desert from several different dirt access roads along the Fields-Denio Rd, coming from the town Fields. You are allowed to drive out and camp anywhere on the playa except for along the west side, which is private property. The area is not fenced, but it is up to you to be aware of where you are on the playa. To avoid any potential issues, it's best to camp on the south, east, or north sides of the playa. Be aware that open fires are illegal (as well as fireworks!) and there is a hefty fine for having one. The closest bathroom facilities are located at Frog Springs on the west side (w/ access to the playa, new bathrooms, and trash cans for free) or the Alvord Hotsprings, for guests or $2 per use. Otherwise, bring a shovel and TP. 

Be sure to pack out everything you pack in. The Alvord Desert is a stunning and fun place to visit, treat it well so that others can enjoy the beauty also! 

Read More

Tags

Chillin
Camping
Photography
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

over 1 year ago

Surreal

The Alvord Desert is a magical, beautiful, desolate place, and far off the beaten path and well worth visiting, just be sure to leave no trace and pack out what you pack in.

Stay Nearby

Diamond, Oregon

Jackman Park Campground

Jackman Park Campground is located on the flanks of Steens Mountain, within the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protective Area (CMPA). This area encompasses an extraordinary landscape w...

Fields-Denio Road

Mann Lake Campground

Overview:Located below the east face of Steens Mountain, Mann Lake attracts anglers as much for its remote, rugged splendor as for its abundant Lahontan cutthroat trout. These trout are supremely ...

Princeton, Oregon

South Steens Campground

Overview:South Steens Campground is located in the heart of Steens Mountain. Visitors will find picnic tables and grills at 36 family campsites amid juniper and sage. The equestrian site, designe...

Nearby Adventures

  • Soak in Alvord Hot Springs

    Alvord Hot Springs at the base of Steens Mountain deep in the heart of the eastern Oregon Wilderness is a hidden gem, known mostly to climbing enthusiasts and the ambitious adventurer willing to drive the nearly 4 hours from Boise, Bend, or 2.5 ho...

    0.25 miles

  • Hike Pike Creek Trail in the Steens Mountains

     Starting at approximately 4300’,  Pike Creek trail is about 5.4 miles RT to Pike’s Knob, out and back, however the entire hike is stunning and there is no wrong place to turn back. The road for the Pike Creek Trail is a few miles north of the Alv...

    5.4 miles 1500 ft gain

  • Take in the View from Steens Mountain Summit

    Driving on the 205 you will turn onto the Steens Mountain Loop Road at the Frenchglen Hotel State Heritage Site, then continue to drive 27 miles up into the Steens Mountain Wilderness, following the main road until you see the turnoff towards the ...

    0.8 miles 100 ft gain

  • Hike to Wildhorse Lake

    From a parking area just below the summit of Steens Mountain, this 2.5-mile hike (1.25 each way) descends 1200 feet into a cirque at the head of Wildhorse Canyon to the shores of Wildhorse Lake. The stunning geography of Steens is on display the e...

    2.5 miles 1200 ft gain