Alvord Hot Springs is located just outside of the city of Princeton in south central Oregon. Nestled in the Alvord Desert, this natural hot spring has been used by travelers for decades. The hot springs are most easily accessed from late March to early June, when there’s plenty of water flowing from the nearby McEnery Peak snowpack.
When the weather gets warmer and the creek dries up, you can still enjoy Alvord Hot Springs, as it’s entirely man-made with water that’s heated by geothermal energy, so it will be warm all year round.
Soak your feet in warm water, enjoy the area’s great hiking trails, go fishing on the Deschutes River, or take in the region’s natural beauty at one of its many scenic lookouts – whatever you choose to do here, it will be relaxing and enjoyable!
Alvord Hot Springs Directions
The Alvord Desert (in south-eastern Oregon) is a stunningly beautiful area. To get there, head east from Boise, then north from Burns. The best place to stay overnight in or near Alvord is Fields, located just off of Hwy 78.
The Bitterroot Mountains are also a spectacular backdrop for nearby activities; check out Twin Falls, one of Oregon’s most gorgeous waterfalls. If you have time, visit Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, an amazing volcanic landscape that will leave you with plenty to talk about at dinner parties! From Boise, it’s roughly three hours to reach Fields; from Portland, five hours.
Note: During winter months, expect some delays due to snowfall in mountainous areas. Also note: Many campgrounds close during summer months due to high temperatures reaching up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit on some days. Make sure your vehicle has air conditioning before visiting during these months!
Where to Stay at Alvord Hot Springs (Lodging)
There are many lodgings in or near town, including RV parks, hotels and B&Bs. Camping is also an option. In terms of proximity, it’s important to stay somewhere close so you can make a day of it at Alvord; but not too close because then you’ll spend all your time in your room! (Hotels outside of town often offer specials if you book during certain times.)
If you want to stay closer to nature, there are several campgrounds within five miles of town that include amenities like showers and Wi-Fi. One such example is Sumpter Valley RV Park & Campground , which offers full hook-ups for RVs up to 50 feet long.
It’s only about two miles from downtown Sumpter—close enough for convenience but far enough away for privacy. Rates start at $35 per night with discounts available on weekdays and off-season stays. Another popular spot is Cottonwood Creek Ranch .
This property has been around since 1882 and has been offering lodging ever since. The ranch features cabins, yurts and campsites with access to hot springs, fishing ponds and hiking trails. The best part? You can bring your dog along! Rates start at $65 per night depending on how many people are staying in each cabin or yurt.
For more information about hotel visit here : Hotels Near Alvord Hot Springs
Things to Do at Alvord Hot Springs
The natural features of Alvord are one of its main attractions. It is surrounded by desert, which can be explored on foot or in a vehicle. Swimming, rafting, fishing, biking and hiking are common activities at Alvord.
In addition, you can visit nearby ghost towns and mines that are located within short driving distances from here. Check out nearby Fields for some mining history in Oregon; Wallowa Valley has numerous old structures dating back more than 100 years.
Another fun stop is Biggs, where there are still remnants of homesteads that date back to 1890. As far as nightlife goes, Baker City offers a number of good bars and restaurants. For those who enjoy gambling, there’s also an Indian casino nearby that’s open 24 hours per day.
But, if all you want to do is sit around and relax after a long day exploring, then Alvord Hot Springs might just be your kind of place. You can soak in these mineral-rich waters for up to three hours without paying any extra fees.
Plus, your access pass allows you to get discounts on other things like food and lodging. There are also guided tours available through local businesses that offer insight into how water gets heated naturally underground.
Bunkhouse Near Alvord Hot Springs
Just down the road from Alvord is a small community where you can stay in a cozy little bunkhouse. While it’s not luxurious, it’s a great place to spend an evening with friends, listening to rain pattering on your roof while you sleep.
The only catch? You have to bring your own bedding! The good news is that there are plenty of blankets available for purchase at a nearby store if you don’t want to make that drive.
And for those who enjoy camping but don’t like sleeping on hard ground, there are plenty of air mattresses available for rent as well. Make sure you call ahead so they know how many people will be staying in each cabin; otherwise, they might charge you extra per person!
Bunkhouse #1 costs $90 per night for 2 people and includes A/C.
The remaining bunkhouses are $70 per night for two people (limited to 4 people). Check details, bunkhouses photo gallery and book them on their website.
Alvord Hot Springs Fees
If you are planning on spending a day at the hot springs, you will need to purchase a fee pass. There are several options available with prices ranging from $5 to $20. You can also buy an annual pass for just under $70 which is valid until December 31st of that year. This pass gives you access to all National Forest Service campgrounds and recreation areas.
Day-use admission is $10.00 per person.
The passes can be purchased at any National Forest Service office or online. It’s worth noting that some local merchants sell passes as well but they tend to be more expensive than what you would pay if you bought it directly from one of their offices or online. In addition, many hotels in town sell passes as well but again these tend to be more expensive than what’s offered by the National Forest Service.
Alvord Hot Springs Temperature
There are two neighbouring pools for a really good soak. They were originally built in the 1940s and have been updated since then. One offers protection from the sun, the other is open to the winds.
Concrete rectangular pools are 1 m deep and are of dimensions 25 by 50 feet (7.5 x 15 m) and 10 by 20 feet (3 x 6 m).
All construction will be straightforward and rustic. Corrugated sheet metal and wood elements will be incorporated.
The water reaches boiling point in the underground aquifer at around 174 degrees Fahrenheit and then is cooled in the open air when mixed with cool water from the other pools. As the pools cycle from summer to winter, the temperatures vary, typically oscillating between 100-110 degrees.
On average, the water temperature is 105.0 °F (40.5°C). Furthermore, there are two pipes that feed water into the pools – one is hot and one is cold. So, you can control the temperature of the water so that it feels comfortable.
The characteristic odor of sulfur, natural hot pools, is very delicate and does not disturb you when you’re soaking. Additionally, after a long soak, your skin might look light yellow due to the minerals in the water. That’s nothing to worry about. washing off with water at the end of your swim means you don’t have to worry about staining your clothes or skin.
Heated from magma more than four miles below the surface, these springs will not go out. Hydrothermal fluids, warmed by rising magma, circulate near the Earth’s surface, creating geysers, fumaroles, or other volcanic phenomena like mud pots and hot springs.
Approximately 10 years is required for water to travel from deep within Earth’s crust to reach these springs. These slow-moving waters allow for a consistent water temperature.
Places to Explore Near Alvord Hot Springs
There are a few things you should check out in town, including: The Princeton Public Library (200 NW Oregon Ave, 541-929-5774): As you may have expected from a small town library, it’s not too big. It does have a decent amount of books for sale, though.
More importantly, there are often fun events like puppet shows or live music. And what better way to unwind after spending some time at Alvord than with a good book?
The Lava Lands Visitor Center (1202 US Highway 97 North, 541-536-2811): This visitor center is located just north of downtown on US Highway 97. If you’re looking for an interesting way to spend an afternoon learning about local geology, stop by here! They have displays that tell about volcanic activity throughout history and even give talks on occasion. Plus, they sell souvenirs and snacks so you can stock up before heading home.
The Wallowa County Historical Museum (201 SE 2nd St, 541-426-6161): Located near downtown as well, but worth checking out if you want to learn more about local history. You’ll find historical photos and artifacts as well as displays telling stories of early settlers and Native Americans. Check their website for special events like lectures and workshops.
The Elkhorn Theatre (307 SE 1st St, 541-426-6788): For those who enjoy live theater, check out what’s playing at the Elkhorn Theatre while you’re in town. Be sure to call ahead to see if any movies are showing; otherwise, you might be disappointed when all that’s playing is a romantic comedy.
The High Desert Museum (70190 Hwy 82, 541-427-5240): If you’d rather learn about wildlife than people, head over to the High Desert Museum. You’ll find animals native to Oregon such as bighorn sheep and bald eagles along with lots of other interesting creatures. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children.
The Bannockburn Store (207 SE 1st St, 541-426-6423): Looking to grab a bite to eat? Stop by Bannockburn Store, which serves up sandwiches and burgers as well as ice cream cones. Prices aren’t cheap, but then again neither are fast food restaurants.
FAQ About Alvord Hot Springs
Is Alvord Hot Springs Open?
Yes, seasonal hours run from May through September. Hours vary by month, so call in advance to confirm. You can also access real-time info on road conditions on Oregon Department of Transportation’s TripCheck site here . And for further questions about access, click here .
How do you get to the Alvord Desert?
To get to Alvord Desert, head east on Highway 31 just outside of Ashland Oregon. It’s a pleasant drive that takes you through beautiful scenery of forested mountains, fields, lakes and rivers. You can stop along the way in some picturesque towns like Ashland Oregon which is known for it’s Shakespeare Festival. Its also close to Crater Lake if you have time.
How do you get to Paulina Hot Springs?
The Paulina Basin is located in Central Oregon, between Lakeview and Terrebonne. The ride from Bend is a straight shot on State Highway 20. From Burns, it’s about a two-hour drive. Whatever way you go, make sure you are prepared for weather conditions that can change at any moment, as well as bring plenty of gas money since there aren’t any gas stations on your way out to Paulina!
Where is Austin Hot Springs?
Austin Hot Springs is located just three miles from Historic Downtown Austin on Highway 97. From Highway 97 you will turn left onto Route 395 for about 1 mile. You will then see a sign for Austin Campground, which leads to Alvord Hot Springs. We are only a 15 minute drive from historic Downtown Klamath Falls and only 20 minutes from beautiful Crater Lake National Park!
Final Words About Alvord Hot Springs
Stop by into any of these activities and you’ll quickly see that there is no better place than Alvord Hot Springs for a relaxing retreat. Make sure you don’t miss out on its hot springs during your visit. You won’t regret it! If you have more time, explore more of what Oregon has to offer.
If you want to take in some history, head over to Silver Falls State Park, or if nature is more your thing, check out Opal Creek Scenic Area. Both are beautiful places and are definitely worth checking out if you have time!
So plan a trip now, book your flight tickets online, rent a car in Portland or Eugene and start planning how much fun you can have in Oregon. There is so much to do and discover here; we hope you enjoy your stay as much as we do!