Oregon November 10, 2016
Here Is The Most Remote, Isolated Spot In Oregon And It’s Positively Breathtaking
Located deep in the wilderness of southeastern Oregon, the Alvord Desert is a true hidden gem. It’s unlike anywhere else in the state; rimmed by the stunning, snow-capped Steens Mountain, this expansive playa will make you feel as though you’ve been transported to another planet entirely. Chances are, you’ll be totally alone here—and the catch is that it’s not even hard to get to.
The Alvord Desert is an amazing expanse of perfectly flat desert that will let you see for miles and miles in every direction.
This unique 12x7 mile desert is actually a dry lake bed that has retained its barren beauty because of it's location in a "rain shadow", which blocks rain clouds from reaching the desert. On average, the basin only gets about 7 inches of rainfall per year.
To the west, the playa is rimmed by the 4,000-foot-tall Steens mountain. It's an absolutely extraordinary sight.
Underground, the area is alive with geothermal activity. On the edge of the playa, you'll find the amazing Alvord Hot Springs, which are definitely worth a stop. The hot spring is privately owned, and it costs $5 for a relaxing soak.
Located in the southeasternmost corner of Oregon in Harney County, this remote place is a true gem in the middle of nowhere. The closest town is Fields, an unincorporated community with a population of 120.
The winding East Steens Road leads through stunning scenery towards the stark, mesmerizing desert. You'll take Oregon Route 78 southeast until you reach East Steens Road (at about 72 miles past Burns) and then follow that road past Mann Lake until you reach the desert.
This unique place is spectacular any time of year, although it's best visited from July-November, when the earth is dry enough to drive you car on.
Walking through the hushed playa under the wide-open sky, the otherworldly scenery will make you feel like you're on another planet.
For an unforgettable camping trip, pitch your tent or park for RV on the salt flat and stay up late to see the stars light up the sky.
Steens Mountain is another amazing, remote natural wonder -- and it's right next door. It's a great place for viewing wildlife, camping, hiking, and more. You will definitely want to at least take a drive along the Steens Loop Tour Route.
Here's a view of the Alvord Desert and beyond from Steens Mountain.
Find out about more amazing hidden gems in Oregon