Alvord Hot Springs is privately owned by the Davis family. Visitors who drove past the hot springs were long accustomed to soaking for free in the twin concrete pools that date to the 1940s.
If you haven't been to Alvord Hot Springs since 2013, when it started charging a soaking fee, there is a new parking area south of the springs with a walking path to the soaking pool. The hot springs have on-site caretakers, a small store/reception center, restroom and campsites.
The decision was made to turn the hot springs into a commercial venture. The family needed to make a choice of how best to stop the vandalism and address the sanitation issues at the site. It came down to two choices: close the site permanently and remove the pools, or put some money into it and see if it could make enough back to pay for its operation. Fortunately for hot springs lovers, the latter choice prevailed and the site lives on.
The pools are near the east base of Steens Mountain, a mile below the summit at the edge of the Alvord Desert. The water comes out of the ground at 170 degrees and gets cooled when mixed in the soaking pools. Those who pay to camp can use the pools 24 hours, while day visitors are restricted to business open hours.
The store sells drinks, ice, bath towels, clothing items, propane, bottled water and other misc necessities.
Emergency services are available.
Alvord Hot Springs is accessible by the all-weather county road on the east side of Steens Mountain, 110 miles southeast of Burns or 25 miles north of Fields