Alvord Playa Lake – 11 November 2016

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Alvord Playa Lake 20161112-5902
Alvord Playa Lake

I spent a few days last week in Southeastern Oregon camping and hiking in the Steens Mountains, a small but beautiful and high (10,000 ft) mountain range. It is a very unique environment complete with Juniper forests, high deserts and wild horses. One area which I especially liked (and hope to visit again) is this dry lake bed called Alvord Playa Lake.

When it rains, this lake bed fills with water and become very slick with mud. The water is deep enough to keep you from driving on it, but shallow enough so that boats and other craft cannot float on it. When it dries, the lake bed dries hard and cracks into this unique pattern which spreads for miles. On the day that we visited Alvord Lake, the wind was picking up and by mid-day a dust storm was forming over the lake, lowering the visibility. I was fortunate to get this photo while the air was still clear.


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