Alvord Lake is a seasonal shallow alkali lake at elevation of 4,026 feet (1,227 m). It serves as terminus for all Alvord's Basin streams. Its water level varies from dry to several feet deep. At one time, Alvord Lake stretched 100 miles (160 km) along the east side of
Steens Mountain. The Alvord Basin covers about 2,150 square miles (5,600 km2) bounded on the northwest by Steens Mountain, on the southwest by the Pueblo Mountains, on the southeast by the Trout Creek Mountains, and on the northeast by the Sheepshead Mountains. Major tributaries are Mosquito Creek, Willow Creek, Wildhorse Creek, Whitehorse Creek, Trout Creek, and Van Horn Creek. Tributaries of Alvord Lake were home to the endemic Alvord cutthroat trout, which is now considered extinct through hybridization with non-native rainbow trout.
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