Spring 2021 Update
Effective April 1, 2021, this preserve is open to the public. Please observe social distancing guidelines, follow all posted site usage/visitation guidance, and wear a mask whenever encountering other guests. This property is privately-owned and managed in order to protect the sensitive species that call it home. We appreciate your help in protecting the landscape and respecting all those who enjoy it.
Why You Should Visit
Remnant of a once-vast lake ecosystem that extended across southeastern Oregon, 10-acre Borax Lake is home to the highly unusual and endangered Borax Lake chub, which has evolved to thrive in this lake. Fed by hot springs, surface temperatures can reach 105 degrees.
Why TNC Selected This Site
The unusual nature of the Borax Lake ecosystem has made it the subject of many ecological, geological and hydrological studies. Ecologists have monitored the population of the endangered Borax Lake chub and studied their feeding and reproductive ecology. Surveys of aquatic invertebrates and geothermal microbes have been taken in Borax Lake and the adjacent hot springs. Detailed studies of water temperature, water quality and the geology of the areas have also been done. Many of these studies were motivated by the threat of nearby geothermal development, which the nearby public lands are now protected from through the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Act of 2000."