Hot SpringsTake A Soak

Interior Alaska is a mecca for many natural geothermal hot springs. Pioneers and gold miners are known to have made long treks to take a soak to ease their painful rheumatism brought on by poor diets and grueling work. While years ago, they had to make a multi-day trip by stagecoach, today many can be reached within a couple of hours.

Hot springs are the resultant of water seeping down through bedrock, where deep inside the Earth, it is heated and returned to the surface. While planning your hot springs adventure, consider that access varies in complexity and is either by road or trail or undeveloped route.

Chena Hot Springs at 58 mile Chena Hot Springs Road is a developed facility with year-round accommodations, hot springs pools and an outdoor rock lake and activities, including northern lights viewing. Manley Hot Springs at Mile 151.2 on the Elliot Highway north of Fairbanks also has year-round access and is a semi-developed facility with no adjacent lodging, though available by short walk in town.

Accessible in winter are the Hutlinana, Tolovana and Kanuti Hot Springs. Hutlinana, accessible from the bridge at Mile 103 on the Elliot Highway is not well-marked and will require a map and orienteering skills to locate. Tolovana is accessed by trail at Mile 93 on the Elliot and also is not well marked and will necessitate use of map and compass if poor visibility. Two cabins and the springs must be reserved. Kanut is at Mile 103 of the Dalton Highway, and are very remote and12 miles out on a non-motorized trail.