Hot Springs of Interior Alaska

Image:
people skiing near Kanuti Hot Springs
Skiing out from Kanuti Hot Springs
Josh Spice

 

 

What are Hot Springs?

Hot springs are the result of water that has seeped down through a fracture in the bedrock. Deep inside the Earth the water is heated and returns to the surface through holes in the rocks.

Where Can I Go to Experience a Hot Spring?

There are a few hot springs in interior Alaska that you can experience on your own. Access is either by road or trail, or undeveloped route. In some cases access is limited to winter travel.

While planning your hot springs adventure, keep in mind that some of these places are remote and undeveloped. Map and compass skills, as well as backcountry skills are essential for your safety. Keep in mind there is the potential for bear encounters. Prepare ahead of time by learning bear safety techniques. Always remember to pack out what you pack in. Adventurers preceding you won’t want any evidence of your visit.

Chena Hot Springs

  • Year round access, developed hot springs
  • Mile 58 Chena Hot Springs Road

There is a developed resort with lodging and camping facilities. Locker rooms and showers are available. An outdoor rock pool is open to adults, while an indoor pool and hot tubs are available for all ages. Fees are charged. Call (907) 451-8104 or toll-free 1-800-478-4681 for more information.

Manley Hot Springs

  • Year round access [Currently closed until further notice]
  • Mile 151.2 on the Elliot Highway

This is a semi-developed facility with no immediate accommodations, although the village has one hotel and a bed and breakfast. Visitors can enjoy the hot springs for a small fee. Call (907) 672-3231 before driving to Manley to check for closures as well as find out more information or to make a reservation.

Hutlinana Hot Springs

  • Winter Access
  • Mile 129 on the Elliot Highway

The trail begins about a quarter of a mile east of the bridge on the road. There is a parking area about 100 yards from the beginning of the trail. To find the trail, visitors can park in the parking area, go out to the road, travel east along the north side of the road about 100 yards, and the trail takes off heading north.

Topographical maps you’ll need for Hutlinana hot springs:

  • Livengood A-6, Tanana A-1
  • 65º 12' 53" N 149º 59' 33" W

Tolovana Hot Springs

  • Year Round Access
  • Mile 93 on the Elliot Highway

There is no road access to this area. The trail is marked in summer and has additional reflective posts in the winter. Poor visibility is possible, so map and compass skills are essential for finding your way. There is a make-shift emergency shelter located at the top of Tolovana Dome; a 1500-gallon water tank with a hole in the side. This is also the only place on the trail that has cell phone reception. Three cabins are available for use. Reservations are required for use of the cabins and hot springs: (907) 455-6706 for more information and reservations.

Topographical maps can be purchased at the map office at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Maps you will need for Tolovana Hot Springs:

  • Livengood B-4, Livengood B-5
  • 65º 16' 22" N 148º 51' 05" W

Kanuti Hot Springs

  • Non-motorized Winter Access
  • Mile 103 on the Dalton Highway

The hot springs are very remote, 12 miles west of the road. Good map and compass skills are essential for finding your way on the undeveloped route. Park next to Kanuti River and avoid blocking Pipeline Gate. Call (907) 459-3730 for more information.

Topographical maps you’ll need for Kanuti hot springs:

  • Bettles B-2
  • 66º 20' 30" N 150º 50' 44" W

More Information

Topographical maps may be purchased at either the Alaska Public Lands Information Center or the University of Alaska Fairbanks Map Office in the Geophysical Institute.

For more information on Alaska’s hot springs, contact the following agency:

State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources
Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys
3354 College Rd.
Fairbanks, AK 99709
(907) 451-5000