When the snow starts falling and the temperatures start dropping, many people find themselves hankering for hot springs. The good news is that there are plenty of hot springs near Anchorage. The bad news is that most of them aren’t exactly easy to get to. After all, it’s still Alaska – everything is either very far away or very inaccessible. But if you’re willing to put in a little time and effort, it’s possible to get to some pretty great hot springs in this part of the state. Here are some of the closest hot springs that you can get to from Anchorage with a bit of planning and a solid four-wheel drive vehicle.
In addition, the journey itself is a reward if you make it through the breathtaking alpine environment heading north. Hot springs can also be found in Juneau, the state capital; but, in order to visit them, you will need to arrange a flight in advance, unless you are willing to spend several days traveling there. Therefore, we will investigate the possibilities that are geographically nearest to Anchorage, which happen to be the hot springs located close to Fairbanks.
In order of their proximity to Anchorage, Alaska, the following is a list of the top hot springs in the area:
Chena Hot Springs Resort – 291 miles
The Chena Hot Springs Resort is a well-liked solution that provides a wide range of different lodging choices to accommodate any kind of arrangement. There is the option of staying in yurts, as well as camping and RV sites, cottages, and lodge rooms. The big hot springs lake, which is around four feet deep, is the primary draw, since it is a natural pool that is ideal for stargazing under the clear night sky in the evening.
The water is a comfortable 106 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, guests can take advantage of the indoor heated saltwater pool (which is maintained at a temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit) and the indoor and outdoor hot tubs, both of which are maintained with mineral water that has chlorine added to it for reasons of hygiene. The extensive list of activities available throughout the resort is more than enough to occupy guests while they are not relaxing in the thermal waters or receiving a massage at the pool house.
Consider going on a ride in a dog cart or checking out the Aurora Ice Museum. You can go on a tour on a snowmobile, an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), or to see the Northern Lights, or you can take a ride with the horses. The staff will even take you on a tour of the various renewable energy projects they have installed throughout the site.
In order to refuel, cozy up close to the fireplace and savor the finest cuisine that Alaska has to offer while you get toasty. Because the Chena Hot Springs Resort is committed to preserving the environment, a significant portion of the restaurant’s food comes from the year-round greenhouse supply. The Aurora Cafe is a secondary coffee shop that serves lighter cuisine, snacks, and a variety of speciality coffees.
Tolovana Hot Springs – 501 miles
Approximately one hundred miles away from Fairbanks is where the route for Tolovana Hot Springs begins. The actual spring cannot be reached by any other means than hiking or flying in. The 10.1-mile hike is the quickest way to enter the area; however, in the winter, travelers can choose from a variety of snow-based activities such as skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and so on.
The hike is scenic but strenuous, and it offers views of the Minto Flats State Game Refuge, the White and Ray Mountain Ranges, and maybe even Mount McKinley in the distance if you’re lucky. After the strenuous activity, guests can relax in one of the two spring-fed hot tubs and take in the breathtaking scenery while staying the night in one of the two rustic cabins located on the premises and equipped with outhouses.
The temperature of the spring water that naturally emerges from the ground at 125-145 degrees Fahrenheit is lowered by water that is cooler and comes from a stream that is located nearby. The guests are responsible for bringing their own food and sleeping bags. Tolovana, being one of the most secluded springs in all of Alaska, offers some of the best stargazing opportunities you’ll find anywhere.
Manley Hot Springs – 513 miles
The “bath house” or “greenhouse” at Manley Hot Springs is comprised of four straightforward concrete bathing tubs and is located in a rural community popular for hunting and fishing. Adding to the already one-of-a-kind atmosphere is the fact that the greenhouse is packed with lush plants that can survive in high temperatures and high levels of humidity.
The Manley Roadhouse is located in the neighborhood, and it provides both economical and opulent lodging options in its historic lodge, which was constructed in 1906. Additionally, there are a few cabins available for guests who prefer more seclusion. The hotel’s restaurant serves meals in a family-style setting and features a variety of themed dishes, such as “The Gold Rush” and “Prospector Omelet.” They are extremely proud of the fact that their bar is among the most well-stocked in the interior of Alaska.
Iditarod Kennels, hiking trails, fishing charters, boat rental, and other activities may be of interest to you if you are looking for additional things to do.
You can easily book a flight to either Fairbanks or Juneau from Anchorage, so if you don’t feel like braving the open road in Alaska’s rugged landscape, you have the option of flying to either of those two cities. On your next trip to Anchorage, you should definitely make time to visit a hot spring. It doesn’t matter how you plan to get there. In such a setting, soaking in these geothermal pools will be only one of a long list of amazing activities that can be done in the area.