Tolovana Hot Springs: A Guide to a Unique Natural Spring in Alaska

Come explore Tolovana Hot Springs, a natural, hot spring located near the city of Cordova in south-central Alaska. This geothermal oasis is home to one of the most unique natural springs in all of Alaska. The Tolovana Hot Springs have been attracting visitors for years, though the road to get there isn’t easy.

Take a day trip or spend the night and soak in the natural spring water of Tolovana Hot Springs:. Photo by: Alaskiwi Adventure
Take a day trip or spend the night and soak in the natural spring waters. Photo by: Alaskiwi Adventure

To reach this hidden gem, you’ll need to pass through dense, unending forests and cross multiple rivers – all while keeping an eye out for wildlife (especially bears). There are several ways to get to this remote location; however, most people will need a 4×4 vehicle or high-clearance truck to make it there. If you’re willing to brave the wilds of Cordova and make your way down an extremely rocky dirt road, we’ve got everything you need to know about exploring Tolovana Hot Springs!

Who Can Go?

Anyone can visit this hot spring, though it’s important to keep in mind that it’s located in a very remote area of Alaska. This means that you must have a relatively high level of fitness in order to reach the springs. It’s a long, bumpy drive that can be very challenging to navigate.

Round out your adventure by riding a dog sled ride out to the hot springs. Photo by: Alaskiwi Adventures
Round out your adventure by riding a dog sled ride out to the hot springs. Photo by: Alaskiwi Adventures

Additionally, the area surrounding the hot springs is located within a vast, dense forest. When it comes to hiking and exploring the area, you must be extremely cautious of bears. Bears are extremely common in this part of Alaska, and they’re particularly attracted to the area around Tolovana Hot Springs. If you’re visiting during the summer months, be sure to take all the necessary precautions to ensure a safe visit.

What to Bring

When visiting the Tolovana Hot Springs, there are a handful of things that you should bring with you. First of all, you’ll want to pack any necessary camping gear. The drive to Tolovana Hot Springs is very long, and it’s important to leave room for the unexpected. It’s also important to bring any necessary first-aid supplies with you.

There are parts of the drive that are particularly rocky, and it’s possible to get injured in a car accident. You’ll also want to pack plenty of food and water. The drive to Tolovana Hot Springs is long, and you’ll want to make sure you have enough supplies to last you throughout the trip.

Safety Warnings

Visiting Tolovana Hot Springs is an extremely safe activity – as long as you take the necessary precautions. The most important thing to keep in mind when visiting Tolovana Hot Springs is to keep a close eye on the weather.

During the summer months, it’s common for rain to blanket the area. If rain is forecasted for the next few days, you should skip visiting Tolovana Hot Springs and return another time. Not only does rain make the drive extremely challenging, it also floods the surrounding area. If rain falls in the area surrounding Tolovana Hot Springs, the water levels will rise, making it much more difficult to cross rivers and streams.

How to Get There

The drive to Tolovana Hot Springs is long, bumpy, and full of twists and turns. This remote location is accessible only by road, though there is no direct route to the hot springs. Instead, you must drive through the nearby town of Cordova. Once you’re in Cordova, you must follow a very long and rocky dirt road. This road is mostly unpaved, and it’s often covered in rocks and potholes.

The road to Tolovana Hot Springs is not for the faint of heart. If you’re planning to drive there, make sure to bring a high-clearance vehicle or a 4×4 truck.

Where to Stop & What to See Along the Way

As you drive towards Tolovana Hot Springs, there are a handful of places that are worth stopping to see. The first is the nearby city of Cordova. This small, unique city is home to an interesting mix of cultures, making it a truly unique place to visit.

There are also a couple of fantastic trails near Tolovana Hot Springs that are well worth visiting. First, there’s the Tolovana Trail, which is an excellent place to explore the wonders of the surrounding forest. Next, there’s the Copper River Trail, which is a wonderful chance to view surrounding mountains and glaciers from a distance.

The Hot Springs

As you probably already know, Tolovana Hot Springs is a natural hot spring. This means that it’s a place where heated water flows out of the ground and into a body of water. The water at the Tolovana Hot Springs is heated by nearby volcanoes, making it a very unique spot.

When you visit Tolovana Hot Springs, it’s important to note that there are two separate pools. The first is a larger, more open body of water frequently used by locals to bathe and swim. The second is a smaller, more private pool that’s used mostly by tourists. The water in the smaller pool is too hot for locals to enjoy.

Tips to Stay Safe & Have an Enjoyable Time

As we’ve already discussed, there are a few important things to keep in mind when visiting the Tolovana Hot Springs. First of all, make sure to bring plenty of supplies with you. You never know how long it might take you to drive to this remote location, so it’s important to pack enough food and water to last you the entire trip. It’s also important to make sure that you have the proper safety gear.

Stay in one of the cabins near Tolovana Hot Springs. Photo by: Alaskiwi Adventure
Stay in one of the cabins near Tolovana Hot Springs. Photo by: Alaskiwi Adventure

When driving through the rough terrain near Tolovana Hot Springs, it’s possible to get an injury. You should make sure you’re wearing sturdy shoes, gloves, and proper clothing to minimize the risk of injury.

The Weather

The weather in the area surrounding Tolovana Hot Springs can be very unpredictable as the temperature and weather conditions often fluctuate. In the summer months, temperatures are mild, with average highs in the 80s and 90s. The winter months, on the other hand, are much more severe. During the winter season, temperatures can fall to as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you visit the Tolovana Hot Springs in the winter months, be sure to bring extra warm clothing and make sure you’re prepared for cold weather.

Local Info

Location: Tolovana River Valley, Alaska
Phone: 907-455-6706
Season: Year-round
GPS: 65.2667°N, 148.8667°W