Alaska January 10, 2019
The Little Known Hot Springs in Alaska That’s Worth The Winter Trek
Searching for your newest Alaskan winter adventure? Look no further, as we have your next weekend winter experience right here. This little known hot springs in Alaska is off the beaten path, but oh so dreamy. Located 45 air miles north of Fairbanks, the Tolovana Hot Springs are very remote, but worth every second of the trip it takes to get there!
The Tolovana Hot Springs are a band of hot springs and seeps located beneath the Tolovana Hot Springs Dome. The hot springs sit at around 125-145 degrees F.
The water is low in sulfites and has the same salinity of seawater (about 4% saline.) The area is incredibly relaxing and is set in a clearing of grasses, mint, algae, and rocks.
The springs are located approximately 45 air miles north of Fairbanks. This location is remote, and getting access to the cabins and hot springs are considered a "wilderness journey." Makes sure you are prepared!
There are four separate ways of winter access onto the property. There is a 10.1-mile hiking trail, a 26-mile snow machine, dog mushing, or winter biking access trail. For the ambitious, there is also a 50-mile trail, which caters to snow machine, dog sleds, or skiing. For a quick drop-off, there is a public access airstrip approximately one mile from the cabins, and there may be a single tie down for a plane.
The cabins are rustic but very comfortable. They offer many amenities not seen in traditional Alaska Public Use Cabins. These accommodations allow you to slip into a simpler time of hauling water, splitting wood, and relaxing in the warm springs.
In the winter, you will be afforded the opportunity to gaze at the northern lights in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness. The hot tubs are exposed to all of the elements, so jumping in and out in the winter is part of the experience!
There are three separate cabins for rent. One that sleeps 6 guests, one that sleeps 4, and one that can only fit 2 people. These are all basic, dry accommodations with access to a fresh water spring for drinking and cleaning water.
Propane is provided for all of the cabins. There is also firewood outside, although the wood may need to be cut to the right length. Luckily, a handsaw is provided. Inside the cabins, there are also limited amenities, including sleeping pads, a propane stove, some dishes, a wood stove, LED lights, and 5-gallon water jugs.
There are four hot tubs. None of the tubs are assigned to any cabin, so you can jump in whichever one looks like it would suit you best!
For privacy, the tubs each have their own deck and are located 200 feet from each other. The water will continually flow in and out of each tub, so the temperature stays perfect. Remember to keep all chemicals and soap out of this water! The use of them in these areas is forbidden.
Getting yourself and your gear to Tolovana Hot Springs is an adventure in and of itself. The temperatures frequently hover in the negatives, dipping as low as -40 or colder in the winter. This is a trip that must be well thought out and packed for with great forethought. But when you get out there, the stunning scenery and delicious hot springs are well worth every moment getting there!
Reservations are required and can be made up to three months in advance of your trip.
Rates for the cabins are as follows: the six-person cabin is $240/night on weekends and $180/night on weekdays. The four-person cabin is $180 for weekends and $140 for weekdays. The two-person cabin is $80 on weekends and $60 on weekdays. Also remember, if Alaska State Troopers issue a travel advisory for cold weather, the Elliot Highway may be shut down and access to the trailheads could be closed!
Want more information to plan for your trip? Check out the
Tolovana Hot Springs website here. Need a place to stock up on some delicious, warm food after your weekend in these rustic cabins? Fairbanks has the most amazing Mac And Cheese Bar in Alaska — you’ll need to restock some of those calories you burned, anyway!