Alaska January 01, 2018
Alaska’s Naturally Heated Outdoor Pool Is All You Need This Winter
Chena Hot Springs is a great place to escape in the winter and soak your cares away in the mineral water. In a gorgeous part of interior Alaska, the natural hot springs are developed with a hotel, restaurant, and plenty of activities. The crowning jewel of the resort is the outdoor Rock Lake. This huge, steamy outdoor pool of rejuvenating mineral water is the perfect place for relaxation and reflection anytime, but is especially magical in the cold winter months.
Chena Hot Springs is a place Alaskans have come to soak in the naturally hot water for hundreds of years, if not longer. The resort began in the Gold Rush era when weary miners soaked their tired limbs.
Since then, locals and visitors alike flock to the resort for a soak in the healing waters. The water comes from deep underground and is steeped with high concentrations of minerals. Some believe that the combination of the mineral waters and the steam help skin and respiratory ailments. Everyone agrees a soak feels amazing, and leaves your skin silky soft.
The resort lies about an hour from Fairbanks and is nestled in the pristine Alaskan wilderness. The hot springs facilities consist of an indoor heated pool (about 90 degrees), indoor and outdoor hot tubs, and the outdoor Rock Lake, a quiet place for those 18 and older.
There is a long, covered walkway from the dressing rooms to the outdoor pool. You can hang your towel and leave your slippers near the entrance.
The Rock Pool is about 4 feet deep with a soft, sandy bottom. Most can easily walk throughout with no swimming required. It is also handicapped accessible and a wheelchair is available for those who ask.
The water is not chlorinated, but it is there is a constant flow of water in and the excess drains off. Once a week they drain and refill the pool so it is always fresh. The above ground hot tubs are chlorinated and the indoor pool is salt water.
The center of the pool features a fountain of cool water that provides a delicious shower when you are overheated. There is also a large hose that shoots water with incredible force and people line up for a strong self massage.
The large rocks around the pool can be used to lay on when the they aren't too covered in snow! The colder the air temperature, the more fun the hot springs experience.
Snow piles up around the hot springs, yet the water stays a piping 106 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. Steam rises from the surface which adds a mysterious vibe to the pool.
Couples enjoy the Rock Lake and this is a common romantic excursion and honeymoon stop. Soaking in a quiet, relaxed atmosphere is an excellent date. Add dinner at the restaurant or a night in the hotel to complete the experience.
When the temperatures are really cold, ice crystals in your hair freeze instantly and you can make gravity defying hair sculptures! When you want to change it, just dunk under the warm water and start again.
The hotel is elegant and makes the experience just a little more luxurious. It is certainly heaven to go back to your room to change and rest before hitting the springs again, as pool hours are 7 AM to midnight.
The best part is when the magical aurora borealis appear in the dark night sky over your head as you soak in the healing mineral waters. This experience is completely unique and amazing, and only in the northern beauty of Alaska.
If you make it to this one, try
These 10 Trails Lead To The Most Secluded Hot Springs In Alaska. For some other weekend ideas, try 14 Seaside Getaways In Alaska That Are Picture Perfect For The Winter.
Have you been to Chena Hot Springs? Tell us about it in the comments below.