Alaska is home to many geographical wonders that provide enjoyment to visitors of all ages. Known for being a cold, snowy tundra that endures without sunlight through the harshest winter months, the state also plays host to coastlines, glaciers, numerous lakes, and hot springs. Not typically associated with “warmth,” Alaska is actually one of the best places in the world to dip into naturally hot water seeping from the earth’s crust.
One of the best places to immerse in steaming hot water is Fairbanks’ Chena Hot Springs. As an unincorporated community in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, Chena Hot Springs has earned an international reputation for warming up Fairbanks residents during Alaska’s coldest days.
Once in Fairbanks, the Chena Hot Springs are located at the end of the Chena Hot Springs Road, running parallel to the Chena River, 56 miles east of the Steese Highway and Fairbanks. When you’re ready to head to the springs, drivers pass the Chena River State Recreation Area, a preserve that offers a plethora of hiking, biking, canoeing, and exploration opportunities before even making it to the hot spring.
The Chena Hot Springs are at the center of a 40-square-mile geothermal area that produces water close to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. It must be cooled before residents are permitted to soak in it.
Chena Hot Springs History
Gold miners discovered the Chena Hot Springs during the 1905 gold rush. By 1912, the miners had turned the area into a premier place to soak for residents in the nearby booming town of Fairbanks. Today, Chena Hot Springs is a privately owned, 440-acre resort that is open to travelers from all over the world year-round.
Tucked away in the interior of Alaska, it’s a bit of a hike getting to Fairbanks, which is why our rental vehicles are poised to take you there safely and comfortably.