Rollin' Along With Mike & Lyn travel blog

Entry to Chena Hot Springs Resort

Main Lodge/Restaurant at Chena Hot Springs

This is what you do with your old 1917 Dodge Bros. Truck!

Ice House/Tent where Ice Sculptures can be viewed. You can also get...

Some of the original log buildings being used for message therapy and...

Natural hot springs pool.

2 Moose that wandered into resort. They are a little early for...


Well we packed up and left Cripple Creek Campground about 9:30 this morning with overcast skies and a few sprinkles. Also, several days ago I think I mentioned that Alaska's only ski resort was just outside of Anchorage. However, there is another ski resort, albeit small. It is located about 30 miles up the Steese Highway which is the highway we took to Cripple Creek Campground. The ski "resort" looks to be about the size of Ski Bowl on Mt. Hood for those of you familiar with that ski resort. We didn't see a name for the ski area. But it had a small building and a couple of chair lifts that were only visible from one direction of the highway. We didn't stop to take a look as the pull out was on a corner and this morning it was very foggy on top. Pulling a trailer doesn't always give you much time to pull over quickly.

As I mentioned in my previous post we had decided to go to Chena Hot Springs Resort which is on the Chena River Road that goes out of Fairbanks. The resort is about 60 miles up the road which is where the road ends. On the road going up to the resort there are several hiking trails and 3 or 4 State Campgrounds. So we decided to spend tonight at Chena Hot Springs and then tomorrow go down to one of the State Campgrounds for a couple of days.

Chena Hot Springs Resort is a hodge podge of buildings with the natural hot springs being the main attraction. There is RV parking here, but it is dry camping; they do have a dump station and a water fill station which we needed to take advantage of since we had already been dry camping for several days. The resort also has an air strip and you can take a flight touring trip over the Arctic Circle and Prudoe Bay. There is also a dog sled kennel just outside the entrance to the resort and you can take a dog sled ride over the outdoor trails. They also have an "Ice House Museum" which is actually a large tent with ice sculptures in it that they charge $15.00 to view (or tour as they call it). I decided to take advantage of the natural hot springs and it felt great. There were several people in the hot springs and after talking with a gentleman from Washington, who comes up to the area 3-4 times a year on business, it was unusually crowded today. There had been a tour bus that brought a group of Japanese tourists up to the hot springs for the day. This evening there were two moose (three actually - one wandered by us later) that came through by the hot springs as Mike and I were out for a walk. Bailey didn't seem too interested in them. The moose didn't seem too interested in the people, but you didn't dare get too close as they would take off.

The hot springs were actually discovered by a US Geological Survey crew in 1904 when they saw steam rising from a valley somewhere on the upper Chena River. Two men named Robert and Thomas Swan actually found the hot springs on August 1905 and by 1911 the property was on its way to becoming a long standing getaway for locals from Fairbanks. In the early days it took travels anywhere from one to three weeks to reach the springs from Fairbanks. Travel by horse drawn rigs had shortened the trip to two and half days through a stretch of country populated by four roadhouse keepers who made their living feeding and housing the passengers.

If the weather is nice in the morning, I'm going for another dip in the hot springs before we leave here. This retirement is tough duty!!!!



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