Last week I got called in to work a flight to Fairbanks, Alaska. I wasn’t particularly excited because the flight back from Fairbanks was at 1am in the morning which meant I would land in Seattle at 6am which is peak rush-hour time. I was excited though because my friend Phil was also working on the flight and I hadn’t seen him since December of last year.
Normally when I’m in Fairbanks in the winter, I hibernate and stay in my hotel room (but honestly I do this 90% of the time). However, Phil has a friend in Fairbanks who was going to pick him up and take him to Chena Hot Springs. Phil invited me along and I willingly said yes (sorry Laura I crashed your reunion with Phil, but thanks for being gracious about it).
Chena Hot Springs is about an hour drive from Fairbanks and is a single lane road for most of the way. Renting a car in Fairbanks in the winter starts at $26.00 according to Kayak.com. I advise renting an SUV with AWD as this will make the drive easier and safer. Make sure to also pack a full water bottle as hot springs will dehydrate you. It costs $15.00/person for an entrance fee, and if you want to use their lockers you will need 2 quarters for each locker. They also provide towels for an extra $3.00.
The Hotsprings is really enjoyable and relaxing. If you want to go when it is not overly crowded, I recommend going during the day. However, the coolest thing is to go to the Hotsprings during the night when the Northern Lights are out, but this happens to also be the busiest and most crowded time. I really want to do this and will probably try and make it out there at night at some point. We arrived around 12:30pm and sat in the hot springs for about an hour and a half and it was relatively empty. There’s also an Ice Museum next to the Hot Springs that you can visit. I didn’t have time to go, but I probably will go if I get the chance.
After going to Chena Hot Springs, I got interested in how it was created so I did a little research and I found it quite fascinating. It was founded in 1905 by two gold mining brothers who were in search of a way to ease the pain of rheumatism. It officially opened in 1911 and has been opened there ever since. If you want more information about the history of the Hot Springs or about planning a trip there, check out their website here.
This was my first time going to a hot spring and I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t been or who wants to experience Fairbanks and the Chena Hot Springs. It’s now my goal to visit a hot spring on every continent.
Have you been to a hot spring? Any hot springs recommendations? I’m planning on going to Laird Hot Spring in 2019.
(Chena Hot Springs. iPhone X, edited with Snapseed. All Rights Reserved.)