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Hot Springs in Alaska – Chena Hot Springs

Are there hot springs in Alaska? Yes, there are. And one of the best hot springs in Alaska is for sure Chena Hot Springs near Fairbanks. So, if you plan an Alaska Road Trip, especially the northern part, it’s worth to add Chena Hot Springs Resort to your Alaska Itinerary. Furthermore, it’s a perfect place if you are looking for the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) during your trip. So, check our photos, review, and lots of hints before you go.

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Chena Hot Springs in Alaska

Where are hot springs in Alaska?

Alaska has many hot springs. This article focuses on one of our favorite Chena Hot Springs Resort in the north. However, you should know that this fabulous state has more hot springs. Lots of them are wild.

  • So, if you plan to visit only the south of the state, there are Baranof Warm Springs, Goddard Hot Springs, and White Sulphur Hot Springs in the Southeast, near Sitka.
    If you go to the Wrangell – St.Elias National Park, you can soak in Hef Shakes Hot Springs.
  • In the north interior, you will find Tolovana Hot Springs. But getting to these hot springs in Alaska is a challenge. They are located 45 air miles northwest of Fairbanks. They can be reached via an 11-mile strenuous hike trail or by plane.
  • Circle Hot Springs is another spring about 130 highway miles from Fairbanks.

But now let us tell you why you should go to Chena Hot Springs Resort near Fairbanks?.

Hot Springs in Alaska

What is Chena Hot Springs Resort?

Chena Hot Springs is a charming year-round open resort surrounded by beautiful nature. You can stay there overnight or use the awesome Alaska natural outdoor hot springs, indoor hot tubs, and swimming pool during your day stay. So, you can visit it as a day trip from Fairbanks or as part of a longer stay at the resort. This place is special because it is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights in Alaska.

This is one of Alaska’s most popular and accessible hot springs. So, if you plan to visit Denali National Park and Fairbanks, add Chena Hot Springs to your Itinerary. Also, visiting Chena Hot Springs might be a great idea if you plan an adventurer road trip via the Dalton Highway. After this challenging road trip is great to soak in Chena Hot Springs! Here you can check our Dalton Highway Safety Tips.

Chena Hot Springs Resort

Chena Hot Springs in Alaska

How much does Chena Hot Springs cost?

Pool House & Hot Spring Day Pass is $17 for children and $20 for adults (Ages 18-59). The fee for seniors is $18. Towel Service is $5. Here you can see the details.

No charge for guests lodging at the Resort. The lodging price is approximately $210 per night, depending on the date. Check the prices and reviews.

PROTIP: If you plan to stay during the Northern Lights Season, we suggest you book your accommodation in the Fairbanks area well in advance because the place is becoming increasingly popular.

Hot Springs in Alaska

Chena Hot Springs in Alaska – directions

From Fairbanks, take 10th Ave to AK-2 W for 0.4 miles. Follow AK-2 W to Chena Hot Springs Rd. Take the Chena Hot Springs Road exit from AK-2 W, and follow Chena Hot Springs Road, which is 60 miles long and runs through the Chena River State Recreation Area’s incredibly picturesque setting. The road is fully paved and well-maintained. It is just a scenic 90-minute drive from Fairbanks.

Chena Hot Springs as a Day Tour from Fairbanks

If you don’t want to drive or have a limited time, consider an organized full-day tour from Fairbanks. It’s great if you have only one day and you would like to have a glass of wine or beer and relax after soaking in the hot springs.

PROTIP: If you plan your dream trip to Alaska, you can check our 10-day Alaska Itinerary for 2023. Chena Hot Springs is omitted. But you can add it after visiting Denali. Go to Fairbanks and Chena Hot Springs and then back to the south.

Chena Hot Springs Northern Lights

If you’re in a season of Aurora Borealis, consider Northern Lights and Chena Hot Springs Tour from Fairbanks.

Fairbanks and its neighborhood are the perfect locations for observing the miracle of nature, as Northern Lights viewing. They are located under the “Auroral Oval,” a ring-shaped zone over the far north where aurora activity is concentrated. Furthermore, the area offers clear nights due to the distance from the coastal and low precipitation. Fairbanks and Chena Hot Springs area is considered one of the best places for Aurora Borealis viewing in the United States. It is popular for Northern Lights viewing as Norway in Europe.

Northern Lights Aurora Borealis

When is the best time to see the Northern Lights?

It is not 100% sure that you will be able to see the Aurora Borealis. Aurora Season in the Fairbanks area is from August 21 to April 21. It is estimated that the Aurora will be visible an average of four out of five nights when the sky is clear and dark.

It is also estimated that in the Fairbanks area, with a minimum stay of 3 nights, there is a 90% chance of seeing this amazing phenomenon. To have a dark sky, you have to get out of town. Chena Hot Springs Resort is in a remote area. The night is not disturbed by any city lights. So, you have a better chance of seeing the Aurora.

If the weather is fine, with clear skies and dark nights you have a unique opportunity to view the dancing aurora borealis while soaking in hot water. Furthermore, Aurora wake-up calls can be arranged with the front desk staff in Chena Hot Springs Resort, which is great.

But even if you fail to see the Northern Lights, this place is magical. It’s quiet and beautiful here. You can rest and relax after the Alaska road trip. And it’s worth coming here even for one day at any time of the year. So if you plan your Alaska road trip in the early months of June or July, it is still worth coming here. For us, it’s one of the best hot springs in Alaska.

Northern Lights Aurora Borealis


Things to do in Chena Hot Springs

Chena Hot Springs is not only a resort with geothermal water. There is no chance of boredom. Whether you plan a romantic weekend or a family holiday, you have amazing activities for everyone.

Soak in the Chena Hot Springs

Of course, you can be soaking all day in hot thermal water. It is all-natural water constantly flowing in and out of the hot springs lake, creating circulation and natural filtration. You have several indoor and outdoor tubs and great jacuzzis surrounded by rocks and trees. Furthermore, there is an indoor family swimming pool.

The most famous is outdoor Rock Lake (ages18+), which provides a wonderful and relaxing vantage point for watching northern lights in winter. However, it is a perfect place, even during the day.

After relaxing in the water, you can take massage therapy or go to the Chena Restaurant.

How hot is Chena Hot Springs water?

The springs in the geothermal area produce a steady stream of water at 165 degrees. Of course, it is cooled before visitors soak in.
The outdoor average temperature is 106 degrees F year-round. Furthermore, the outdoor natural hot springs lake is for adults ages 18+, and is not chlorinated.
The indoor heated pool’s average temperature is 90 degrees F. ​
The temperature of the 3 hot tubs is 100-104 degrees F. All hot tubs are chlorinated.

Visit Aurora Ice Museum in Chena Hot Springs Resort

Even if you have only one day for your visit, don’t miss the Aurora Ice Museum. It is the world’s largest year-round ice museum with its own ice bar, and you can admire ice sculptors’ creations. Finally, you can drink out of ice glasses. The place is exceptional.

Other activities at Chena Hot Springs Resort

Chena’s area, located along Monument Creek, is beautiful, and you can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, sled-dog cart rides, ATV tours, or mountain biking. Furthermore, there is a river nearby, so it’s possible to go on rafting, on canoe trips, fishing for grayling, and gold panning. Flightseeing is also possible.

Chena Hot Springs in Alaska

Tips for Visiting Hot Springs in Alaska

  • What do you wear to Chena Hot Springs?  This hot spring is not clothing optional, so don’t forget a swimsuit.
  • How long should you soak in hot springs? It is recommended to take short breaks every 20 minutes. During this time, it is worth drinking water so as not to dehydrate.
  • Don’t forget a quick-drying towel. You don’t want to catch a cold after getting out of hot water into cold air. Of course, you can rent it, but having one is great.
  • Bring plenty of water to keep you hydrated. Drink water often.
  • Bring a waterproof bag to store your mobile, documents, and camera. Of course, there are lockers and showers. So you can leave your things in the cupboard. But if you want to take photos – it’s worth having something to hide the equipment because there is a lot of moisture in the air.
  • Keep Quiet. People want to soak themselves in hot springs, relax, and admire nature. So, everyone should respect the serenity, and no one should be too loud.
  • Please do not comment on the appearance of other folks. Be respectful.  If you’re taking pictures, don’t photograph other people
  • Don’t use cosmetics in the pools—even the biodegradable kind. Don’t use soap or shampoo. Natural springs and connecting waterways cannot support cosmetics. So respect this.
Chena Hot Springs Resort

Is Chena Hot Springs in Alaska Worth it?

Undoubtedly, the Resort is worth a visit. This place is unique, and if you plan a 2-3 weeks stay in Alaska, it is worth adding to your Itinerary. We hope to be back there soon.

Chena Hot Springs Resort


  1. I havent been that far north in North America but to do the Northern Lights there must be amazing (I done it in Norway and Finland during the winter and wowza…what an experience). But what I also love doing is going into outdoor springs and pools which are heated and having snow fall on your face. I so want to get to Alaska now..dam this Covid….soon, soon, I promise. Alaska awaits (its been on my bucket list for a long time). 

  2. It’s nice to know that there hot springs in Alaska. I had the initial impression that it’s just all snow and ice there. It’s good that some resorts are open all year round because it would be nice to take a dip and enjoy beautiful nature from time to time. 

    We would love to visit in the future and yes, it would be a treat to see the northern lights.  

  3. This resort looks amazing! Sign me up for sure! The cabins look great and, of all of the places that I have seen the Northern Lights, I have never seen them from a hot springs!

  4. I do love the idea of enjoying hot springs on a visit to Alaska.  I would want to visit Chena Hot Springs for the water ritual but would definitely stay to see the Northern Lights.  Good to know we could travel around Alaska from hot spring to hot spring.  Especially if people respect the serenity!

  5. I’d love to go to Alaska one day. It looks a lot like Iceland, just much cheaper! The hot springs would be a fantastic thing to do, like a reverse pool. The northern lights would be a great thing to witness as well. 

  6. Alaska has always fascinated me and love to be there sometime. It’s beautiful and the hot springs look amazing. Would love to replicate your 10 day plan.

  7. I didn’t know there were hot springs in Alaska. Seeing the Northern lights has always been on my bucket list, but I’ve never been that far north yet. It would be a magical experience to see the northern lights while soaking in the hot springs.

  8. It would be lovely to visit best hot springs in Alaska. Chena Hot Springs near Fairbanks really looks perfect for me as I love nature. The views while taking a dip are stunning.  Also seeing Northern Lights is on my wishlist and good to know I can fullfill this wish here. Amazing place with lots of nature.

  9. After visiting Iceland, I have become a huge fan of hot springs. Great to know that there are few of them in Alaska as well. I am glad to know so much of details about Chena Hot Springs. I am surely going to visit this place even if I am not visiting the place during Northern Lights.

  10. Certainly a perfect activity/trip for winter time! I was just about to ask the temperature of the hot springs as it says it’s over 150 degrees? Is there a cold water (pool or anything) that you can go to after dipping in the hot springs? I heard extremely hot to cold temperature is really good for the body! Thank you so much for sharing!

  11. A visit to Chena Hot Springs sounds like an amazing getaway. I would love to just sit and relax in the Hot Springs for a day, or combine it with a Northern Lights tour. That is one of my dreams and I hope to experience them one day. The Chena Hot Springs Resort looks lovely and I will keep it in mind if I am ever able to visit the area. 

  12. I’ve always wanted to visit Alaska and your post encourages me even more. Not only does it look really beautiful, I’m also very much into everything SPA. Therefore, those springs would be just perfect for me – with the cold, I’d probably stay there all day. As always, a great post on a great spot in the US.

  13. I can really picture myself here enjoying those hot springs with those perfect autumn colors in the background. Amazing place, Alaska really does surprise me more and more the more I learn about it.

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