Chena Hot Springs
One of Fairbanks Best Kept Secrets
Last winter one of my most exciting projects was when I went down to Chena Hot Springs Resort and did an all day photo shoot of their facilities. This photo was taken from a high hill or low mountain (depending on your point of view) behind the hotel and indoor hot spring fed pool. Directly in front of the blue-roofed indoor pool you can see the resort's main hot spring. This is the one that tourists from all over the world come to enjoy year round.
The image above is no spring time shot. There is a swath of ground in Chena Hot Springs valley that's heated by underground hot springs. As a matter of fact there is even a stream that flows all winter long bordering that exposed strip of land. The stream never freezes even when it's 60 below zero outside. In comparision everywhere else in the valley and surrounding hills the snow pack was roughly two and a half feet deep.
Of all the places to come to visit in Fairbanks, Alaska I think it is safe to say that Chena Hot Springs Resort by far has more to offer tourists than any other place.
Rather than spending a spending a lot of time trying to describe what all Chena Hot Springs has to offer I thought I'd let you read their sign yourself. Some of the things not mentioned on the sign are snow mobile rental's, four wheeler rentals, horsedrawn sleigh rides, and of course the indoor and outdoor hot springs.
Flowing just below the surface the headwaters for the springs keep the grass green growing almost all winter even though temperatures locally dip to as cold as 60 degrees below zero.
Recently Chena Hot Springs Resort Built a two story hotel pictured in the center frame. The building has a spacious lobby in which you can sit back and take in the local scenery. The rooms are neat and clean and almost all of them offer spectacular views of the countryside around the hot springs. Off to one corner of the lobby is this nature scene that someone painstakingly contructed. Complete with an old time wooden fence and hand painted background this provides the perfect backdrop for taking photos of yourself with some of the local wildlife.
Besides the hotel Chena Hot Springs also has a number of bungalows and cabins that they rent on a weekly or monthly basis. Also of which are in easy walking distance of the main lodge, the indoor and outdoor hot springs, their dining facilities and tourist activity center.I'm sure by now your probably saying all this is really interesting -- but I want to see the springs! I mean that's what this place is supposed to be famous for, right? And right you are.
When I first arrived the springs had these amazing clouds of steam hovering over them. The way it was expalined to me was that since Chena Hot Springs is nestled in a valley and shielded from the wind the steam more or less hovers over the springs. By so doing it actually keeps the the air 6 -8 feet above the waterline quite warm. The the way the steam from your show warms your room.
The main spring is roughly 100-120 feet long and about 60 feet wide. Leading out to it they have a wooden deck that also has a large hot tub in it pictured in the center frame above. As I mentioned they have a very large indoor hot spring swimming pool along with a second smaller hot tub. Unfortunately due to the steam and glaring lights my indoor shoots did not come out well..
Chena Hot Springs
Chena Hot Springs
Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. Tourist Season
NOTE: As far as I know Chena Hot Springs Resort is one of the few places in Fairbanks open for tourism year round. To reserve your spot at Chena Hot Springs you should call in advance and reserve a room. Or if you are in town and just want to drop by to soak for a few hours walk ins are always welcome.