Chena Hot Springs Resort
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Travel Blogs from Pleasant Valley
Fairbanks-Chena Hot Springs-Back to TOK We finished our Dalton hwy ride in the pouring rain and temp in the 40’s. John was shivering on the way back because he didn’t want to put on his inner liner due to the mass amount of mosquitos every time we stopped (the mozzies love him). About 30 miles before Fairbanks we eventually find a …
... The wild life wasn't bad either. We saw about 9 grizzly bears,4 moose, a dozen caribou, a marmot, dall sheep, ptarmigan and geese. We were back in our accommodation at about 6.30 and as it was the last night that the party of seven people who met on the ferry back in Bellingham were going to be together. We went out for a very enjoyable meal at one of the restaurants close by. One of the couples had been waiting for the right moment to share a very nice bottle of Californian ...
... and there is this sandy desert. Do you know where the sand comes from in this area of lakes and rivers and mountains? Post a comment as to your best idea.
It is named Emerald Lake because of its color. It is not because of the emeralds in it but because of the marl that reflects the light to make it look green.
This diesel engine pulls very ...
... also had some other things like a whale shoulder bone and back bone, etc., and some interesting rocks. Those of you who know Torston know how much he likes rocks. It was great to have this time with both Harry and Patricia, talking about everything under the sun. Harry also had some hard-bound Larsen Comic Books that Bob would have liked to have had time to read.
We'll head for Denali tomorrow.
Fairbanks is the second largest city in Alaska taking a back seat in size to Anchorage in the south. The people that live here are a hearty bunch that endure some of the most extreme temperatures on the planet. (even worse than Minneapolis). For example, today will be above 92 degrees and in the winter, which lasts about seven months, temperatures can be at down to 60 below. If that alone were not enough, the people of Fairbanks also endure ...
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TravelPod Member ReviewsChena Hot Springs Resort Pleasant Valley
We arrived thinking the springs was a resort only as the local info guides did not show any RV sites . We had a great stay in our Motor home ,full use of all facilities icluding a nice bar and restaurant. As a bonus after a rough start the road was fantastic paved bitumin all the way . Plenty of Moose spotted on the way in . The geothermal construction was of great interest and the hot Spring pools exceptional .
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
This place is fantastic. You can do tons of activities or do nothing at all and still feel like you got your money's worth.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Chena Hot Springs Resort Pleasant Valley
We went to Chena to camp out and enjoy the hot springs. The camping area is rather unattractive with small dirty little areas for camping, but for the price ($20/ni) it couldn't be beat. When you camp or stay in the lodge, your hot springs ticket is also good for the next morning. Our usual routine was to enjoy the hot springs ($10/person unless you're in the lodge, then it's free) until close to nine in the evening, change, then head to the restaurant bar for some terrific food, drinks and company. After filling our bellies, we would head back to the tent all warm to snuggle up in our bags in subfreezing weather. Repeat the next day. By far, this was the most relaxing part our recent vacation to Alaska. Yes, the showers stunk of sulfur, but so do the pools (you just can't tell as well), the changing room is nasty, but the little lake is terrific. We met some wonderful people there as well. We would definitely go back.
Chena Hot springs is a different experience for everyone, I also believe that the maintence is below expectations but you must remember that we are talking about a rustic hotel, I personaly enjoy to camp at their camp ground facilaties, This is always a wounderful expeience as there are places for fishing, hiking, swimming, rock climbing, and various other acticvities.
This was the most horrible experience I have ever had. We checked in and they put us in this older room, with 2 double beds, the mattress frame was bent out of shape the towel bar was broken. I went to use the laundry facilities and they charge 2.00 each for soap and wash and dry. I put my clothes and soap in the washer and paid and lo and behold they were not working just a drizzle of water came out, enough to wet my clothes, found out that the water pipes were broken, they kept saying they would be repaired soon. I took my soaking wet dirty clothes out and threw them into the dryer. Went to take a shower and the water smelled like sulphur. I laid down to take a nap and awoke to a smoke filled area, our windows would not close they were broken, so we went to complain and they moved us to another room that had broken windows, by this time we had had enough and checked out. This was the worst maintained facility we have ever stayed at. Even the employees were telling us how badly they maintain this resort. We do not recommend this to anyone!!!!!!!!!
Pros and Cons
I've been to Chena twice, both times in the winter. One time I was rewarded with good views of the aurora and one time not so lucky. But the opportunity to hike up the small hills is always available and enjoyable. The rooms in the older buildings are quite dated and rather dark - but then they are less expensive than the newer rooms in the lodge. The locker rooms are truly a horror, the most unsanitary place I've ever seen. That said, the second visit I decided just to put clothes on over my dripping wet bathing suit and run for my room. It can be done even when the temperature is below zero. And the hot springs pool is wonderful.
Good but we found a better place
Our family (2 adults, 2 kids ages 12 & 14) just returned from a trip to Alaska. Chena Hot Springs was a part of our itinerary for two nights and three days. The hot springs (in the sub zero temperatures) was a fun experience but we were a bit dissapointed with the resort. We were much, much happier with our next stop at Bettles Lodge, up beyond the Arctic Circle. Here we found everything we wanted from our winter Alaskan adventure - plus the lodge staff was delightful. Check them out!! You'll get a personal experience (without the tour busses) and memories to last forever.
Public Bathrooms Unhygenic
Having travelled a long way to get to the Resort, I was appalled to find that the public changing rooms and showers were filthy, cramped and a disgrace. On the three occassions that we went into the hot springs I was literally forced to change without any privacy or space and with at least 8 other people all trying to do the same. Personally I do not appreciate rubbing skin with complete strangers. High school gymnasiums have better conditions than this! It was such a shame to an otherwise decent stay and the surrounding beauty is worth the drive.
A great place to stay
A very nice place. Rooms were clean, beds comfortable. We stayed in the double bed ( $135/night). Hot tubs and pool very clean and virtually no chemical odors. The outside pool feed by the hot springs again was clean and well maintained. Services were very accomdating. Awesome stay if you're into hiking. short loops, long( 5-8hrs), and a 30mi trail.
Beautiful views, etc. Snowmachines, ATV rentals are expensive but hiking free. Food good, road access good. We stayed 3 nights/4 days.
Great. We plan to return.
Best winter getaway
If visiting Fairbanks in the winter, make sure to spend at least one night at the Chena. One pointer, though. Make sure you know which part of the hotel you want when you make reservations. The Moose lodge is the newest part and is very nice and also the most expensive. It is also farthest from the hot springs. The rest of the hotel (I don't think they are named) are small buildings with a handful of rooms (no more than 10 I think). These are quaint and less expensive. If you want to save money and really experience Alaska, I recommend staying in the cabins. These are dirt cheap and if you are travelling with a group that doesn't mind going without modern conveniences for a night, this is the way to go.
I traveled in March 2003 to Chena Hot Springs Resort because I have always wanted to see the northern lights. I was not disappointed. The first day I arrived, I checked into the Moose Lodge, had a fabulous dinner at their 1918 log lodge (the ambiance was terrific!) and I highly recommend the Alaskan beer batter halibut. After dinner I enjoyed an hour long massage followed by a soak in their natural mineral hot springs pool that is outside. At 10:30 pm it happened!
A Great Northern Escape
For visitors from the Lower 48, this is a great place to learn a little bit about Alaska and to enjoy an invigorating vacation. Chena Hot Springs Resort is located about 90 miles from the Fairbanks Airport -- you can rent a car or use the Resort's shuttle service. We had a thoroughly enjoyable time. All the staff at the Resort were extremely friendly and helpful. The winter activities available include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, flightseeing, Aurora watching and dog mushing (lessons or rides). One warning -- don't just go for the Aurora, you may or may not be lucky enough to see it. Also, some rooms do not have telephones; if it is important for you to keep in touch with the outside world, request a room with a phone when you make your reservation.