Tolvana Hot Springs

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AlaskaNordic
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:38 pm
Location: Alaska
Ski style: Style what style?
Favorite Skis: Madshus Annums
Favorite boots: Alico Double
Occupation: Fire Engine driver.

Tolvana Hot Springs

Post by AlaskaNordic » Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:16 am

Last February I finally got a chance to visit Tolvana Hotsprings, about 105 road miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska. If coming from out of state you can fly directly into Fairbanks or take the train or drive from Anchorage. Tolvana Hot Springs is accessed off the part paved part gravel Elliot Highway heading north east from Fairbanks. There is a big pull out ( no sign) at mile 93 you park here and get ready. The trail begins directly from the end of the parking area (west/right) end. From there its only flat for a short distance then its roughly 1000 feet down over roughly three miles, the first part is stunning with birch and white spruce abounding. Once you flatten out, it will be alders and willows for a spell finally opening to a more open space with black spruce trees. After a while you begin the long five mile roughly 1000 feet climb to the top of what is commonly called a dome in Interior Alaska. The view from the top on a clear day is stunning, you can see the minto flats and the rolling terrain of interior Alaska all around. Once on top its easy skiing for a bit as you traverse the dome and the old air strip. You reach the other side and look down into a valley with the hot springs on your left. The ski down is fairly steep on a wide packed trail which has quite a few curves, so it can be challenging with a pulk or large pack. You hit the bottom of the trail and its a short half mile to the Hot Springs. There are three cabins of ever larger sizes to sleep in, (reservastions required), each one has its own out house and there is a fresh water spring for drinking and cooking. I was surpirsed at how well appointed the cabins are, they have nice wood stoves, plenty of wood, pots, pans, and all the cooking items you need; lanterns and solar powered light! There are three tubs with more planned, a short 100 yard walk from the frame cabin where I was staying. Each cabin has lots of privacy as you are not next to each other. I think the middle size log cabin is the nicest. The tubs actually have a valve that you can turn on and off to adjust the temp. Interior Alaska gets very cold, it was -10 when i was there and that is balmy for winter, for warmer temps March-April are better. The trail is shared with snowmachines and possibly dog teams as well. You absolutely must be prepared for wilderness travel and even contingency if your vehicle fails to start there is no cell service or 911, you are on your own. All in all it was a tough trip the hot springs were great and Im glad Il ticked that one off my list! The cabins book fast in winter so you have to be aggresive and on the money for booking. Image
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Chisana
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:13 am

Re: Tolvana Hot Springs

Post by Chisana » Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:23 am

Nice trip report of an area I am unfamiliar with. Will put that on my bucket list of things to do, though I know I won't ever ski that country. At 67 and with no ski partners, my skiing is now limited to day trips near where I live here on the Kenai, but one can dream. Thanks for sharing.





User avatar
AlaskaNordic
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:38 pm
Location: Alaska
Ski style: Style what style?
Favorite Skis: Madshus Annums
Favorite boots: Alico Double
Occupation: Fire Engine driver.

Re: Tolvana Hot Springs

Post by AlaskaNordic » Tue Feb 09, 2021 6:48 pm

There are ways to access that area without the Shakelton style thing I did, In spring it is hard to beat, you can fly to withing a mile. Or you the White Mountains have may miles of groomed trails joining nice cabins.
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