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Thread: Ivishak River Hot Springs?

  1. #1

    Default Ivishak River Hot Springs?

    Anybody heard of these? I saw something about this on a map along the river, close to where the river leaves the Brooks Range. I was wondering if anybody knows about these. Are they true hot springs? Can you hike to them from the river? How far are they from the river? Can you swim in them? Are they warm or just luke-warm? I am taking my wife up there next year for a float hunt/fishing trip. When I told her I saw the name Hot Springs on the map her eyes lit up. She was all about that idea. I am hoping not to disappoint her, but I realize it may be too good to be true.

  2. #2

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    I've heard of them. The following link was about all the info I could find on them when they picqued my curiousity a few years ago: http://www.polarfield.com/blog/back-from-the-shak/

    When my wife and I floated the Ivishak a few years ago I was interested in trying to find the hot springs, but was only going to do so if I happened to camp on the river close enough to warrant a day hike to check them out. My camping locations didn't match up and I never took the time to go see them. From the link above it doesn't look like much, but appears they are warm enough to flow year round. Post some pictures if you do see them.

  3. #3
    Member tod osier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    Anybody heard of these? I saw something about this on a map along the river, close to where the river leaves the Brooks Range. I was wondering if anybody knows about these. Are they true hot springs? Can you hike to them from the river? How far are they from the river? Can you swim in them? Are they warm or just luke-warm? I am taking my wife up there next year for a float hunt/fishing trip. When I told her I saw the name Hot Springs on the map her eyes lit up. She was all about that idea. I am hoping not to disappoint her, but I realize it may be too good to be true.
    I did a fairly extensive search on them in the literature. They are just springs from what I can tell. I think the output water is 5C, or something cold like that, and it is just a trickle only a few inches deep. I quess they are easy to find, they are the location of a large balsam poplar grove - very far north for that species - related to the springs. Again, no expert, I've never seen them, but that is what I've gleaned.

  4. #4

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    About 1.5 miles off river, two small springs that trickle out of the bedrock. Luke warm at best, no pools. The hotsprings is the source of the aufeis beds that exist at the mouth of the mountains where the valley spills out onto the braids. No tourism interest whatsoever. Look for the large willows and balsam grove off river and upstream of the aufeis. I wouldn't waste your time.

  5. #5

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    Great info. Thanks to all. Sounds like the Ivishak Hot Springs are not too hot. I guess relatively speaking perhaps, when you consider the average annual temps on the North Slope I guess. Anyhow, sounds interesting to check out but I'll tell the wife to leave the bikini behind.

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    The springs that are marked on the USGS map, I landed on a gravel bar in a cub and hiked to them. This was in 1998, 4th of July. Had the day off other than making it to a pig roast at Deadhorse. The springs are not hot, they are not even warm, they are cold. Waste of time all the way around. Unless there are other springs on the Ivashak that I am not aware of. Don't waste your time hiking to them. Doesn't surprise me that some college study was done on them, what a joke....

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    I was hopefull when I first saw them on the map, but decided they weren't worth the effort for the same reasons posted above. There's very little water if I remember correctly that actually makes it down to the river.

    Instead you could build a riverside sauna? Make a tripod with your oars, wrap it with a tarp, CAREFULLY heat some rocks, place inside and CAREFULLY add water for steam.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Would be easier to take extra liquor

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    Would be easier to take extra liquor
    For warming her up or for making her clothes fall off? Good idea.

  10. #10

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    I believe that a university study was a great idea, for two reasons: 1) How many hotsprings (thermal vents) are active that far north? Just a couple, actually. The fact that a formal scientific study was performed by students of academia makes it a great platform for learning due process that they can apply to other field studies (practice results in field wisdom). 2) Learning about an active (albeit cool) hotsprings suggests a semi-active fissure that at least vents through the surface in the Brooks Range, contributing to aufeis accumulation, providing a cool place for caribou and moose to thermoregulate during warm periods, and allowing spring migratory birds to hang out avoiding predators during hatching periods.

    Might not be much use to us recreationists, but definitely a benefit to the landscape and animal pops.

    Kind of cool, no pun intended.

    larry

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    I was told by a transporter a couple of years ago that there is a set of hot springs that he could land at and bath in. He apparently has done we were not going by then so I have no idea where they are but it was over near the Jargo River.

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    Yeah Dave that would be Jago. Again the springs are cold at the Ivashak. They are sourced from A mountain to the south. They are on a geologic formation and flowing down from above...lots of limestone in the Brooks, old ocean bottom sea creatures leave limestone deposits over time. No heat source associated with them, they are running through a layer of limestone through the mountains. They are depositing dissolved limestone in the pools where it flows out. Don't need to do a college study on that one run-of-the-mill ground water......

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    You'll be too distracted by these guys to go wandering far from the river anyways. That's antlers from Aug '10 and a pelt from Aug '11 along the Ivishak.


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