Just wondering if anyone has gone into Tolovana Hotsprings North of Fairbanks in the winter time by snowmachine? If so what trail did you take in and back out? What were the cabins like and the trails like?
Been a few years.....
But we have gone in from the Elliot a few times with a group of people skiing with a couple snowmachines to carry gear.
It is a little over 11 miles in. Good trail most of the way. There is a section in the last third of the trail (nearest the springs) that tends to get windblown, but I don't remember that section being steep, so it wasn't a big deal. Don't remember too much overflow...
The cabins are nice and the springs are wonderfully satisfying after the trek. They are piped into hottubs so it is easy to get completely in the water and to talk if you want to be social. The cabins are a couple of minute walk to the tubs. I have seen some great aurora from those tubs!
I have heard they have done some work to the cabins and to the tubs since we have been there. The guy that owns it said they have done some work on the runway in the last few years too.
The first part of the trail is part of someone's trapline (it is marked) - so be prepared for full traps and traps that are set. So - you have to keep your dog in control. Keep an easily accessable good wire cutter if you are worried about your dog getting into them. (Leatherman with wire cutters is what we have....luckily we have never had to use it.)
The parking area can be windy and cold, especially if you are wet, tired and ready to go home. It is nice to know that so you can set your self up to be able to open up the vehicles and load quickly if the weather is crummy when you come out.
It is a great trip - hope you have the chance to go!
Thanks for the information grcg!
Did you or have you heard of any problems with vandalism parking on the Elliot?
I am planning on taking my wife in there on snowmachines for a nice weekend away from the kids and civilization. Sounds like a failry easy trail and I am glad to hear the cabins and hotsprings are nice.
Both of us grew up in Fairbanks so we should be mentally prepared if the temps should drop too much.
I was in there one time with friends. Our vehicles were safe when we got back, but then it was close to -50. The trail in is downhill, and if windblown, the drifts can make it pretty steep and challenging. Most of it was marked well.
The cabins back then were pretty nice. Maybe take a 20 lb propane tank in case somebody emptied the tanks at the cabin and forgot to tell the owner. You can also use it as an engine warmer with some stove pipe and weed burner tip.
It has been a long time though, but bet it is worth the trip. Have you thought about going further up the road to Hutliana Hot springs? Even for a day trip it is pretty nice, and the ride in was not difficult even though we had to sidehill on overflow.
Ak River Rat you are the second person that has mentioned the Hutliana Hot Springs to me. I have looked and looked online and found no information about them.
What can you tell me?
Thanks for the tip on the propane and weed burner tip. Didn't even think about there being a second use for a propane bottle!
It is further up the Elliot, almost to Eureka. It is accessed next to a bridge just before you get to the intersection there. I would have to look at a map to verify the name of the creek, but I think it is the same one the hot springs is on.
The trail head basically north, and is pretty easy. As I recall it is about 5 or 6 miles in. The only improvements at the springs are rocks piled up to keep the cold river out. If you get too hot in the pool just flip over the rocks into the river.
If you go to camp, take everything you need.
I am trying to recall if you were asking about hot springs earlier this year. That may have been where I mention Hutliana before. It is in the Gazateer I know.
I must have severely misspelled it before. After reading your post I did a search and found plenty of info on it and even looked it up on the topos. Sounds a bit more rustic than my wife will be wanting to do in the winter time but come summer it just might be the thing to do.
I did ask about hot springs earlier in the year so you might have seen my post. It is amazing how many there are in the state. The majority of them you hear nothing or very little about do to their remote nature.
There is some info about Hutlinana hot springs near the bottom of that page.
National geographic topo and Mapsource show the hot springs and a cat trail heading up the creek.
Here are some more I found
About 10 years ago we rode into Tolavana hot springs from Murphy Dome, don't remember much about it though.