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Thread: Fairbanks to Tolovana Trailhead (mp 93 Elliott Hwy)

  1. #1
    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Default Fairbanks to Tolovana Trailhead (mp 93 Elliott Hwy)

    Hello

    I was hoping someone might be able to give me a "general" idea on how long of a drive it would be from Fairbanks to the Tolovana Hot Springs trailhead at milepost 93 on the Elliott Highway. A friend and I are discussing a xc ski trip into the springs, and I'm just trying to get a feel for how long we'd need to drive to the trailhead. I know this can vary substantially with weather and road conditions, especially in winter, so I'm just trying to get an idea.

    I haven't been north of Fairbanks, although friends have driven the Dalton several times. I know the road is paved, albeit windy, up to the Dalton near Livengood, and then gets rougher after that.

    Any info or thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

  2. #2
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    Default Answers

    The road is asphalt from the start of the Elliot Highway at Fox, to Elliot Highway MP 73, this is where you turn left toward Manley Hot Springs. Where you turn left, it turns into a gravel road. Don't forget to turn left at the end of asphalt, otherwise you will be on your way to Prudhoe Bay.

    It has been 5 years since I have gone to Manley, but it had quite a few pot holes at the time. I don't recall how far you have to go before the curves are sharp enough that you will have to go 20-30 mph or so to get safely through them.

    Fox is about 10 miles north of Fairbanks on the Steese Highway. You must go straight at Fox past the weigh station and continue on. About 1 mile later the Fox water station is on the left. At about 5 mile on the Elliot, the Hilltop Truck Stop is on the left. Many trucks stop there, get a good meal and fuel before then go North to Prudhoe.

    Some people take a right, right before the weigh station at Fox. That is the Steese Highway. If you end up on that, you will end up in Circle in a couple of hours. That is the wrong way.

    It is important that you look for the first two landmarks, the Water Station and Hilltop. If you find Hilltop, you are on the correct road.

    Driving time from Fairbanks to the turn off to Manley Hot Spring is about 1.5 hours. If you have to go 20 miles on the Manley Hot Springs road, that should be another 30 to 45 minutes. Take your time, and enjoy the drive.

  3. #3

    Default 2-3 hour drive, depending on conditions

    Its a 2 to 2+1/2 hour drive, depending on road conditions (and how fast you drive) The road is normally in great shape up to where the Dalton starts, and is in fairly good shape after that.

    The ski into Tolovana is fun, but it is very steep in sections, particularly the last hill into the hotsprings. If your not a good skier I would suggest walking or snow shoeing.

    Have fun!

  4. #4
    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Thanks for the input!!!

    I appreciate the detailed information. Having not been up that way before, all the info I can get is useful and appreciated. I don't think we'll be in any big hurry, and I definitely plan to have fun - on the drive up, the ski in, and the time at the springs.

    Thanks again!
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

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