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Chena Hot Springs

Chena Hot Springs: Our most recommended tours and activities

Fairbanks: Northern Lights and Chena Hot Springs Tour

1. Fairbanks: Northern Lights and Chena Hot Springs Tour

Start your evening off with a guided tour of the amazing sculptures and carvings at the Fairbanks Ice Museum. See champion ice carvers in action. Then, sit back and relax as you are transported the 60 scenic miles to the Chena Hot Springs Resort. Enjoy a meal at the restaurant that offers locally cultivated vegetables and wild caught Alaskan salmon (not included in price and dining is optional). Afterward, soak in the Chena Hot Springs' legendary healing mineral waters. Take a short stroll outside to watch the beautiful and breathtaking Aurora Borealis dance overhead in the dark nights (appearance of northern lights not guaranteed). The activity center is a great location to warm up while waiting for the northern lights. There will be plenty of time for photography to ensure you will not forget this experience. At the end of the night, you will regroup and head back to Fairbanks. If the lights are out, your guide may make multiple stops on the way back to let you view the lights. Approximate return time to hotels is between 2am and 3am, depending on location.

Fairbanks: Aurora Ice Museum Ticket and Guided Tour

2. Fairbanks: Aurora Ice Museum Ticket and Guided Tour

Step into a winter wonderland, no matter the season with this guided tour of the Aurora Ice Museum. Admire stunning ice-sculptures and stay warm with the use of a cozy parka. Have the option to select a tour with or without a tasty appletini that is served in an ice glass. Meet your guide at the Chena Hot Springs and head over to the museum to begin your chilly adventure. Step into environment that is kept continually at a cool 25° Fahrenheit (-7° Celsius) by a special absorption chiller. Go over some of the iconic ice sculptures and interesting facts about the museum with your guide before having the chance to free roam and take pictures of the fantastical ice shapes that are vibrantly lit.

From Fairbanks: Chena Hot Springs Northern Lights Tour

3. From Fairbanks: Chena Hot Springs Northern Lights Tour

The Northern Lights are one of the most spectacular natural phenomena on the planet and on this night tour, you will have the chance to see these marvels of nature for yourself. Your evening begins between 4~5pm when you will be collected from your hotel in Fairbanks and head approximately 60 miles (100 kilometers) to the Chena Resort. Here you will first have a chance to cool off (before heating up) in the spectacular Ice Museum. This building, built entirely out of ice, boasts a full Ice Bar and chandeliers built painstakingly out of hand-crafted ice.  At 8pm, you can soak your cares away in the warm and inviting Chena Hot Springs. You'll be pleased to know that the resort makes use of the first low-temperature binary geothermal power plant built in Alaska and is working on several alternative energy projects, including the production and use of hydrogen and vegetable oil for fuel. The resort is conducting collaborative experiments in greenhouse production of vegetables with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. All in all, the resort is absolutely beautiful and you can soak in its natural springs for at least two hours. By 12:00 midnight, you can begin to look out for the Northern Lights. Soon, if you are lucky, the Aurora Borealis will appear. This natural light display is caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms high in the atmosphere. The result is a breathtaking display of light that can be bright enough to read a newspaper by. Around 2:00 AM, depart back to Fairbanks and arrive around 3~4am. The night will surely be one you will never forget.

Full Day Ice Museum and Chena Hot Springs Tour

4. Full Day Ice Museum and Chena Hot Springs Tour

Your worries slip away as you step into the warm and calming pools of Chena Hot Springs. On this rejuvenating day trip from Fairbanks, your senses will be reawakened by a day of rest and relaxation at the Chena River State Recreation Area. Chena Hot Springs are not your ordinary hot springs. The resort makes use of the first low-temperature binary geothermal power plant built in Alaska, and you will be comforted to know that the area provides several alternative energy projects to those big oil pipelines you've seen sprawled out around the state. The warming waters will soothe your body and soul with its powerful effects. The day begins around 11 AM in Fairbanks, where you will be driven first to an Ice Museum, complete with an ice bar and chandeliers made entirely of ice! Here you will have a guided tour of the museum before venturing on to the Geothermal springs of Chena. Before slipping into the pools, enjoy another guided tour and learn about all the possibilities of Geothermal Energy. You're now ready to slip into the waters, where you'll have several hours to lounge and relax before we depart back for Fairbanks. If you're hungry, make sure to stop by the local restaurant for some food and drink. Your drive back is a calming one, and along the way we almost always spot moose, so keep your eyes open! We arrive back in Fairbanks around 6:30 PM.

From Fairbanks: Chena Hot Springs Day Tour

5. From Fairbanks: Chena Hot Springs Day Tour

Enjoy a guided tour through the Aurora Ice Museum, which was built with over 1,000 tons of ice and snow and is kept year-round at a temperature of 25F (-7C). Take a tour learning about the multifaceted renewable energy projects, working towards the full self-sustainability of the resort. Soak in the Chena Hot Springs resort’s legendary healing mineral waters. The Chena Hot Springs resort offers the option of eating at their wonderful restaurant (optional and not included in the price) and you can also visit the resort's gift shop for locally made Alaskan art.

Available activities

Other Sightseeing Options in Chena Hot Springs

Want to discover all there is to do in Chena Hot Springs? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Chena Hot Springs

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 44 reviews

Josh was the tour guide who drove us to the Springs - He was awesome! We loved the springs but were very disappointed at how dirty the locker rooms, bathrooms and walkway to the water were. The grounds are lovely and we enjoyed ourselves other than the lack of cleanliness.

Our tour guide Ed was excellent! Very knowledgeable and responsive. The tour to the resort was well worth the price and we got to see the Auroras!

The tour was great. Our guide was charismatic and the museum was wonderful. I highly recommend it.

SO FRIGGEN COOL...onky 7 in the crowd, it was an international smorgasbord.

Bruce was a great guide, he showed us things we would not have seen.