Chena Hot Springs and the Ice Musuem

The Chena Hot Springs were amazing, in fact I’m still getting over just how amazing they were! About 60 miles north of Fairbanks the Chena road takes you to Chena, there’s a surprise, and the road actually ends at the resort. We booked a room for the six of us and that came with soak passes for unlimited access to the spring until 3pm on the day of checkout. The pool itself was lined with giant boulders and the ground beneath your feet was gravel, not tiled like the one in Banff, and it was hot! Walking around the pool you could feel at certain points where the hottest water was coming from and it was tough for me to stay in the water for too long and I opted to sit in a garden chair, half in half out. This was the perfect combination as the cool outside air offset the steaminess and heat of the water.

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These hot springs differ from the other ones in North America and the chemical composition is considered to be similar with hot springs found in Bohemia and, like all hot springs, are renowned for their healing powers. I had sore shoulders from white water rafting the revious day and after a few soaks in the water the pain had disappeared, my skin felt really soft and clear as well, not dried out in the slightest even after a handful of visits and numerous showers.
Another big attraction at the resort is the Ice Museum! The museum was made specially to show case the talent of a husband and wife team of champion ice carvers year round. The big building is kept cool so the ice doesn’t melt and all of the sculptures are made in the workshop at the entrance of the building.

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The above jousting knights were my favourite, the detail in them breathtaking, like this amazing leopard where the spots were made by carving holes into the ice and stuffing them with fresh snow. You can also have an appletini in a hand carved ice glass at the ice bar for an extra $15, I didn’t go for this, but it is fun as each glass is only used once and is yours to keep, until it melts into a small puddle.

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If you have the money, $600, you can spend the night in an ice bed, there are four in separate rooms at the back of the building. Feather mattresses and reindeer hides are layered on to the beds so you don’t freeze and this polar bear one was my favourite. Though there was no sign of an ice toilet any where…

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The resort uses the geothermal heat from the earth to grow their fresh produce in greenhouses year round and the salads were some of the freshest I have ever tasted. But apart from that they really fall down in the food at the restaurant, mainly bought in and frozen, I would recommend bringing food if anyone wants to stay there. So there it is, a day and night at the Chena Hot Springs, it was a hit for me!

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5 Comments

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  1. Janette Graham-Walker September 13, 2013 — 05:20

    Loved everything re hot springs! Fun!
    MUM, xxx

  2. Davie Mc Lennan-Smith September 13, 2013 — 10:44

    What no frozen bears—-BEAR

  3. Awesome shots of Chena in late summer/early fall. We went there a few years ago in the middle of winter when the weather was -55F. Its fun to run from your hotel room to the hot spring wearing nothing but boots, a towel, and a swimsuit. Oh, and you don’t get too hot sitting in the hot spring then. As soon as you stand up, ice covers your hair and swimsuit.

    We went into the ice museum to warm up. Our appletini glasses actually lasted the whole weekend – we left them outside. I guess the ice museum used to have an ice toilet, but people taking a tour were making use of the facility a bit too much and they boarded it over.

    • Thank you! Yes I kind off wished I had bought the appletini once I found out the glasses were yours to keep, but alas, I didn’t. I would love to go back in the winter when it is snowing and experience what you did!

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