150 miles northwest of Fairbanks, you will find the Hutlinana Hot Springs at mile marker 103 on the Elliot Highway of Alaska’s interior. While the journey to this hot spring may require a 7-mile hike over frozen terrain, soaking in this geothermal pool is worth the journey.
While the geothermal springs are open year-round, Hutlinana Hot Springs is best experienced in the winter months. With water temperatures of approximately 106°F, it is perfectly “not too warm and not too cold.”
You will see a short stone dividing wall that separates the pool from the cold Hutlinana River, so make sure to check which side you are on before taking a plunge.
Because of its proximity to the warm water of the spring, the Hutlinana River does not freeze and allows the river to stay open throughout the winter season. There are no amenities at Hutlinana Hot Springs, but the views will make every primitive potty break worth the inconvenience.
Additionally, snow camping and primitive campsites are available on the trails near Hutlinana Hot Springs. Make sure to carry in all of your supplies. There are no amenities at this location, just lots of warm, cozy water for soaking.
Hutlinana is located 150 miles northwest of Fairbanks, Alaska and there is no direct road access.
The best entry point during winter to access the springs is from the Hutlinana Creek Bridge at mile marker 103 on the Elliot Highway of Alaska’s interior. Keep your eyes open for the parking area located close to the bridge. The trail is mostly used after freeze-up and is poorly marked.
It is essential that visitors carry in a map and have acquired quality compass skills in order to locate the hot springs. Volunteers and locals have spent years leaving markers such as socks tied to trees to help visitors find their way, but there is no guarantee of finding these when you need them most.
Your journey will be about 7 miles in length over bumpy and frozen terrain and becomes muddy during the spring. The trail is best explored by snow machines, skis, or snowshoes. Dog owners beware of trapping equipment scattered throughout the area.
If you are lucky enough to find Hutlinana Hot Springs just once, it is sure to be a jewel in your memory for years to come!
Location: Interior Alaska off Elliot Highway, 99756
Season: Year-Round | Best in winter
GPS: 65-12’55” N, 149-59’31” W