Best known for its privately owned and managed hot springs pools and historic lodge, Manley Hot Springs is an unexpected oasis at the end of the Elliott Highway in Interior Alaska, 156 miles by road from Fairbanks.
About Manley Hot Springs (Koyukon Athabascan: Too Naaleł Denh)
Manley Hot Springs is a quiet settlement where residents subsidize their livelihoods by hunting, fishing, and maintaining gardens. The Manley Roadhouse, built in 1906, is one of Alaska's oldest original roadhouses and offers rooms for rent and displays of mining equipment from Manley Hot Springs’ heyday.
Things to do
Although the original Manley Hot Springs Hotel burned down a century ago, the hot springs themselves still bubble up through the ground into a privately-owned spring-fed greenhouse where the soaking is done three concrete baths. Inside the greenhouse, heated by geothermal energy, an eye-popping assortment of fruits and vegetables grow, including grapes, Asian pears, and hibiscus flowers.
Built in 1906, the historic Manley Roadhouse is still in operation today and invites guests to enjoy comfortable accommodations and hearty family-style meals. Popular activities in the area include boating, hiking, and fishing. The Manley Trading Post sells groceries and gas.
Manley Hot Springs is the center of much sled dog activity and was a stopping point on the historic 1925 serum run to Nome, where a relay of dog sled teams transported life-saving diphtheria serum through harsh winter conditions 674 miles from Nenana to Nome. The area has been home to such famous mushers as Charlie Boulding, Joe Redington Jr., and the late four-time Iditarod champ Susan Butcher.
Three miles beyond the village is the broad Tanana River, just upstream from its confluence with the Yukon River. Boat charters can be arranged to take visitors upriver to fish for salmon, char, and grayling.
Manley Hot Springs dates back to 1902 when miner John Karshner claimed several of the hot springs as part of a 278-acre homestead and set up a vegetable farm. The U.S. Army arrived at the same time to set up a telegraph station and soon a trading post was established for miners in the nearby Eureka and Tofty mining districts. In 1907, a resort hotel was built to take advantage of the hot springs, but it burned to the ground just six years later.
Explore more hot springs at Chena Hot Springs near Fairbanks.