Best known for its privately owned and managed hot springs pools, Manley Hot Springs is an unexpected oasis at the end of the Elliott Highway in Interior Alaska.

About Manley Hot Springs (Koyukon Athabascan: Too Naaleł Denh)

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.

Today, 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 resort hotel burned down a century ago, the hot springs themselves still bubble up through the ground into a spring-fed greenhouse where the soaking is done in one of 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. The springs are open to the public for soaking, just what’s needed after the long drive along the Elliott Highway.

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.

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