10 Hidden Hot Springs You Can Have All to Yourself

Travertine Hot Springs, Bridgeport, CA (Photo: Shutterstock)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on March 6, 2014. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: Bridgeport, destination, Elk City, Eugene, Fairbanks, Jackson Hole, Jamie Moore, Nelson, North Bend, Silver City, Steamboat Springs, Tofino.

(Photo: Travertine Hot Springs, Bridgeport, CA via Shutterstock)

Nothing beats a warm soak outside on a crisp day. You'll have to ramble down dirt roads, hike into canyons, and cross suspension bridges to get to these hidden hot springs. But the effort will make the "ahhh" even sweeter when you finally slip into a steamy bath set in the middle of a thick forest or beneath the glittery Milky Way. Here are 10 of our favorites in the U.S. and Canada.


Chena Hot Springs, Near Fairbanks, Arkansas

In the middle of Alaska, 60 miles from any big-city light pollution, the Chena Hot Springs sit beneath one of the world's most active bands of northern lights. Stay up late and simmer in a 106-degree boulder-rimmed pool at Chena Hot Springs Resort as you watch for the aurora borealis to streak the clear, dark sky. Your best chances happen between September and March. You don't have to stay at the resort to soak in its pool, but overnight guests can request an aurora wake-up call when the night staff sees the lights. Day-trippers from Fairbanks often follow up a soak with a drink at the on-site Aurora Ice Museum's ice bar or with outdoor adventures in the adjacent Chena River State Recreation Area.

Getting There: The resort's hot springs and surrounding campground are 56 miles from Fairbanks. They're located at the end of the paved Hot Springs Road, which tracks the Chena River and passes through the forested state-recreation area.

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