Hutlinana Hot Springs

Over the weekend a group of 9 people, including myself, hiked to Hutlinana Hot springs which is 150 miles northwest of Fairbanks.We had to get an early start to the road at 6:50 in the morning because the drive to the trail head was 3 hours and the 7 mile hike to the hot springs could possibly take 3 hours as well.

It was snowing when we woke up...I was not excited about that. Luckily, when we got to the trail head it had stopped. Two people in the group pulled sleds and the rest walked with backpacks.

It was quite cloudy and honestly colder than I thought it would be. 

The most exciting part about this trip was the abandoned snow machine we found on the side of the trail. The top was up like someone had been working on it and the key was left in it. One of our more mechanical-type friends decided to fiddle around with it. He turned the key and it started! He found an issue with the clutch, fixed it, and then proceeded to drive it onto the trail. One of the other people in the group got on and they drove it the two miles we had left to the hot springs. The whole time I was thinking, "They just stole a snow machine....". The rest of us started our hike again laughing and contemplating what had just happened. 

We finally reached the hot springs and picked a camping spot, set up tents, built some fires and enjoyed the scenery. There was a temporary Arctic Oven tent that we got to use and it was very warm. Arctic Ovens are basically canvas tents that keep in warmth very well. We were lucky to have it. 

Back to the snow machine...about a hour and a half later, a guy shows up on another snow machine and dragging a very large sled. He saw the snow machine parked a little off the trail and said, "that looks just like my old sled.". When we responded, "It probably is!" he was super nice about us using it and starting it up. Didn't get mad at all which was very surprising. We helped him put the snow machine in the sled and he drove off. 

That night some of the group enjoyed a bath in the hot springs and some dips in the freezing cold river beside it. I did not go into the spring because it honestly looked sooooo gross. People were coming out of it with black stuff all over them. 😝 But they seemed to be having fun.

I'd say it was a pretty successful trip, compared to some of the others we have taken with each other. Maybe I'll tell one of those stories later. I would definitely recommend this as a weekend trip for anyone wanting something fun and adventurous to do!
Walking back after a wonderful trip on a beautiful day!

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