Angel Rocks is a moderately difficult dog-friendly trail in the Chena River State Recreation Area near Fairbanks, Alaska. The 3.5-mile loop is a great day hike and is frequented by many locals after work. The hike takes you along the Chena River before climbing up 900 feet to sweeping views of the forest below. The “Angel Rocks” are granite pillars formed by millions of years of erosion. You can climb atop the various pillars for different views and photo ops.
There is free parking and pit toilets available at the trailhead, which is located off Chena Hot Springs Road.
If 3.5 miles isn’t enough for you, you also have the option to hike 8.3 miles (one way) to Chena Hot Springs for a rejuvenating soak in the healing mineral waters. To get there, park at the Angel Rocks trailhead and follow the signs for Angel Rocks to Chena Hot Springs Trail. You’ll begin on the same route as the Angel Rocks loop, but continue over a ridge to Chena Hot Springs Resort. At the 6-mile mark, the trail splits into upper and lower routes, but both end at the resort at about 8.3 miles. The hot springs cost $15 per person, $5 for a towel, and free showers are available in the locker room. You can either make the hike back, stay at the first-come, first-serve trail shelter around 4 miles in, or try hitchhiking from the hot springs back to your car at the trailhead.
What To Pack
- Plenty of water
- Bear spray
- Cash if you hike to the hot springs ($15 for the hot springs, $5 for a towel)
- Camping gear if you stay in the shelter
If you haven't yet, check out our signature GO Pack, assured to be lightweight and last long.
Where to Camp
We only stayed here one night and it rained the whole time so we didn't check out the river or anything, but the host was nice and it was only $15.
- Cell service (AT&T and Verizon) - Scarce if any
- Pit toilets
Originally written by Brooke Van Poppelen
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