Angel Rocks and Chena Hot Springs

June 4th, 2008

Interior Alaska

Fairbanks AirportLuke in his element

One of the Angel Rocks torsBecause we cut Denali short out of juvenile frustration we had more time than expected around Fairbanks. This ended up working out well because there are some amazing hiking trails around. After we visited our friend Luke at the hangar where he works (he had to work a few more days before our river trip), we headed out towards Chena Hot Springs. We were pretty bushed after our bike ride in Denali, so rather than hike we decided to do some climbing. We heard the best sport climbing was up the haul road towards Prudhoe Bay a ways at Grapefruit Rocks, but we wanted to hike the Granite Tors trail the next day which was in the other direction, so we headed for Angel Rocks near the trail, Bouldering!which had the added benefit of being close to Chena Hot Springs for a nice soak afterward. Angel Rocks is a collection of small granite outcroppings, or tors, within a mile hike of the road. There is a 3 mile loop trail. It was a nice day with beautiful thunderheads drifting about in the sky and the tors were very fun and visually appealing, but we couldn’t find any easy top-roping or sport bolts. We were just beginning to attempt a half-assed “trad” climb to get to some top-rope bolts when I storm rolled in and we called it a day, satisfied with the nice hike and a little bouldering. Afterward we made for the Hot Springs, which is kind of a cool little resort with lots of fun activities that is entirely powered by the geothermal heat. Although there was an indoor pool and a couple of spas, we just soaked in the rock lined outdoor pool, which had a nice primitive feel despite how developed it was.

Original PolarisChena Hot Springs outdoor pool

Me at Angel Rocks

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