A band of hot springs and seeps emerge along a south facing hillside about 1400 feet below the peak of Tolovana Hot Springs Dome and 600 feet above the floor of the Tolovana River valley. The hot springs have a temperature of 125-145 degrees Fahrenheit (62 degrees Celsius) and a pH of 7.4. The water is low in sulphates (no sulfur odor) and slightly saline (about 4% as salty as seawater). Set in a natural clearing of grasses, mint, sedges, rock and algae, the springs form the headwaters of a small creek.
The cabins are located downhill from (and out of sight of) the springs, on the hillside above the creek. A fire in May 2002 burned most but not all of the surrounding forest of large birch, spruce and aspen. Wildflowers, saplings, and willow browse attractive to moose is emerging in the burned areas.
Trails lead from the springs to both the top of Tolovana Hot Springs Dome and to the Tolovana River Valley.
Tolovana Hot Springs Dome: The top of the Dome is at 2,386’ elevation. Its upper slopes are above treeline and provide spectacular views of Minto Flats State Game Refuge, the White and Ray Mountains, and on clear days Mount McKinley, 200 miles distant. In season blueberries are abundant on the Dome. The 2002 fire burned most of the Dome’s heavily forested lower slopes.
Tolovana River Valley: The broad valley bottom is at about 350’ elevation. Most of this area did not burn in the recent fires. It is characterized by mature stands of birch and spruce forest interspersed with lakes and sloughs. A 3½ mile trail from the springs leads to a landing on Logjam Creek, a tributary of the Tolovana River. The creek, occasionally backed up by beaver dams, is deep and slow and connects to numerous lakes and sloughs. THS Ltd. may be able to provide canoes at the landing for visitor use; call or e-mail for availability.
Area Wildlife: Wildlife seen in the immediate vicinity of Tolovana Hot Springs includes moose, black bear, fox, marten, porcupine, grouse, goshawk and, on summer evenings, bats. The valley below is also home to wolves, eagles, swans, loons, and many other waterfowl. Grizzly (brown) bear have been sighted on top of Tolovana Hot Springs Dome.