Kanuti Hot Springs

Hot springs

The hot springs, located near the boundary of the refuge and below Caribou Mountain, is a natural wonder.    

The hot springs are very remote, approximately 12 miles west of MP103 on the Dalton Highway. The topographical map recommended for use to visit the Kanuti Hot Springs is Bettles B-2. Click here to visit the U.S. Geological Survey website to obtain a historical topographic map of the area.  

Example map with route used by previous visitors in the summer months: Kanuti Hot Springs

To access Kanuti Hot Springs during warmer months, many visitors make the 14-mile float down the Kanuti River from the Dalton Highway crossing.  A light-weight pack raft is recommended (and appreciated!) for the hike out!  Folks hike back to the road, following  the ridge line up to and then down from Caribou Mountain.  It is suggested to follow the ridge line tundra above treeline where one can, as abundant downfall and thick regrowth from an old burn makes hiking more difficult below the tree- and shrubline.  Skiing to the hot springs in the winter is also possible via the ridgeline route, but similar post-burn obstacles may make it challenging, depending on snow depth. Reaching as hot as 150 degrees Farenheit, the Kanuti hot springs sometimes may be too hot for comfort and visitors who want to soak in the springs move rock to strategic locations in order to pool cooler water from a stream flowing into the hot spring.