Steese Highway with Chena Hot Springs Road Side Trip

Fairbanks, Alaska

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Paved highway from Fairbanks to Chatanika, gravel road for remaining distance to Circle; 162 miles (261 kilometers) overall. The Steese Highway is the oldest established travel route in the Alaskan interior. It was originally blazed in 1894 as a freight trail from Circle to the placer mines along Birch Creek and was extended to Fairbanks when gold was discovered there in 1902. It was upgraded to a road in 1927 to provide access to the Davidson Ditch, an aqueduct system that brought water from the Chatanika River to the gold fields around Fairbanks. The highway is paved as far as the lower reaches of the Chatanika and is a wide gravel highway from there to Central. The final distance to Circle is narrow and winding. Popular attractions along the way include several high alpine passes in the White Mountains and hot-springs resorts near Central and at the end of the Chena Hot Springs Road. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.

Steese Highway with Chena Hot Springs Road Side Trip Professional Review and Guide

"Paved highway from Fairbanks to Chatanika, gravel road for remaining distance to Circle; 162 miles (261 kilometers) overall. The Steese Highway is the oldest established travel route in the Alaskan interior. It was originally blazed in 1894 as a freight trail from Circle to the placer mines along Birch Creek and was extended to Fairbanks when gold was discovered there in 1902. It was upgraded to a road in 1927 to provide access to the Davidson Ditch, an aqueduct system that brought water from the Chatanika River to the gold fields around Fairbanks.

The highway is paved as far as the lower reaches of the Chatanika and is a wide gravel highway from there to Central. The final distance to Circle is narrow and winding. Popular attractions along the way include several high alpine passes in the White Mountains and hot-springs resorts near Central and at the end of the Chena Hot Springs Road. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more."

Activity Type: Scenic Drives
Nearby City: Fairbanks
Distance: 162
Season: Best late spring through fall
Local Contacts: BLM Northern District
Driving Directions: Directions to Steese Highway with Chena Hot Springs Road Side Trip

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