Chena Hot Springs Resort lies 56 miles northeast of Fairbanks. Alaska has quite a few hot springs and most are related to magma chambers in regions of volcanic activity nearer the Pacific Ring of Fire, but not Chena. It is believed its heat comes not from magma, but from granite plutons below ground that are rich in radioactive uranium and thorium. The resort, including the outdoor pool, is open year round so you can relax in the geothermal waters in midwinter under a night sky with the aurora blazing overhead and the mercury pegging thirty below. The waters average 106 degrees F. Sorry Chena, but if the temperature is 30 below, I want my outdoor pool a bit hotter than that. White spruce, aspen and birch – many more birch than we have in Fort Yukon – cover the slopes around the resort. The photograph above has the look of fall, but I took it just last month. I love the Flats, but I have to admit, the sight of the hills rising all around was a very welcome one.