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Rustic cabins/Old saloons/Hot springs...

Missouri
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Rustic cabins/Old saloons/Hot springs...

Hello All!

My boyfriend and I will be in Talkeetna the 2nd week of April. He is taking a Ski Plane/Glacer Landing/Mountain Flying course that will last about 3 days. Luckily because of this, we will be able to do some flightseeing and ice fishing. We will have 5 days to explore after his course is over but will be on somewhat of a budget. We are renting a car but I understand some highways and roads will not be open, limiting exactly where we can go. Unfortunately we will have missed all of the dog sled races and festivals that would have been nearby.

I have already been to the Kenai Peninsula so I was hoping to explore other places. He has been to Fairbanks but I have not. He really liked it there and is willing to go back and explore some more. We would love to stay in a rustic type cabin with a wood stove or fireplace but I have not been able to find one as of yet. Off the beaten path is fine with us but again not sure if that is possible due to road conditions. We will not have sleeping bags/cookware, etc. so that kind of leaves out the Natl and State Park cabins. We don't really want to have to leave our car and hike real far to get to a place to stay.

We also would like to check out some historic buildings and authentic old saloons, if they exist. It would be great to run into a musher and dog team that didn't want to charge us $400 for a quick spin. We REALLY want to hang out with locals and hear stories and really get a feel for the place. We are contemplating a 6 mo. to a year stay at a later time if we really like what we find.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what we might be able to see and where our time would be best served? Any fun and unusual places with colorful characters? We like hot springs too but Chena looks fairly expensive. I appreciate any feedback you may have. Thanks!!!

Wheatland, Wyoming
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1. Re: Rustic cabins/Old saloons/Hot springs...

Heading into Fairbanks you will go by Northern Sky Lodge halfway between Nenana and Fairbanks. 6 mile dogsled run with you driving your own team, 50 dollars, fabulous deal!

30 miles northeast of Fairbanks is Chatanika. Old F E Gold Camp was camp for gold miners, now lodge, restraunt, bar and cabins, very historic. Down the road a mile is Chatanika Lodge, rooms, restraunt, bar and an actual golddredge directly across the road. The cook at the lodge also does dogsled rides. If the sun cooperates fantastic northern lights display!

Brought my wife to Fairbanks, March 2004, moved from Colorado 2 months later. Stop by visitors center downtown Fairbanks in log cabin on river for more info. Enjoy!!!

Fairbanks, Alaska
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2. Re: Rustic cabins/Old saloons/Hot springs...

Check out the saloon in Ester just a couple of miles out of Fairbanks. Also, Pioneer Park is the collecting point for old cabins around here. Of course, it is more commercial as it is a park, with stores and businesses in the old cabins. But they have a nice saloon and dinner show there too.

Missouri
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3. Re: Rustic cabins/Old saloons/Hot springs...

I was thrilled to get your responses! Can't wait to check them out. Thanks so much!!!

Fairbanks, Alaska
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4. Re: Rustic cabins/Old saloons/Hot springs...

The places mentioned before (gold camp and ester) are very touristy. You are likely not going to find a rustic cabin with a wood stove.

The number one place that I would recommend is circle hot springs. The owner closed the place but the locals still use it. A very Alaska experience. Local saloons: check out the Marlin, Blue Loon, or Pikes Landing (service is aweful at Pikes but still a nice place to hang out). Chatanika lodge mentioned earlier would also be a good place to spend time. The Gold Dredge 8 in Fox has many historical buildings. If you are hungry and looking for a good local restaurant go to Turtle Club in Fox, but only if you have a big appetite.

Best of luck.

Missouri
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5. Re: Rustic cabins/Old saloons/Hot springs...

Thanks AlaskaMan but we just got back from our trip a few days ago. I will hold on to the info for next time!

We had fun at the Chatinika Lodge. The people there were great! Lots of character in that place. The FE Gold Camp was closed. It was just sold to a new owner. He is planning to reopen once the liquor license is reassigned. There was a guy there that took us on a little tour anyway. Pretty interesting historic sight. We never got to stay in a historic cabin. We had thought about going to Circle but ran out of time. We didn't want to rush around on this trip so we kept the driving to somewhat of a minimum. Had a great time. Thanks.

Alaska
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6. Re: Rustic cabins/Old saloons/Hot springs...

FYI, the Malamute Saloon closed in 2008 for renovation along with everything else at the Ester Gold Camp. Re-open date is TBD. Story:

petroleumnews.com/pntruncate/79830009.shtml

Fairbanks, Alaska
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7. Re: Rustic cabins/Old saloons/Hot springs...

For future trips or other travelers, there are a few BLM cabins that you can drive up to. They are wonderful.

8. Re: Rustic cabins/Old saloons/Hot springs...

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