We searched high and low for a nice place to stay and see the Northern Lights without having to drive around or do a tour. We saw lights 3 nights of the five we stayed here. One night we watched from inside our cabin. Our hosts, Bruce and Debi were wonderful They were great about letting us know when the lights might be out and on our final night when the lights were dancing they called and started a fire in the pit for us. Absolutely stunning. You can stand on the frozen Chena River and have a clear view of a large patch of sky. Even when there's no lights the night sky is beautiful. We stayed in the smaller of the two cabins and it was very comfortable. Plenty warm and nicely laid out. We cooked breakfast for ourselves every morning and plenty of pans, plates etc. A wonderful coffee is provided. They're located a little bit out of town but north to avoid light pollution. Within less than twenty minutes of many good restaurants and approx. 30 minutes from the airport. Just a wonderful stay and we'd love to go back. The bananna/blueberry bread that Debi bakes is just wonderful - we had it with breakfast every morning. They were more than willing to fire up the sauna but we chickened out. Robes are available if you're brave enough! Take a pair of nice warm slippers with grip so you can step out on the deck to check for the lights! They will provide you with a list of clothes, info web sights etc.
We stayed in Chinook cabin for 5 nights in December 2015 and we can't say enough good things about it!
It had a home away from home feel to it. The cabin was toasty warm and comfortable, with nicely decorated interior, and everything we needed. The view of winter wonderland everyday was just amazing and we did see the Northern Lights from the balcony one night. We had a car and the cabin was within easy driving distance to other Northern Lights viewing spots and dog mushing.
Debi and Bruce are wonderful hosts, super friendly and helpful, the arrival basket was such a welcoming touch, and we did appreciate the bottled drinking water. They set up the sauna for our use one night, it was an authentic and wonderful experience.
We had a wander on the frozen river during the day (just outside the cabin) and the view was breathtaking and magical.
We highly recommend this accommodation to anyone who plans to visit Fairbanks and we hope to return one day.
Love the cabin! Warm, clean, lovely and you could find nearly all your needs. Debbie and Bruce are perfect hosts. They will remind you everything! Like when is the aurora, where to go, and I love Debbie's homemade bread! You could see northern light in your cabin, but if you want to have a better scene, then have to go outside.
Our ultimate goal was to see the northern lights in all their glory. Not only did we achieve this, but we did it in a very warm, welcoming and accommodating environment. Debi and Bruce are perfect hosts and a wealth of local knowledge.
We stayed in the smaller of the the two cabins; 'Sourdough'. It's very cosy, nice and warm and is the perfect place for a couple to relax in the Alaskan winter. It's worth knowing that the local water is very hard, has a smell and leaves a mineralisation on the hardware. Riverbend provide bottled drinking water to help with this.
Beds and pillows were very comfortable. Cookware was abundant and operational and the view from the cabins and surrounding grounds make for fantastic aurora viewing.
Bruce and Debi provided detailed instructions on how to find the cabins during regular correspondence between booking and staying which was much appreciated. They go out of their way to make sure you are occupied and informed, including lighting the fire in the sauna and lighting a midnight fire for aurora gazing!
I have no complaints or downsides for Riverbend and recommend it to everyone thinking of visiting Fairbanks.
We love this place so much that we decided to add our 1st review on TA.
Everything was perfect. Beautiful, warm and cozy private cottage in the woods. We booked 6 nights stay in Chinook Cabin initially but we loved this place so much that we ended up extending another 2 nights here.
A well maintained & nicely decorated cabin with a nice view of the frozen Chena River. Comfortable bed, fluffy pillows, cozy couch, endless tv channels, books, travel brochures and a fully equipped kitchen with drinking water, fresh coffee beans, teas and all kinds of sauces and spices you can think of. Heated floor kept us warm n toasty in the cabin at -30. Power and cables are also provided for winterized car right outside the cabin. There was even an outdoor sauna right beside our cabin.
Steps away from the frozen Chena river, 10 minutes drive to North Pole, Santa Claus House, and 20 minutes drive to Fairbanks downtown, this place is best for Aurora viewing. Dark enough during the night, away from the city lights, yet not too far away. Be sure to pop your head out the balcony religiously to spot the Aurora even if you have the Aurora Apps on your Hp. You never know when it's gonna come out and surprise you! When the chance come, just grab your coat and boots and head out to the frozen river for the beautiful view.
We felt so welcomed despite delaying our check in time twice and checked in really late at almost 9pm. A box of Christmas goodies, with tangerines, handwarmers, chocolates, hot coco mix and freshly baked blueberries walnut bread (it's out of this world!!!), together with a Christmas card, was already awaiting for our arrival when we checked in.
Debi and Bruce are both so friendly and nice. Molly too, their son's dog who pop by once to greet us! Debi came by and checked on us to ensure our comfort throughout our stay and even brought cheesecake she made on Christmas eve. Bruce helped and gave us advices when we planned to set fireworks at the frozen Chena River on our last day in Fairbanks.
We ended our stay with a blast at Chinook. Thank you Debi & Bruce for your great hospitality during our stay in Chinook! We hope to come back here again soon!
Pardon our lengthy review! We just love this place so much!
Sated four nights in the Chinook cabin. Great accommodation with all amenities and overlooking Chena river. Bruce & Debbie are great hosts, proud and enthusiastic Alaskans with a wealth of knowledge of local area. First night saw magnificent display of Northern Lights. Peaceful, scenic location. Could not recommend more highly.
We had a very warm welcome here! Debi showed us the cabin. It is a lovely cabin with a lovely view over the Chena river. The cabin is full equipment! Debi made a banana blueberry nut bread for us what was very tasty!
When you go to Fairbanks, stay here!