In our last post, we wrote that we are going to show you what we consider to be the two main attractions here in Manley. These are The Manley Roadhouse and The Manley Hot Springs and the Bath House. We rank them as our top two attractions based upon the fact that, in general, these two attractions are what most tourists, visitors, fire crews and others come to see or do here in Manley.
In the case of The Manley Roadhouse, which we showed in our last post, visitors stay here and enjoy meals as well as spending time in the bar. During the forest fire season, the fire crews especially congregate at the Roadhouse.
Now we will turn our attention to the Manley Hot Springs and the Bath House, which captures the natural hot water flowing from the Springs that allows visitors the relaxing and refreshing experience of sitting in hot tubs of water. We number ourselves amongst the many visitors who have enjoyed this experience.
The Dart Family (Chuck and Gladys who have now passed away) came to Alaska in the middle 1950's from Minnesota to settle and raise their family. The Dart Family owned and developed the Hot Springs and the Bath House.
MANLEY HOT SPRINGS BATH HOUSE
We have two phenomenon here. The Hot Springs and The Bath House.
The natural Hot Springs provide the (approximate) 107°F water that has been diverted into the four tubs in the Bath House.
In the first photos below, we are standing on the shoulder of the road into Manley about half a mile from the bridge over the slough.
Below we have walked forward up the road past the above sign and we look off to our right. There, in the distance, is the Manley Hot Springs Bath House.
If you weren't looking-for-it, or didn't know what you were looking for, you'd drive right on past.
Now we have driven a tad further up the road and turned right off the main highway onto a small side road. The landmark (you can't miss seeing) is the Historic Manley School.
Now that (see the above two photos) you know what you are looking for, can you see the Bath House to the left of the school's roof in the far distance?
Now we are going to get up-close-and-personal with the Bath House.
What you have here, believe it or not, is a wooden frame building covered with semi-transparent visqueen plastic sheeting.
Looking up its side toward the Hot Springs in the far distance, the source of the hot water for the Bath House.
Because I have never hiked to the actual source of the subterranean hot spring water, I don't know exactly how the water is captured into the pipe line leading it into the Bath House.
Looking back where we came from.
It really is a sizeable structure.
Now we will look at the building up close. Different huh? A visqueen covered, wooden frame, building.
C'mon in y'all.
Well not-so-fast. To get into the Bath House, you must have a paid-for reservation and a key to the padlock on the door. You rent the entire Bath House for yourself and / or for your party. The cost is minimal (it used to be $5 for an entire hour).
Now what are you expecting? I assume you are expecting to see some hot tubs full of hot (107°F) water. Correct?
Not the case. When you enter the Bath House, you are immediately entering a tropical paradise full of plants!
Don't believe me? Have a little-look-see!
And we mean to tell you all, it IS hot and it IS humid inside! It can be minus 60°F outside, and inside the Bath House it is still hot and humid! Amazing.
And above you, all through the Bath House, is a carpet of leaves.
Back to earth.
"Where Oh Where are the hot tubs. We came in here for a long soak in hot water NOT to look at tropical vegetation!"
"We thought you'd never ask us!"
Above and below you can see the four individal hot tubs. Each is about 3 feet deep so you can comfortably sit with your arms on the side IF you can take the intensity of the hot water. I (Cap) don't particularly like it. The temperatures range from 107°F down to about 102°F.
A little housekeeping request on behalf of the management.