11 Best Hot Springs In Alaska You Need To Visit

The name “Alaska” is derived from the Aleut word “Alyeska”, meaning “great land”. And a great land it certainly is! We have some of the most beautiful nature and natural sights, from our state parks to towering glaciers.

Did you know that Alaska is also home to 79 thermal springs?

That’s right, nearly 80 natural hot springs reside within Alaska, with about 20 regularly used by the public.

If you are looking for the perfect place to soak after a day of adventuring, these are some of our favorite hot springs in Alaska.

Are There Hot Springs In Alaska?

Yes, if you are looking for a hot spring to visit – then Alaska is a great place to find these natural pools of water.

A hot spring is a natural spring of water that is heated by geothermal activity. Hot springs can range in temperature from warm to very hot, and they are often located in areas where there is volcanic activity or geothermal activity beneath the earth’s surface.

Hot springs are a popular tourist attraction because of their therapeutic properties, and many people visit hot springs to relax and rejuvenate. Hot springs are often found in the form of natural pools or pools that have been built around the spring to make them more accessible to people.

The hot springs of Alaska are warmed by geothermal reserves due to ancient volcano activity. That means you are taking a soak in a tub that a volcano heated up for you!

Where Can I Find Hot Springs In Alaska?

Hot springs are typically found in forests and near the water’s edge, so many of the hot springs in Alaska are in more remote locations and require planning to get to.

There are several more easily accessible springs near larger cities like Fairbanks or Anchorage, so make sure to check out what springs may be nearby on your trip around the state.

1.) Baranof Hot Springs 

Baranof Hot Springs, also known as Warm Springs Bay Hot Springs, is a hot spring located on Baranof Island in Alaska. The hot spring is located in a remote wilderness setting and is only accessible by boat or floatplane.

This spring is located near the small community of Warm Springs Bay, and it is a popular spot for soaking and relaxing. The hot spring is surrounded by forest and mountains, and it is a great place to enjoy the natural beauty of Alaska. The spring is known for its therapeutic properties, and many people visit the hot spring to relax and rejuvenate.

There is also a small plunge pool by the water’s edge to cool off after a dip in the springs. The Baranof Hot Springs are located about 20 miles east of Sitka, Alaska. Take some “me time” in this area’s most popular attraction, featuring 9 springs and a beautiful cascading waterfall.

If you plan to arrive by boat, Warm Springs Bay has a public dock to anchor.

Planning on staying a while? The closest lodging is the Baranof Wildnerness Lodge. They offer cabins for their guests as well as float trips, camping, and seminars.

Baranof Wildnerness Lodge

2.) Chena Hot Springs

Chena Hot Springs In Alaska - Josh Karl
Chena Hot Springs Near Fairbanks, From Late July
Photo – Josh Karl

Chena Hot Springs Resort is a popular resort located about 60 miles northeast of Fairbanks, Alaska. You will find the Chena Hot Springs near the Chena State Recreation Area nearby.

Founded in 1905 by brothers Robert and Thomas Swan, these springs have been available for use in Alaska for over 100 years. Robert suffered from rheumatism and was looking for a place of soothing relief. He found Chena Hot Springs, and the resort began! In 1911, they added 12 cabins to accommodate guests.

The resort is known for its natural hot springs, which are open to the public and can be enjoyed in a range of indoor and outdoor pools and tubs. The resort also offers a range of recreational activities, including skiing, snowmachining, and dog sledding.

In addition to the hot springs, the resort features a range of amenities, including a restaurant, a gift shop, and a spa. The resort is open year-round, and it is a popular destination for both tourists and locals.

Are you looking for a hot spring near Fairbanks? Chena Hot Springs is about 60 miles from Fairbanks, a 1 hour and 15 minute drive.

Chena Hot Springs In Winter - Niles Hansen
Chena Hot Springs In Winter
Photo – Niles Hansen

Chena Hot Springs Resort also offers an ice museum and ice bar. The springs utilize two 200kW Organic Rankine cycle (ORC) geothermal energy power plants to generate energy, and are the first to do so in Alaska!

Prices to access the hot springs start at daily rates of $16 for children between the ages of 6 and 17, $18 for seniors, and $20 for adults aged 18-59. Children under the age of 5 are free with a paying adult.

Chena Hot Springs

3.) Chief Shakes Hot Springs

Soak all your troubles away at Chief Shakes Hot Springs! 

Chief Shakes Hot Springs, also known as Gold Hill Hot Springs, is a natural hot spring located on the Chilkat Peninsula in Alaska. The hot spring is named after Chief Shakes, a Tlingit leader who was known for his role in negotiating the Treaty of Cession with the United States in 1867. The hot spring is located in a remote, wilderness setting and is only accessible by boat or floatplane.

The spring is located in a beautiful, natural setting and is a popular spot for soaking and relaxing. The hot spring is surrounded by forest and mountains, and it is a great place to enjoy the natural beauty of Alaska. The spring is known for its therapeutic properties, and many people visit the hot spring to relax and rejuvenate.

Choose to soak in one of two 7’ diameter redwood hot tubs, one located indoors, and one located outside.

There are no overnight accommodations provided, so make this one a day trip. The springs are located about 28 miles northwest of Wrangell and are accessible by boat.

4.) Goddard Hot Springs

The Goddard Hot Springs are widely known to be the oldest Alaskan mineral springs! This hot spring has been in use by the Europeans since the mid-1800’s, and it has been loved by every visitor since.

Accessible by boat, floatplane, or paddling, the Goddard Hot Springs offer scenic views of the surrounding water and forests. It is located about 45 minutes outside of Sitka, Alaska.

There are plenty of guide companies that will gladly ferry you out to the hot springs for an adventure.

Jump in one of the hot or cold water springs, depending on your preference. The two cedar bathhouses are maintained by the City of Sitka for public use. There is also an outhouse, as well as boardwalks for your use.

These public bathhouses are free to use, so don’t be surprised if others show up while you soak.

And remember, the hot water comes in at 153 degrees Fahrenheit, so be sure to stand clear as you are filling the tubs. Add cold water from another spout until you get your desired temperature.

Goddard Hot Springs Tub

  • Sitka, AK 99835

5.) Kilo Hot Springs

Ready for a remote hot springs hunt adventure? To get to Kilo Hot Springs, you will need to make the 40-mile trek toward the northern side of the Ray mountains. You can also get dropped off via airplane ride on a private flight that lands within 5 miles of the stream.

Once you have made it, you can rest your aching limbs in about 211 feet of hot springs at a temperature of 122 degrees.

Spend the night within 100 feet of the stream for excellent overnight camping.

6.) Pilgrim Hot Springs

The Pilgrim Hot Springs are located near Nome, about 60 miles northeast of Nome. And these fabulous hot springs can reach up to 178 degrees Fahrenheit!

Pilgrim Hot Springs is a natural spring located in the Interior of the Seward Peninsula of Alaska. The hot spring is located in a remote, wilderness setting and is only accessible by a long drive on a dirt road or by a short flight from Anchorage. The spring is located in a beautiful, natural setting and is a popular spot for soaking and relaxing.

Pilgrim Hot Springs is surrounded by forest and mountains, and it is a great place to enjoy the natural beauty of Alaska. The spring is known for its therapeutic properties, and many people come to visit to relax and rejuvenate.

This spring is owned by by a consortium of seven organizations in the Bering Strait region, including Bering Straits Native Corporation, Teller Native Corporation, White Mountain Native Corporation, Mary’s Igloo Native Corporation, Kawerak, Inc., Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation, and Sitnasuak Native Corporation.

The springs are open from 10am to 10pm daily except Tuesdays, and they advise you keep an eye on their social media for updates and announcements. They close for the winter season, but you can visit them in the spring, summer, and fall.

The Pilgrim Hot Springs property is surrounded by the Indigenous-owned land of Mary’s Igloo Native Corporation. This sacred area should be respected. No entrance to the land outside of Pilgrim Hot Springs is allowed without a permit from MINC.

A Visitor’s Pass to the springs is $10 per day. A Local’s Pass is $5 per day. There are also spots for camping available to rent, as well as small cabins!

Pilgrim Hot Springs

7.) Serpentine Hot Springs

The Serpentine Hot Springs are a group of natural hot springs located about 100 miles from Nome, Alaska.

The springs are named for the serpentine rock formations that are found in the area. The water in the springs is heated by geothermal activity deep beneath the earth’s surface, and the temperature of the water ranges from about 100 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

At the Serpentine Hot Springs, you will find two thermal areas:

  • Serpentine Hot Springs
  • Arctic Hot Springs

It is thought that these hot springs were discovered shortly after humans arrived on the Seward Peninsula – that is over 12,000 years ago! Eskimo shamans and healers used these pools for years, though today they are one of the main attractions in the area.

The springs are located on the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. To get there, you will most likely connect through Nome which is about 100 miles away.

The springs are known for their warm, clear waters and are a popular destination for visitors looking to relax and unwind in the natural beauty of the surrounding forest.

The springs are located in a remote, wilderness area and can be difficult to access, but the secluded setting and natural surroundings make the trip well worth it for many visitors.

While you are visiting the hot springs, you can take advantage of the bunkhouse, outhouse, and bathhouse facilities. No reservations are necessary to visit, and the property runs on a first-come, first-serve basis.

You can fly in on the gravel airstrip located near the bathhouse and hot springs.

Serpentine Hot Springs

8.) Shelokum Hot Springs

One of the less-visited hot springs, Shelokum Hot Springs can be found in the depths of the Tongass National Forest in Ketchikan, Alaska. 

The hot springs are surrounded by the gorgeous rainforest, and plenty of jaw-dropping mountain views.

These springs are very toasty, reaching temperatures of up to 198 degrees. 212 degrees is boiling water – so don’t jump in just yet! There is a way for guests to lower the temperature, so adjust to your liking before taking the plunge.

To get there, you will need to hike the 2.2 mile Shelokum Trail to Lake Shelokum. Follow the water’s edge to Spring Creek and you will find the springs, as well as a three-sided shelter for guest use. Alternatively you could arrive via float plane and hike in ½ mile to the springs from the landing spot.

The hot springs are utilized on a first come, first-served basis. Bring all the gear you need for a wonderful, relaxing trip to the Shelokum Hot Springs.

Shelokum Hot Springs

  • Location: Ketchikan, Alaska 99901
  • GPS: N55.9831 W131.66048
  • Website: fs.usda.gov

9.) Tenakee Hot Springs

Tenakee Hot Springs should really be renamed the Tenakee Ahhh Springs!

Tenakee Hot Springs is a small, rural community located on Chichagof Island in Southeast Alaska. The community is known for its natural hot springs, which are a popular destination for visitors looking to relax and soak in the warm, mineral-rich waters. The hot springs are located in a remote, wilderness setting, surrounded by dense forests and mountains.

The community of Tenakee Hot Springs is accessible by boat or small aircraft, and there are several small, basic cabins and campsites available for visitors to stay in. The hot springs are a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, and there are many opportunities for hiking, fishing, and exploring the surrounding wilderness in the area.

These hot springs were originally an open pool that drained into the tideland. In the 1930s, volunteers formed a bathhouse committee to create a communal bathing service for the community which is still active today. The bathhouse itself was built in 1900, and the soaking tub is about 6 feet x 9 feet x 5 feet deep.

Many residents of Tenakee do not have access to a home shower or bath and rely on the bathhouse as their only source of personal hygiene.

During your visit, make sure to familiarize yourself and follow all the rules! This is more than a tourist attraction – it is a staple of the community. If you are so inclined, leave a donation at the Tenakee Market or the Bakery to help with the continued upkeep of these beautiful springs.

Tenakee Hot Springs

10.) Manley Hot Springs

Manley Hot Springs is a small, remote community located in the interior of Alaska, approximately 180 miles northwest of Fairbanks. The town has a population of around 120 people and is situated in a beautiful, rugged landscape. The area is known for its hot springs, which are a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

The hot springs are believed to have therapeutic properties, and are used for relaxation and recreation. The water is naturally hot, with temperatures ranging from 98 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The springs are located in a picturesque setting, surrounded by forests and mountains.

The town of Manley Hot Springs is accessible by the Elliot Highway from Fairbanks, although it can also be reached by small plane. The town has a few basic amenities, including a post office, a small store, and a school. There are also several bed and breakfast establishments and cabin rentals available for visitors.

Despite its small size and remote location, Manley Hot Springs has a rich history. The area has been inhabited for centuries by indigenous peoples, and the hot springs have long been used for their therapeutic properties.

Today, the town is a popular destination for those seeking a peaceful, secluded getaway in the beautiful Alaskan wilderness.

Manley Hot Springs

11.) Hot Springs Cove

Hot Springs Cove is a small community located in the Tongass National Forest on the west coast of Prince of Wales Island in the state of Alaska.

Located in Inanudak Bay, it is known for its hot springs, which are a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The hot springs are located in a picturesque setting, surrounded by forests and mountains, and are fed by a series of underground geothermal vents. The water temperatures range from 105 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit and are said to have therapeutic properties.

Hot Springs Cove is accessible by boat or floatplane from Ketchikan, a city located on the nearby island of Revillagigedo. There are a few small cabins and bed and breakfast establishments available for visitors, as well as a small store and a U.S. Forest Service ranger station. The area is popular for recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, and bear viewing.

In addition to the hot springs, Hot Springs Cove is also home to a variety of wildlife, including bald eagles, brown bears, and Sitka black-tailed deer.

The Tongass National Forest, which surrounds Hot Springs Cove, is the largest national forest in the United States and is home to a diverse array of plant and animal life.

Ready for more aquatic adventures? Alaska is also home to some of the world’s best whale watching tours.

Photo of author

Megan McDonald

After living over 14 years in Alaska, Megan McDonald can confidently state that there’s not much of the state on the road system that she hasn’t visited. From the Brooks Range to McCarthy, Homer, and everywhere in between, every nook and cranny of Alaska is her always her new favorite place. As President and co-founder of Alaska-based boutique media agency HuMu Media, she spends her work time writing, photographing, and traveling, and her off time writing, photographing, and traveling. They say do what you love, and she is lucky enough to do so! You can follow her travels on Instagram at @theitinerantginger

Leave a Comment