White Sulphur Springs is a literal hot spot on the west side of Chichagof Island, and both locals and visitors have been enjoying its therapeutic effects for decades. The U.S. Forest Service maintains a newly-restored cabin here that sleeps up to six. At just $45 a night, it’s an affordable way to spend a few leisurely days soaking in the indoor and outdoor springs and exploring this part of the Tongass National Forest.
Surrounded by hemlock and spruce, and facing the North Pacific Ocean, White Sulphur Springs has an outdoor warm pool and beautiful new bathhouse made of locally-sourced red and yellow cedar. This area is quite popular, so you will likely find others soaking in the warm pool of the bathhouse while enjoying views of the ocean crashing on rocky cliffs. (Reserving the cabin doesn’t give you exclusive use of the bathhouse or springs, so be ready to share a soak with other adventurers.)
The easy terrain near White Sulphur Springs encourages exploration outside the pool too. A walk along the beach at low tide reveals a colorful and diverse variety of seaweed. Lake Elfendahl and Lake Morris are a 2-hour hike northeast, and the Dry Pass Trail (which is anything but dry!) takes you south a few miles toward Sea Level Slough. Do bring your boots, and do watch for bear!
Before You Go
- Plan ahead if you want to stay overnight at the cabin. You can find available dates and book online. This site also gives you information on what to bring, including sleeping bags, cooking equipment and water (there’s no good local source of drinking water nearby).
- Be aware that brown bear do frequent the area.