Want to soak in a pool of steamy mineral water heated by the Earth itself? Alaska boasts at least known 20 hot springs, generated by the state’s far-flung geothermal reserves from ancient volcanic action. They range from rustic community facilities (think bath houses in old buildings) to hardly touched pools in the wilderness, with most found in the Yukon River watershed of Interior Alaska or on certain islands in the Southeast panhandle.

Relax and enjoy the peaceful ambiance at Tenakee Hot Springs

Relax and enjoy the peaceful ambiance at Tenakee Hot Springs

Where Are They?

Many of the remote springs are located deep in the forest or tundra, or along the shore overlooking the ocean, and require wilderness treks or charters to reach. But once you solve the logistics and make the journey, you may find yourself relaxing in a geothermal paradise that has pioneer or Alaska Native heritage—sometimes totally alone, surrounded by lush greenery in summer or rising steam over glittering snow in winter.

Most Accessible

Chena Hot Springs (Fairbanks)

Chena Hot Springs serves as the state’s marquee hot pool. Located at a privately run resort at the end of Chena Hot Springs Road about 60 miles northeast of Fairbanks, it has long been one of the most popular destinations—winter and summer—in the Interior. The reservoir has been tapped to generate electricity for the resort and emerges from ground at a scalding 165 degrees Fahrenheit. After it cools a bit, the water fills both an inside concrete swimming pool and an outdoor pond rimmed by boulders and featuring a sandy bottom. The outside pool—open even during frigid, sub-zero cold snaps—is famous for winter views of the northern lights. Visiting Chena can be done as a day trip from Fairbanks or as part of a longer stay at the resort.

Manley & Tolovana (Fairbanks Area)

Other hot springs on the Fairbanks-area road system include Manley Hot Springs (in a private greenhouse about 156 miles from Fairbanks on the Elliott Highway) and Tolovana Hot Springs, at the end of a 10-mile trail off the Elliott Highway about 93 miles from Fairbanks. Tolovana is very popular as a doable backcountry destination for skiers or snowmobilers that doesn’t involve expensive air charters.

Pilgrim Hot Springs (Nome)

In the Nome area, check out historic Pilgrim Hot Springs, about 60 miles from town down a rugged 7-mile gravel road off the Nome-Kougarok (Nome-Taylor) Road.

Tenakee & White Sulpher Springs (Southeast, Alaska)

In Southeast Alaska, visit White Sulphur Springs on the coast of Chichagof Island, just a short boat ride from the fishing outpost of Pelican (about 60 miles west of Juneau.) Or try Tenakee Hot Springs, in a coastal hamlet on Tenakee Inlet, also on Chichagoff Island, about 50 miles southwest of Juneau by air and 140 miles by boat.

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Hot Springs Directory

Interior & Arctic

Near Fairbanks & Nome

Chena Hot Springs Resort oper­ates a big indoor pool and hand­some out­door wad­ing lake, all of it con­stant­ly replen­ished by pun­gent min­er­al spring water that ris­es from the earth at about 165 degrees Fahren­heit. It’s prob­a­bly the most acces­si­ble and pop­u­lar hot springs in the state, and it’s a snap to vis­it as a day trip from Fairbanks.

Cir­cle Hot Springs was dis­cov­ered in 1893 by prospec­tor William Greats. In 1905, Franklin Leach home­stead­ed around the springs. Tents were used as the first bath­hous­es. Many min­ers win­tered over at the springs when they could not work on the creeks.

The hot springs pro­vides heat to a pri­vate green­house, sup­port­ing trop­i­cal plants and lush green­ery. Three con­crete tubs offer a chance to soak in the sooth­ing min­er­al water. To make arrange­ments for a vis­it, con­tact the Hot Springs Bath­house where for $5 you can soak amid the splen­dor of grapes, Asian pears and flowers

Pil­grim Hot Springs is a green oasis for Nome res­i­dents who yearn for trees and the sound of leaves rustling in the wind. Pil­grim has his­toric val­ue too, first as a gold rush resort and lat­er as a Catholic mis­sion. Then there are the springs them­selves. At 178 degrees F, they are a lit­er­al hot spot in the Arc­tic north. 

Ski­ing or snow­shoe­ing to this remote nat­ur­al hot springs is one of the clas­sic win­ter wilder­ness adven­tures in Alas­ka. You can also arrange a snow­ma­chine to take you back to the hot springs.

Tem­per­a­ture 117 degrees Farenheit

Locat­ed on Hot Springs Creek, 30 miles north­east of Ruby. There is a group of 20 or so springs along the creek. A 1911 U.S. Geo­log­i­cal Sur­vey team report­ed find­ing a 2‑room cab­in and 2 small bath­hous­es on the springs. Today, Melozi Hot Springs is the site of a pri­vate fly-in wilder­ness lodge; phone (907) 8926987. Tem­per­a­ture 131 degrees Farenheit 

Tem­per­a­ture 129 degrees Farenheit 

Tem­per­a­ture 122 degrees Farenheit

Tem­per­a­ture 148 degrees Farenheit

Local natives first used the hot springs for its med­i­c­i­nal pur­pos­es and it was­n’t until the ear­ly 1900s that the peo­ple of Ketchikan began ven­tur­ing into the heal­ing waters. Since then, the prop­er­ty has changed own­ers numer­ous times. Tem­per­a­ture 125 to 175 degrees Farenheit

Locat­ed with­in Bering Land Bridge Nation­al Pre­serve. The waters of Ser­pen­tine Hot Springs have long been sought for their health­ful prop­er­ties. Eski­mo shamans gath­ered here in ear­li­er times. When the influ­ence of the shamans had passed, Native heal­ers still relied on these waters to help their fol­low­ers. Like­ly the most vis­it­ed area of Bering Land Bridge Nation­al Pre­serve, Ser­pen­tine still offers a sooth­ing break from the harsh surrounding…  ...more

Locat­ed 20 miles east of Sit­ka on the east shore of Bararnof Island. A pri­vate hot springs bath is locat­ed on Warm Springs Bay (sta­tus unknown). Acces­si­ble by boat or float­plane. A For­est Ser­vice trail extends a half mile from the hot springs to Bara­nof Lake where a cab­in is locat­ed. Cab­in access is by float­plane. It is not pos­si­ble to hike from the springs to the cab­in. Tem­per­a­ture 124 degrees Farenheit

This sel­dom-vis­it­ed car­bon­at­ed soda” springs is locat­ed on the west coast of Prince of Wales Island about 12 miles south­east of Craig. Access is by boat. Rub­ber boots are advised for this hike. This is bear coun­try; exer­cise cau­tion, par­tic­u­lar­ly when salmon are spawn­ing. The springs are reached by walk­ing up a name­less creek that has its out­let in a small inlet on the south shore of the bay. The springs flow into the creek about a mile…  ...more

Southeast

No vis­it to Tena­kee would be com­plete with­out a long soak in the hot springs, whose heal­ing prop­er­ties drew the Tlin­git peo­ple to this area long ago. The springs, which include a beau­ti­ful­ly-restored bath­house and chang­ing room, are right in the mid­dle of town, across from Tena­kee Springs Market. 

Locat­ed approx­i­mate­ly, 90 miles north of Ketchikan in the Ton­gass Nation­al For­est on the Cleve­land Penin­su­la. A 2.2‑mile trail begins at Bai­ley Bay just south of Shelokum Creek and leads to Lake Shelokum. At the inlet to the lake is a 3‑sided shel­ter. The hot springs are com­plete­ly undis­turbed and sup­port a healthy pop­u­la­tion of unique algal plant life. Tem­per­a­ture 198 degrees Farenheit 

Locat­ed on the out­er coast of Bara­nof Island on Hot Springs Bay off of Sit­ka Sound, 16 miles south of Sit­ka. This may have been the ear­li­est Alas­ka min­er­al springs known to the Euro­peans and before their arrival Indi­ans came from many miles away to ben­e­fit from the heal­ing waters. In the mid-1800s there were 3 cot­tages at God­dard that were used to house invalids from Sit­ka. In the late 1880s, a Sit­ka com­pa­ny erect­ed frame build­ings for the use…  ...more

Tem­per­a­ture 151 degrees Farenheit

Although it sits 28 miles upstream, don’t expect pri­va­cy at this For­est Ser­vice owned hot springs. It’s a favorite haunt of locals who can crowd in on week­ends and hol­i­days. The day-use facil­i­ty fea­tures one shel­tered tub and anoth­er open to the ele­ments, as well as dress­ing rooms, bench­es and outhouses.

Soak your cares away while sur­round­ed by dra­mat­ic views of the wilder­ness and the Pacif­ic Ocean. White Sul­phur Springs offers both indoor and out­door warm pools and is just a short boat ride from Pel­i­can. This is a favorite hot spot (lit­er­al­ly!) for kayak­ers, boaters, local res­i­dents and fish­er­men and women.