If you’re looking for a truly unique travel experience, then a trip to Alaska’s hot springs is a must. There are many different springs scattered around the state, each with its own personality and set of attractions. A list of Coolest Hot Springs in Alaska might be a good start point for a first time visitor.
Alaska, with its unbroken stretches of wilderness stretching for miles and miles, is truly the most epic adventure that an outdoorsman can experience. It’s the kind of getaway that makes you feel like you’ve actually discovered a part of the planet that was created specifically for your own amusement. There are over twenty natural geothermal hot springs to pick from, so it doesn’t matter where you are—you’ll always be able to find a place to relax.
There are both remote and luxurious resorts among Alaska‘s geothermal hot springs. It doesn’t matter where you are in Alaska or what you’re doing—hiking deep within this huge wilderness, traversing the mighty tundra, or even looking out over the vast Pacific Ocean—a there’s hot spring for you.
Others, on the other hand, can be reached in a matter of minutes via seaplane, vehicle, or snowmobile, while others still require several days’ worth of hiking or skiing to get to. The vast majority of them will be located either on islands in the Southeast panhandle or inside the watershed of the Yukon River in the interior of Alaska.
In addition, if you are thinking about going to Alaska during the wintertime, you might want to check out these ski resorts that are located close to Anchorage. The slopes of the ski resort are the ideal complement to any of the hot springs that are listed here.
No matter what your interests may be, if you ever find yourself in Alaska, you should not pass up the opportunity to discover at least one or two of these natural geothermal treasures for yourself. Now is the time to pack up your cross-country skiing equipment, your sea kayak, your favorite seaplane pilot, and go on the journey of a lifetime.
In no particular order, the following is a list of some of the best hot springs in Alaska:
Chena Hot Springs – Fairbanks
The Chena Hot Springs Resort is widely considered to be the best hot pool location in all of Alaska. This privately owned resort is a well-known attraction in the interior of Alaska during the entire year.
At this all-inclusive resort, you have the option to relax and rejuvenate at one of two types of hot springs: one is an outdoor hot spring that is kept in its natural state and has a temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit, while the other is an indoor hot spring with a temperature of 106 degrees Fahrenheit and hot tubs. The resort has a variety of services, such as places to stay, dog sled rides, an ice museum, massage therapy, and tours to see the Northern Lights.
Guests coming from Fairbanks also have the option of only coming to Chena for the day and enjoying the pools by purchasing a day pass. During the winter months, visitors flock to Chena Hot Springs to take advantage of the sub-zero temperatures and relax in the natural hot springs pools while taking in breathtaking views of the Northern Lights.
Chena Hot Springs is ready and waiting for you there if the resort lifestyle is more your speed. (map)
Goddard Hot Springs – Sitka
The breathtaking Goddard Hot Springs are located on Baranof Island, which is only 26 kilometers (16 miles) away from Sitka. This one-of-a-kind piece of land, which in the 1800s served as the site of an ailing hospital, is currently owned by the city of Sitka.
The two open shelters at Goddard Hot Springs, which cover the spring-fed waters that are 153 degrees Fahrenheit, the two bathhouses made of cedar, and the wide-open fields that frame your view of the bay provide a comfortable setting in which to camp overnight. You can either hire a guide or paddle yourself to the shore for a day of escape or a few days of overnight camping in the Alaskan wilderness. The best way to discover this area is by boat from Sitka, and you have the option to do either.
You’re not the camping kind, are you? You can use the Tom Young Memorial Cabin as a home base for your explorations, as it is located just across the bay. The city of Sitka owns and maintains this charming cabin, which has all of the essential amenities, and makes it available for rent on a first-come, first-served basis. (map)
The Baranof Warm Springs – Sitka
The Baranof Warm Springs may be found around 30 kilometers (about 20 miles) to the east of Sitka, on the island of Baranof, which is known for its breathtaking scenery and seclusion. Even though it is called “Warm,” the water in the hotel’s two outdoor pools and three interior baths is kept at temperatures ranging from warm to a pleasant 124 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the entire year.
Visitors have the option of lounging along the bank of the rushing Baranof River or simply hanging out in the public bathhouse for a more private soaking experience. Both options are available to them. No matter which pool you select, you will always be treated to awe-inspiring vistas of the majestic surrounding countryside.
There are no roads that lead to the hamlet of Baranof, therefore the only way to get there is by floatplane or boat, both of which can be hired from Sitka. Baranof is a local fishing community. If you are fortunate enough to find your way there, a trip to the Baranof Warm Springs will be an all-around wonderful experience that you won’t forget in a hurry if you have the chance to go there.
Continue your stay at the Baranof Wilderness Lodge & Resort for a little while longer, and you will be treated like royalty and given meals fit for a king or queen. (map)
White Sulphur Springs – Sitka
A photograph taken in the White Sulphur Hot Springs outdoor pool in Sitka, Alaska
At White Sulphur Springs, guests can have a relaxing soak in the open air while taking in some of Alaska’s most breathtaking scenery. Photographic work by: Joseph
You have heard that the White Sulphur Springs in southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest offer a unique and unforgettable hot springs experience, and you have been looking forward to finding out more about them.
Run by the United States of America The White Sulphur Springs, which are managed by the Forest Service, include both an open-air pool and a bathhouse constructed of locally grown red and yellow cedar. The bathhouse will shield you from the weather as you soak in the pool outside. View the Pacific Ocean from inside its natural waters at 135 degrees Fahrenheit while waving at other people who have come for a lengthy, hot soak as well, including nature enthusiasts and charter boat visitors.
Visitors can reach White Sulphur Springs by kayaking along the coast of Chichagof Island on a day trip, taking a floatplane from the town of Pelican, or taking a boat from the town of Pelican. When you get there, you have the option of spending the night in the White Sulphur Springs Cabin, which has a few basic supplies, or just making a day of it and heading back to Sitka before the sun sets. (map)
Pilgrim Hot Springs – Nome
Are you looking for a place to get away from it all in the heart of the Arctic north? You don’t need to search any further!
In comparison to the average high temperature in Nome, which is only around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the pools of Pilgrim Hot Springs are 170 degrees Fahrenheit, which will instantly warm even the iciest of toes. The history of this location goes back as far as the spring that provides the curative waters, and it was once used as a resort during the gold rush. Later on, it was converted into a Catholic mission for children who had lost both of their parents to the Spanish flu.
Pilgrim Hot Springs is one of a kind due to the fact that in order to access this location, visitors are required to obtain a pass from the city of Nome. The presence of numerous ancient structures next to the outdoor pools gives guests the impression that they have traveled through time with each dip. The springs are located at the conclusion of a spectacular 68-mile road that leads to the entrance of the park, and admission is free.
Due to the fact that the area has been declared as a historical site, there are no campsites located immediately beside the hot springs; nevertheless, there are campsites located in the surrounding area. Pilgrim Hot Springs is the ideal destination for a relaxing soak after a journey through the Alaskan wilderness, and it is especially enjoyable for people who enjoy incorporating historical sites into their travel itineraries. (map)
The Manley Hot Springs
When you visit the Manley Hot Springs in Alaska, you will have the unique opportunity to relax in an environment that is reminiscent of the tropics. Photographer’s name: Sean Salmon
The soaking experience at Manley Hot Springs is unparalleled to anything else on this list and is truly one of a kind. Guests will find three concrete soaking tubs tucked away inside of a secluded greenhouse. These tubs can be reserved for a small cost at 30-minute intervals at any time throughout their stay.
The water from the springs, which is 135 degrees Fahrenheit, is used to heat the greenhouse, which enables it to sustain tropical vegetation and gives the impression that you are in the middle of a rainforest.
These hot springs are a well-known attraction in the Fairbanks, Alaska area, and visiting them has evolved into an enjoyable day trip. Guests have the option of staying in the area and taking advantage of activities such as guided snowmobile tours and viewings of the Northern Lights while camping close to the springs.
While you were planning your trip to Alaska, you probably never imagined that you would get the opportunity to enjoy the splendor of the tropics. Therefore, you shouldn’t let this opportunity pass you by. (map)
Tolovana Hot Springs – Tolovana River Valley
In order to reach the Tolovana Hot Springs, you can either begin your journey on skis, snowshoes, or by trekking, or you can pack up a snow machine and have an exciting trip through the snowy trails.
The Tolovana experience consists of three man-made hot tubs, each with a deck for reclining and a temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Visitors can take advantage of the hot tubs throughout the year, and they even have the option of spending the night at one of the three free cabins that are located nearby and are connected to one another.
In addition, travelers should either have previous experience in the backcountry or hire a guide. The walk is pleasant, but using a snowmachine will cut down on the amount of time you spend traveling and allow you to take in Alaska’s breathtaking scenery along the way.
So load up your backpack with some food and supplies, and head on over to the Tolovana Hot Springs for a relaxing dip! This is a genuine Alaskan outdoor experience that is ideal for a vacation with the whole family. (map)
Wrangell’s Chief Shakes Hot Springs
At Chief Shakes Hot Springs, visitors won’t have to worry about being bothered by pesky insects like mosquitoes, which are a common nuisance at other Alaskan hot springs. Many other Alaskan hot springs experiences come with this risk.
At Chief Shakes Hot Springs, both tourists and residents have the opportunity to enjoy the opulent experience of bathing indoors in a steamy redwood hot tub that is encircled by a screened-in porch, providing protection from all the things that buzz around you. The second hot tub, which is totally outside and maintains a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit (the same as the indoor pool), provides guests with panoramic views of the Tongass National Forest.
The most pleasant way to get to these quaint springs is by boat. You have the option of employing a guide or braving the tidal river like a local, but either way, exercise extreme caution because previous experience is required.
There are two hot springs baths, two outhouses, a dressing room, a picnic table, and a fire ring at the entire Chief Shakes destination, which is serviced by the Forest Service. There are no overnight accommodations available; however, there are two wilderness cabins in the vicinity that are open for reservations and are called Shakes Slough 1 and Shakes Slough 2.
You won’t want to pass up the opportunity to relax at Chief Shakes Hot Springs, which is located in the Tongass National Forest. (map)
Serpentine Hot Springs
Within the well-known Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, the location known for its Serpentine Hot Springs draws the most tourists. An Alaskan experience that draws passionate outdoor enthusiasts throughout the year includes things like soaking beneath its neighboring granite tors, which gives a stunning background to the event.
Visitors to Serpentine Hot Springs can cool off in a one-of-a-kind pool that is tucked away inside a quaint red bathhouse. Here, they will be shielded from the scorching heat of the surrounding environment. But if you would rather relax in the waters of the outdoor area while taking in the breathtaking scenery, that option is available to you as well. Temperatures can reach as high as 170 degrees Fahrenheit, but there is always access to cold water to help bring the heat down a notch.
On-site guests have access, on a first-come, first-served basis, to a bunkhouse that has just the barest essentials packed inside of it as well as an outhouse. During the winter months, access can be gained by dogsled and snow machines; during the summer months, however, hiking through the tundra is the only option. In addition, guests have the option of arriving by plane thanks to the proximity of an accessible airstrip in the area. (map)
Kilo Hot Springs – the Ray Mountains
Kilo Hot Springs is among the most inaccessible and unspoiled of all of the Alaskan hot springs that are included on our list. If you are fortunate enough to find this buried treasure “somewhere” in the interior of Alaska, your perseverance will pay off in the end. Just keep in mind that knowing how to use a compass and a map is an absolute must.
The average temperature of this hot spring is 122 degrees Fahrenheit, and its length is 211 feet. Spending time here is a lot like coming onto a secret oasis that was built specifically for the individual who was fortunate enough to locate it. Campers are welcome to set up their tents anywhere within a 100-yard radius of the river and stay for as long as they choose. You will feel such a sense of accomplishment once you get there that you won’t want to rush out of there too soon.
Kilo Hot Springs feels like a treasure hunt destination that you can undoubtedly brag about to your friends, regardless of whether you opt to hike the forty miles it takes to get there or take a private airplane that will land you within five miles of the springs. (map)
Tenakee Hot Springs – Tenakee Springs
Tenakee Hot Springs is the one spring that should be at the top of your to-do list if you want to experience what it is like to be an Alaskan, hear all the latest neighborhood rumors, and relax in the water without wearing a swimsuit. The isolated tiny town’s hot springs serve as both a gathering spot and a location for inhabitants to bathe, all rolled into one unforgettable experience.
Even during the harshest of Alaskan winters, guests at Tenakee may relax inside in the 107-degree, 6-by-9-foot tub that emits steam and stays toasty warm. This bathhouse is worth every minute of comfort it provides because it is maintained by locals, who also use it. The entrance to these springs is free, and guests are welcome. Before you go, verify the schedule, though, because men and women are only allowed to soak during certain times of the day. (map)
Following your relaxing time in the hot springs, consider renting a cottage or cabin in the nearby village of Tenakee and spending a few days getting to know the community’s inhabitants. Stop by the Tenkee Springs Market for all of your food and supplies requirements, along with some friendly banter from the locals and some good times.
Those are almost certainly the coolest hot springs to be found in The Final Frontier. Spend some time relaxing and recharging by bathing in the rare mineral waters of Alaska.