Soak outside at White Sulphur Springs while taking in Alaska’s stunning views. Photo by: Joseph

6 Cool Hot Springs near Juneau, Alaska

If you’re looking for a place to relax and rejuvenate, you’ll want to check out the hot springs near Juneau, Alaska. In the vicinity of Juneau, there are a number of hot springs that are very simple to reach if you are flying a seaplane. If that this is not the case, the search for a nice site to soak becomes a thrilling adventure that may include boat cruises and road travels.

There is an abundance of geothermal activity in the area, and regardless of which spring you choose to visit, you are guaranteed to find breathtaking photo opportunities and soothing waters there. Consider going to one of the classic resorts in the area around Fairbanks, which are located near the hot springs. Another popular location in Alaska for its mineral springs can be found here.

Tenakee Hot Springs Bathhouse – 45 miles

The Tenakee Springs Bathhouse (map) is a historic bathhouse in Tenakee Springs, Alaska. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. The bathhouse is a two-story wood frame structure, with a gable roof and clapboard siding. It was built in 1912 by the Chilkoot Improvement Company to serve miners working in the area. The upper floor was used as a bunkhouse, and the lower floor housed the baths.

The bathhouse operated until about 1935, when it was closed due to the Great Depression.

The 6 feet by 9 feet by 5 feet pool in the Tenakee Hot Springs Bathhouse has a temperature of 106 degrees and is used as a gathering area for residents of the little town that the bathhouse is named after. The use of concrete and stone results in an atmosphere that is relatively uncluttered and features clean lines that have been meticulously maintained by volunteers since the 1930s. It has a pleasant climate and is open to guests throughout the entire year.

The bathhouse does not have any associated hotels or dining establishments, however there are many other options available in the surrounding area for you to select from. The Tenakee Inlet is another location in the neighborhood that is worth checking out. Your brief soak visit has the potential to grow into a multi-day Alaskan vacation if you participate in activities such as kayaking, fishing, hiking, and whale watching.

White Sulphur Springs – 78 miles

6 Best Hot Springs near Juneau, Alaska: Soak outside at White Sulphur Springs while taking in Alaska’s stunning views. Photo by: Joseph
White Sulphur Springs, Alaska. Photo: Joseph

White Sulphur Springs (map) is a hot springs located in the White Sulphur Hills, about 15 miles east of Juneau, Alaska. The springs flow from a fissure in the earth at a temperature of about 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). The water is rich in sulphur and other minerals, and is reputed to have therapeutic properties.

The site has been used as a spa since the early days of white settlement in Alaska. A small bathhouse and lodge were built at the site in the 1920s, and have been repeatedly rebuilt and enlarged over the years.

You will require a boat in order to travel to White Sulphur Springs. Mirror Harbor is the starting point for the trail that is 0.9 miles long and goes to the rustic White Sulphur Springs cabin as well as the hot springs. Anyone who intends to stay the night should carry food in addition to any other items that one would bring camping. There is a wood stove available for use when the weather is cold.

After dropping their belongings off at the cabin, hikers who choose to continue walking have access to additional pathways to take, and the hike itself is not particularly difficult. There is a nice fishing area that is well known for salmon that is approximately two hours hike away, and depending on the season, fishing there is a highly awaited pastime. Be wary of bears who are also interested in participating in the activity.

One of the pools is natural and located outside, while the other is covered and located in a partially open-air wooden bathhouse. Both pools are maintained at a constant temperature by the spring. Both of these locations provide views of the ocean and are a short walk from the cabin.

Baranof Warm Springs – 85 miles

Baranof Warm Springs, Alaska. Photo: Joseph
Baranof Warm Springs, Alaska. Photo: Joseph

Baranof Warm Springs (map) is a hot springs located on Baranof Island, about 25 miles south of Sitka, Alaska. The springs flow from a fissure in the earth at a temperature of about 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius). The water is rich in sulphur and other minerals, and is reputed to have therapeutic properties. The site has been used as a spa since Russian times. A small bathhouse was built at the site in the 1930s, and has been repeatedly rebuilt and enlarged over the years.

After dropping their belongings off at the cabin, hikers who choose to continue walking have access to additional pathways to take, and the hike itself is not particularly difficult. There is a nice fishing area that is well known for salmon that is approximately two hours hike away, and depending on the season, fishing there is a highly awaited pastime. Be wary of bears who are also interested in participating in the activity.

One of the pools is natural and located outside, while the other is covered and located in a partially open-air wooden bathhouse. Both pools are maintained at a constant temperature by the spring. Both of these locations provide views of the ocean and are a short walk from the cabin.

Goddard Hot Springs – 107 miles

Goddard Hot Springs (map) is a hot springs located on Admiralty Island, about 107 miles southwest of Juneau, Alaska. The springs flow from a fissure in the earth at a temperature of about 107 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Celsius). The water is rich in sulphur and other minerals, and is reputed to have therapeutic properties.

The site has been used as a spa since pioneer times. A small bathhouse was built at the site in 1898, and has been repeatedly rebuilt and enlarged over the years.

To reach Goddard Hot Springs from Sitka, you would need to take a boat for a total of 16 nautical miles. Floatplane transportation is another option for arriving here. The City of Sitka owns the land on which these two open-air bathhouses made of cedar sit, and the city employees keep the bathhouses in good condition. To make the water acceptable for bathing, cool water is mixed with spring water that has been heated to 153 degrees Fahrenheit as it flows into stainless steel tubs.

The panoramic views of the thick pine forests and Hot Springs Bay that surround it are just magnificent. You can set up tent on a grassy meadow next to the springs; however, the wooden boardwalk that leads to and from the tubs does not extend to the camping area, so you may need to bring boots. However, those who are swimming and those who are camping can use the outhouse that is accessible.

Chief Shakes Hot Springs – 141 miles

Chief Shakes Hot Springs (map) is a hot springs located on Chichagof Island, about 141 miles southwest of Juneau, Alaska. The springs flow from a fissure in the earth at a temperature of about 108 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius). The water is rich in sulphur and other minerals, and is reputed to have therapeutic properties. The site has been used as a spa since Russian times. A small bathhouse was built at the site in 1898, and has been repeatedly rebuilt and enlarged over the years.

The Chief Shakes Hot Springs are another one of the region’s hidden treasures, and the only way to get there is by paddling a canoe up the Stikine River and then hiking for about a quarter of a mile. It is tucked away in the Stikine-LeConte Wilderness of the Tonga National Forest; the closest town is Wrangell, and the people frequent it frequently.

One of the hot tubs is enclosed with a screened-in porch area, and the other one is outside in the open air. Both of the hot tubs are fed by spring water. Both are seven feet in diameter and permit the temperature to be adjusted by regulating the flow of the spring water that is 140 degrees Fahrenheit as well as the cold water tap. Additionally, visitors have access to dressing rooms during their stay.

Even though there is no high-end lodging available in the region, you are welcome to set up a tent anywhere within a 100-foot radius of the hot tubs or the paths that lead to them. The springs area is a wonderful spot to spend a night or two because it has two outhouses, a picnic table, and a fire ring for its guests to make use of. Those who would want to sleep with a more stable roof over their heads can stay in one of the two cottages that are maintained by the forest service a short distance upriver.

Both the Shakes Slough 1 and the Shakes Slough 2 bunkhouses are simple, yet they each have space for two to four people. Bring with your own supplies.

Shelokum Hot Springs – 192 miles

Shelokum Hot Springs (map) may be found in the Tongass National Forest, which is approximately 75 miles north of Ketchikan. To get to Lake Shelokum from Bailey Bay, follow the trail that is south of Shelokum Creek and is 2.2 miles long. Access can also be gained via boat or floatplane, but doing so will add a half mile to the distance that must be covered on foot.

Due to its remote location in the heart of the forest, this location does not see a lot of foot traffic. As a result, the pool is home to a thriving population of plants and algae.

The natural geothermal spring water emerges from the ground at a temperature of 198 degrees Fahrenheit; however, bathers have the ability to modify the temperature of the tub by adjusting the cold and hot water valves.

Guests who want to stay the night can camp within the three-sided Shelokum Shelter, even though it is extremely possible to hike in and out in a single afternoon. However, this is not required. It has no running water or bathrooms, and in order to keep warm during the winter months, you will need to acquire firewood on your own. Bear spray and mosquito repellent are two items that will prove useful and are recommended as well.

It is well worth the effort to take a detour from Juneau to see one of these gorgeous hot springs if you have the time. The journey to the access point, whether it be by boat or plane, is a good opportunity to take in the surroundings and keep an eye out for any animals that you would have missed otherwise.