Kanuti Hot Springs – Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

Discover an otherworldly experience at Kanuti Hot Springs, the most remote hot springs in the world. Tucked away in a picturesque grassy field, this hidden gem in Alaska is surrounded by dense forest and located just 24 kilometers (15 miles) north of the Arctic Circle. You’ll feel disconnected from civilization as you soak in the geothermal waters, making it the ultimate destination for those seeking a truly unique and unforgettable adventure.

The journey to Kanuti Hot Springs is not for the faint of heart. You’ll need to brave the rugged terrain and unpredictable weather to reach this remote oasis. But the journey is worth it once you arrive, as the hot springs offer a therapeutic and calming experience unlike any other. The geothermal waters are rich in minerals and have been known to alleviate aches and pains, making it a popular destination for those seeking relief from the stresses of everyday life.

Despite its remoteness, Kanuti Hot Springs is not lacking in amenities. The hot springs are maintained by the Bureau of Land Management and feature a changing room, boardwalks, and even a picnic area for visitors to enjoy. And while it may be isolated, the hot springs are not lacking in beauty. The surrounding forest is filled with wildlife, including moose, wolves, and bears, adding to the allure of this one-of-a-kind destination.

The Pools at the Hot Springs

When the temperature outside can reach up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, the best way to beat the heat at Kanuti Hot Springs is to take a dip in one of the two pools there. To avoid getting too hot, tourists can try to find a spot close to one of the hot springs’ entry points for cooler water. This will allow them to avoid the most intense temperatures.

Access to these pools is available throughout the year; however, it is important that you arrive prepared. If you want to get here during the winter, you might have to hike through some pretty serious snow. In the spring, the region is teeming with mother bears and their young in addition to having an abundance of blueberries, wild chives, and mint.

Note: It is important to remember to keep a safe distance away from bears, to bring bear spray with you, and to always be aware of your surroundings.

Camping in the backcountry is allowed in the Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge, although it is a fairly rustic experience. You won’t find any official campsites set up, so you’ll have to choose a spot for yourself to camp out in the wilderness. Be sure to investigate your surroundings before setting up a tent, and don’t forget to clean up the area before you pack up and leave.

How to get there

The springs may be found within of the Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska; more specifically, they can be found between the refuge’s border and the Caribou Mountains. Because there are no established trails to follow, tourists should be informed that getting to the Kanuti Hot Springs is not the easiest of tasks, and a topographical map such as Bettles B-2 is strongly advised to help them find their way.

Floating Down the Kanuti River to the Kanuti River Hot Springs in the Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge, AK. Photo by: J C
Floating Down the Kanuti River to the Kanuti River Hot Springs in the Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge, AK. Photo by: J C

Therefore, if you want to get the most out of your trip, it is recommended that you take it during the warmer months and travel down the Kanuti River for 14 miles. For a more manageable journey back to the main road, bringing along a compact pack raft can be of great assistance.

Start your float at the Dalton Highway crossing, which is located at the Mile 103 marker.

Following the ridgeline tundra high above the tree line is what the map will instruct you to do as you hike out of the area.

You are going to have to travel deeper through the woods, and then you will have to descend the mountain before you can locate the road again.

Note that it is also feasible to reach the springs during the winter months via snow skiing, but the level of the snow can make the journey extremely difficult.


Kanuti Hot Springs, located in Alaska, is a natural wonder that offers visitors the chance to experience geothermal hot mineral waters. These waters are heated by geothermal springs that flow through deep fractures in the Caribou Mountain range. While the hot water is the main attraction, visitors need to be aware of the local wildlife, including black bears and brown bears. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommends carrying bear repellant while exploring public lands.

In the winter, the area is covered in deep snow, making cross-country skiing a popular activity. Visitors can access the hot springs through Aqua Thermal Access, and the area is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The hot springs have been studied by the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys and the Bureau of Mines: Mines. Additionally, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has monitored the water quality. The water is known to contain northern pike and may leave an orange residue on clothing.

Overall, Kanuti Hot Springs is a unique and beautiful destination for those seeking to experience the natural wonders of Alaska. However, visitors need to be mindful of the potential presence of bears and take necessary precautions. The area is also home to other wildlife, such as northern pike and wild onion, which can be found in the surrounding area. With its geothermal hot mineral waters and picturesque surroundings, Kanuti Hot Springs is a must-visit destination for nature lovers.

Kanuti Hot Springs Weather Forecast (next 5 days)

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units=”imperial” text_align=”right” display=”block” style=”large-icons”]

Weather in Kanuti Hot Springs is pretty unpredictable, especially during the winter. So you better check weather a few times a day before your departure, just to make sure you won’t be surprised at the hot springs.

Local Information

Location: Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska | 12 miles west of MP103 on the Dalton Highway
Season: Year-round | Best experienced during warmer months
Camping: Permitted
GPS: 66º 20′ 30″ N 150º 50′ 44″ W

Kanuti Hot Springs map



Anne loves to explore the world and share her experiences through her blog. She loves to travel to places that are off the beaten path and find unique experiences to share with her readers. She also loves to share tips on how to make the most of a trip, from budgeting to activities. She hopes that her blog will inspire others to explore the world and enjoy the beauty of nature.