My Adventures in Shelokum Hot Springs, Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan, Alaska is well-known for its unspoiled natural beauty and abundant wildlife. The small town of Ketchikan sits on Revillagigedo Island, a remote island chain accessible only by boat or plane. As one of the most remote towns in the United States, there aren’t many opportunities for visitors to take part in outdoor recreation activities. However, that didn’t stop me from finding ways to have fun!

Take a day trip or spend the night a Shelokum Hot Springs in Ketchikan, <a class=Alaska. Photo by: get directly down” class=”wp-image-243″/>
Take a day trip or spend the night a Shelokum Hot Springs in Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by: get directly down

Shelokum Hot Springs is a hidden gem with an abundance of hot springs just beyond the edge of Ketchikan. The area is privately owned but managed as a public resource through permanent easements acquired by the Nature Conservancy. You can access the hot springs year-round and they are free to visit! This blog post covers everything you need to know about visiting the hot springs including directions, admission cost (if any), facilities available and how to get there. So let’s get started!

What to Know Before You Go

– The hot springs are open year-round but the road leading there from the main road is closed in the winter. So if you go in the winter, you’ll need snow tires or chains.

– The hot springs are clothing optional, but if you go during the summer, you’ll need a swimsuit.

– The area is privately owned but managed as a public resource through permanent easements acquired by the Nature Conservancy. So there is an admission fee of $5 per vehicle.

– The parking lot is small, so come early if you want a spot. It can get crowded on the weekends.

– The hot springs are open 24 hours a day and there is no lifeguard on duty so be careful and keep an eye out for others around you.

Getting to Shelokum Hot Springs

Visit Shelokum Hot Springs but floatplane or boat. Photo by: robin-and-david
Visit Shelokum Hot Springs but floatplane or boat. Photo by: robin-and-david

The hot springs are located on Revillagigedo Island, which is on the outskirts of Ketchikan. The easiest way to get there is to drive to the U-Drop-Inn shuttle stop (see directions below). From the drop-off point, hike approximately 45 minutes to the hot springs. If you choose to take the ferry, you’ll need to transfer to a shuttle bus at the H docking point. The ferry schedule is subject to change and you can find the most up-to-date schedule here.

The Hot Springs

The hot springs are located just beyond the edge of Ketchikan. The area is privately owned but managed as a public resource through permanent easements acquired by the Nature Conservancy. The hot springs are open 24 hours a day and there is no lifeguard on duty so be careful and keep an eye out for others around you. The water ranges in temperature from 75-90 degrees Fahrenheit. The main hot spring is large enough for several people to sit inside and there are other smaller springs nearby.

If you go at night, you can see a small LED light show projected onto the surrounding mountains. The intricate light-up system is powered by solar energy and changes with the weather and lunar cycle. The surrounding forest is dotted with other, smaller springs. If you go during the summer, bring a swimsuit as some of them are too hot to sit in. If you go in the winter, be sure to bundle up!

How Was It at Shelokum Hot Springs?

The hot springs were a real treat to visit. The area is surrounded by lush vegetation and a small river that runs through it. The main hot spring is large enough for several people to sit inside and there are other smaller springs nearby. If you go at night, you can see a small LED light show projected onto the mountains surrounding the springs. The intricate light-up system is powered by solar energy and changes with the weather and lunar cycle.

The surrounding forest is dotted with other, smaller springs. If you go during the summer, bring a swimsuit as some of them are too hot to sit in. If you go in the winter, be sure to bundle up! Overall, the hot springs are a great way to experience true natural hot springs without having to travel very far!

Other Activities Nearby

There are quite a few activities to do near the hot springs. You can hike to the end of the road near the hot springs and take in the views from West Trail. If you like fishing, you can head to the nearby fishing pier and fish for salmon or try your luck at crabbing. If you go in the winter, you can try ice fishing. You can also kayak or take a seabird or salmon tour to see the wildlife up close.

The Weather in Shelokum Hot Springs

Revillagigedo Island is located in Southeast Alaska, which has a subarctic climate. The area is marine-influenced with strong winds and frequent rain. Most of the precipitation falls between October and April. The coldest month is December, when the average temperature is 26F. The warmest month is August, when the average temperature is 54F.

If you visit during the summer, you’ll enjoy long days and warm temperatures. The average daily high is 72F with lows around 56F. If you visit during the winter, you’ll enjoy shorter days and cooler temperatures. The average daily high is 39F with lows around 28F.

Weather forecast

Final Thoughts

Shelokum Hot Springs is a hidden gem with an abundance of hot springs just beyond the edge of Ketchikan. The area is privately owned but managed as a public resource through permanent easements acquired by the Nature Conservancy. You can access the hot springs year-round and they are free to visit! This blog post covers everything you need to know about visiting the hot springs including directions, admission cost (if any), facilities available and how to get there. So let’s get started!

Local Info

Location: Ketchikan, Alaska 99901
Season: Year-round
GPS: N55.9831 W131.66048
Camping: Permitted
Website: fs.usda.gov…

Shelokum Hot Springs Map