Tenakee Hot Springs: A Guide to the Natural Beauty of Tenakee Springs, Alaska

When you want to take a break from the stress of everyday life, there’s no better place than the natural wonders of Tenakee Hot Springs. A remote and beautiful location in the midst of the Tongass National Forest, this area is home to several natural hot springs that are perfect for relaxing. These hot springs are fed by underground volcanic heat, and they come out at various points along streams, ponds, and other locations around the area. They are all naturally packed with minerals like sulfur that have excellent health benefits when exposed to skin at an optimal temperature.

This article will explore everything you need to know about Tenakee Hot Springs — including how to get there, what activities are available, important safety information and more. Whether you’re planning your first trip or just want to brush up on some helpful tips before taking another adventure there, this guide has all the information you need.

Waterfall trail near Tenakee Hot Springs
Photo bygarrenwood on Pixabay

What’s so great about Tenakee Springs?

The hot springs at Tenakee Springs are truly unique and fascinating. The mineral content and temperature of the water makes it an excellent source for relaxation, healing, and even beauty treatments. The water is naturally packed with minerals like sulfur and calcium, and it is also very warm. This combination makes it an excellent choice for relaxation, especially for those with sore muscles or who are dealing with chronic pain.

Enjoy Alaska’s incredible scenic views from a kayak at Tenakee Springs. Photo by: Joseph
Enjoy Alaska’s incredible scenic views from a kayak at Tenakee Springs. Photo by: Joseph

Additionally, the water from these hot springs is also naturally alkaline, which makes it a great choice for those who are looking for ways to balance their pH levels. The water here is also very mineral rich, which makes it excellent for use in beauty treatments like mud baths or for soothing and healing the skin. The water at Tenakee Springs is heated by an underground volcanic source, so it maintains a steady temperature all year round. This means that you can use the water year round, and you don’t have to worry about the water ever freezing.

Even if you visit in the winter, you’ll be able to enjoy these wonderful hot springs just as much as you would in the summer.

How to get to Tenakee Hot Springs

The best way to get to Tenakee Hot Springs is by car. From Juneau, drive south towards the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry Terminal. Approximately 10 miles south of Juneau, turn left onto the Tenakee Road. The drive to the turnoff is about 13 miles, so the drive one way will take around 20 minutes. Once you turn onto Tenakee Road, continue driving for another 25 miles. At this point, you’ll want to look for a sign indicating the Turnagain Arm Trail. After turning onto the Turnagain Arm Trail, continue driving for around 13 miles.

To get to Tenakee you will have to arrive by seaplane or boat. Photo by: Sanjoy Ghosh
To get to Tenakee you will have to arrive by seaplane or boat. Photo by: Sanjoy Ghosh

You’ll know you’ve arrived when you see the large blue sign indicating the trailhead. From the trailhead, it’s about 2 miles to the hot springs. The drive one way takes around 45 minutes. If you choose to park at the trailhead and hike in, you can expect the hike to take around 1.5 hours.

Things to know before visiting Tenakee Hot Springs

There are a few things you should keep in mind before visiting Tenakee Hot Springs.

Tenakee Springs is home to only a little over 100 people, but they are all incredibly hospitable. Photo by: Unseen Alaska
Tenakee Springs is home to only a little over 100 people, but they are all incredibly hospitable. Photo by: Unseen Alaska

First, the area is remote, so it is not accessible to everyone. It is located approximately 50 miles south of Juneau, so it is not easily accessible by everyone. If you travel by car, you will likely have to take a ferry to Juneau, rent a car there and drive south. The area is also not walkable, so you’ll need to drive or take a shuttle.

The area is also very sensitive and fragile, so it’s important to be respectful of the environment. Leave no trace and don’t litter. You should also be aware that the water is quite hot, so it’s not appropriate for very young children. It’s also not appropriate for pregnant women, so you’ll want to make sure to take that into account before visiting.

Which Hot Spring is best for you?

There are several different hot springs at Tenakee Hot Springs, each with its own unique properties and benefits. While each is a great choice for relaxation, there are a few that stand out from the rest. If you’re looking for a hot spring that’s particularly soothing and helpful for soothing muscle pain, look no further than the Blue or Green Hot Springs. These are two of the best for muscle pain and soreness, and they are super warm.

If you’re interested in a hot spring that’s particularly helpful for your skin, the Red Hot Spring is a great choice. Since it’s alkaline and very mineral rich, it’s excellent for cleansing and softening your skin. If you’re interested in a hot spring that’s particularly helpful in restoring your balance and pH levels, the White Hot Spring is your best bet.

Activities at Tenakee Hot Springs

There are many activities that you can do at Tenakee Hot Springs. Depending on the time of year, you might enjoy a short hike to one of the nearby hot springs. You can also enjoy swimming, soaking in the hot springs, or even relaxing in a hammock. If you have the right gear, you might even be able to snowshoe or cross country ski around the area. You can also go for a fly fishing trip, or you can visit one of the nearby salmon streams to catch some fish. If you’re visiting in the summer, you might want to enjoy a day at the beach.

Go humpback whale and orca watching while visiting Tenakee Springs. Photo by: Christopher Michel
Go humpback whale and orca watching while visiting Tenakee Springs. Photo by: Christopher Michel

You can also visit nearby Lake Street and the Lake Street General Store, which is a very interesting place. It’s a store that has been open since the 1940s, and it’s filled with old-fashioned items and memorabilia. You can also visit the Blue Heron Fisheries and pick up some seafood for dinner. This is a great place to buy fresh seafood.

Important Safety Information

The natural hot springs at Tenakee Springs have been enjoyed by people for thousands of years, but they can also be dangerous if proper precautions aren’t taken. The water at Tenakee Springs can be very hot, and it’s important to keep this in mind before you enter the water. If you have children, you’ll want to keep a close eye on them while they are in the water. It’s also important to note that the water may be very slippery, so you should keep this in mind when walking around or even getting in or out of the water.

It’s also important to note that the water does not have a lifeguard, and that there are no changing facilities. If you want to change into clothing, you should do so in your car. It’s also important to note that the water is not treated and that there may be parasites in the water. You should never drink the water, and you should never use it to wash your hands either.

The Weather (and 5 day forecast)

Because Tenakee Hot Springs is located in Southeast Alaska near the Gulf of Alaska, it’s very easy for visitors to get caught off guard by the climate. The weather in Southeast Alaska is very changeable, and it can change quickly. It’s therefore important to keep an eye on the weather and to plan your trip accordingly. The area experiences very mild weather in the summer, but it can also get very cold in the winter.

If you’re visiting in the winter, you’ll want to keep an eye on the weather and plan accordingly. You’ll want to make sure you have the right clothing and equipment to stay warm. It’s important to note that the area is very prone to avalanches and extreme weather, so you’ll want to take this into account as well.

Plese refer to the weather forecast often to make sure it is in your favor

Bottom line

The natural hot springs at Tenakee Springs are truly one-of-a-kind. If you’re looking for a place to relax and unwind, these hot springs are an excellent choice for a vacation. They are located in a breathtakingly beautiful location and are home to several natural hot springs that are perfect for relaxation. These hot springs are fed by underground volcanic heat, and they come out at various points along streams, ponds, and other locations around the area.

Local info

Location: Tenakee Springs, Alaska 99841
Season: Year-round
GPS: 57°46’24.59 N, -135°13’6.60 W
Website: tenakeespringsak.com

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