Have you just stepped off a cruise ship in The Last Frontier? Looking to squeeze a bit more out of your adventure in Alaska? If that sounds about right, we’ve got you covered. Every local knows that no winter vacation is complete without dipping your toes in one of the best hot springs in Alaska.
Today, we’re divulging our top picks for visitors looking to experience the transformative nature of Alaska’s hot springs. We have rounded up some of the best hot springs from all over the state, so you can check another item off your bucket list no matter where you’re staying. From local favorites to lesser-known gems, you can find them all here.
Chena Hot Springs
Chena Hot Springs is the most popular (and therefore most visited) of these tourist locations in Alaska. Open year-round, these hot springs maintain a cozy temperature of 106°F and a depth of four feet.
Located just an hour’s drive northeast of Fairbanks, this hotspot is ideal for families, friends, and couples alike. If you’re looking for a little extra enjoyment during your visit, the resort offers lodging, dog sled rides, and Northern Light tours.
Goddard Hot Springs
Next on our list is Goddard Hot Springs, the site of some of Alaska’s earliest mineral springs. They lie roughly 16 miles south of Sitka on Baranof Island, which means you must access them by charter boat or floatplane. (The latter is bucket list material if you haven’t already ridden on one.)
At Goddard Hot Springs, there is plenty of hot water to go around (coming in at piping temperatures of 153°F) and access is free to the public. Additionally, there are outhouses nearby and plenty of boardwalks that make transportation a breeze.
Tenakee Hot Springs
Located 45 miles outside of Juneau, this winter tourism Alaska destination is one for the books. Tenakee Hot Springs features a beautifully restored bathhouse that was originally constructed in 1900 and is surrounded by stunning Alaskan wildlife like eagles and whales.
While the springs are open around the clock, clothing is not allowed. Therefore, there are separate bathing hours for men and women. Additionally, visitors must scrub with soap and water before entering to preserve the cleanliness of the water.
Manley Hot Springs
Manley Hot Springs is over a century old and offers guests a unique soaking experience unlike any other. Nestled inside a greenhouse, this resort feels like nothing short of a luscious, otherworldly oasis. Visitors can choose between one of three concrete soaking tubs and bathe amongst a cornucopia of fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
Manley Hot Springs is the home of some of the best hot springs in Alaska and is located just outside Fairbanks. Visitors can make the breathtaking drive through Alaska’s many mountains and valleys to experience what gold miners roamed some 100 years ago.
Chief Shakes Hot Springs
Chief Shakes Hot Springs lies 28 miles outside of Wrangell, Alaska. To get there, visitors must hike a breezy 0.3 miles off of Hot Springs Slough. Upon arrival, they will be greeted by two unique redwood tubs – one that is sheltered and one that is left open to the elements.
These forest-owned hot springs are a local favorite and it’s important to note that the tubs tend to fill up quickly on the weekends. However, any local would agree that they are still some of the best hot springs in Alaska and are well worth the wait. There are also outhouses, benches, and dressing rooms available for guests to use.
Baranof Warm Springs
Last but not least, Baranof Warm Springs is located on Warm Springs Bay near Chatham Strait. These hot springs are incredibly scenic (read: no paved roads, vehicles present, or marine transport) and can be accessed only by a floatplane from Sitka.
These remote pools maintain a temperature of 124°F and overlook some seriously awe-inspiring waterfalls. Visitors can choose from nine different options, all located just a short 0.25-mile hike from the Bay.
There you have it, folks. In our humble opinion, these are the 7 best hot springs in Alaska. While there are plenty of winter tourist locations in Alaska, there is something about soaking in nature’s bathtub and embracing the magical scenery all around you that just can’t be beaten. If you need a ride to your hot spring oasis, AVIS Alaska has got you covered. As the only statewide car rental agency, we’re able to accommodate wherever your travel plans may take you.
You can rent a car in Anchorage, drive to Chena Hot Springs, then drop the car off in Fairbanks. Or, you can rent and drop off a car in Juneau. The options are endless. Regardless of where your adventure takes you, our friendly staff, excellent service, and wide selection of vehicles are a guarantee.
Contact our team today to learn more about how we can serve your Alaskan vacation.