Located on Chichagof Island, Tenakee Springs is a small town with Tlingit roots that is well known for its hot mineral springs. Served by the Alaska Marine Highway System, the community is home to about 140 people, but expands in the summer with seasonal residents.
About Tenakee Springs
Tenakee Springs is located on the east side of Chichagof Island in Alaska's Inside Passage. It lies 45 miles southwest of Juneau and 50 miles northeast of Sitka. The community is accessible by the Alaska Marine Highway System ferry and by scheduled air service from Juneau and Sitka.
Things to do
Hot springs lovers have been coming to town since before 1895, when a public bathhouse was built around the source of a 107-degree mineral spring. Although the original bathhouse has since been replaced, the present-day Hot Springs Bath House is still open for public use, enjoyed by both locals and visitors, with separate bathing times for men and women.
Several other historic buildings remain in town, lining the shore and the town’s one unpaved road, used for pedestrians, bikes, and ATVs only. They include the still-operating Tenakee Springs Market, formerly the Snyder Mercantile founded in 1899, the Shamrock Building, and the newly restored Saint Francis Chapel.
Leisure activities focus on the water. Fishing, kayaking, whale watching, and sailing are all popular. Local charter operators offer ocean fishing charters for salmon and halibut and river fishing for coho, chum, and pink salmon. Whale watching tours venture out to see humpback whales and orcas, and kayak rentals are available in town to explore the inlet’s calm, protected waters. Multiple hiking trails connect with abandoned logging roads, essentially allowing visitors to hike from one end of the island to the other.
There is one lodge in town, the Tenakee Hot Springs Lodge, which can arrange meals and activities for guests. There are also two cabins and a cottage for visitors to rent in town. The Tongass National Forest surrounds Tenakee Springs, and camping is allowed in the forest although there are no public campgrounds.