October 20, 2017

Friday Funny 10/20 (Hot Springs)

Our fall tour of Southeast Alaska has included two stops at natural hot springs, Tenakee Springs, and Baranof Warm Springs. Both of these small communities have public dock space for transient boaters, and public areas for sitting and enjoying the hot springs. Also, for both stops, we came into the dock on delightful sunny days, and stayed till the latest fall storm had blown by.

Arriving Tenakee Springs

Looking back at the dock, where Denali Rose, and Dawn Treader V are secured.

As we expected, in Tenakee, there was plenty of room for us at the docks, and they even had power available. We used it on the last day to help top up our batteries.

Tenakee has some colorful history in it's background. It was once known as Robber's Roost, because outlaws made this their base. Even Soapy Smith's gang once made Tenakee home.

The hot springs themselves were once an open pool, then a log house was built to enclose it. In 1940, the Forest Service poured concrete around the pool, and enlarged the house. This 1940's structure is what exists today. 

Painting on the outside of the building, forest animals enjoying a hot soak.

Spartan inside

The hot springs building has a wonderful aromatic cedar changing room, and then you go into the concrete room to sit in the tub. It's kind of spartan inside, and there's a volunteer group in town who maintain, and clean the area. Even thought there were four of us, with our friends on Dawn Treader V, I'm the only one who went into town for a soak. I only stayed 10 minutes, because it's kind of boring when you're by yourself. I forgot to bring wine......

Fire Department

I loved this sign on a post.

Phone booth.

There isn't any cell connectivity in Tenakee, so this is a bona fide land line. (I think, we didn't use it.)

Good night Tenakee.

Baranof Warm Springs is a smaller community than Tenakee. Warm Springs has a care-taker in the winter, where as Tenakee has about 60 people who live there year round. As you approach the community, the first thing you notice are the spectacular falls. They provide hydro-power to the cabins.

Many cabins are up in the woods, and can't be seen.

Noisy water!

I never did get used to hearing the falls roar, I was constantly questioning, "what's that noise?" Uh, duh, the waterfall......

Waterfalls right behind Denali Rose.

There are two ways to enjoy the hot springs, you can hike up a trail which leads to rock pools next to the falls to sit and soak, or use the bathhouse on the boardwalk.

Boardwalk with bathhouse, and covered bbq/picnic building

Three rooms

Each room has a tub with a hot spigot, and a separate cold spigot, a chair, hooks, and a scrub brush to clean the tub when you are through. If you leave the curtains open, the view from the tub is wonderful. Bill and I didn't hike up to the open rock pools, but John and Artha did, and they dipped in.  We were there a few days, waiting on storms to abate, so hiking, soaking, and socializing were the activities we enjoyed. 

Sightseeing along the boardwalk

Private hot tub.

I love this doormat

Hiking up a trail to a nearby lake.

Artha tried her hand at fishing in the lake, but no joy.

John and Artha

Finally the weather-window day arrived, and we slipped our lines once more. 

We are headed back to Petersburg, with stops on the way, in good weather protected bays, and inlets, that shelter us from the storms.

Fredrick Sound

Have you ever been to a hot springs? Where was it? Did you drink wine while in the pool? Do you enjoy fall storms?

As always, we enjoy hearing from you, either here in comments or on our Facebook Denali Rose Sailboat page.


  1. We did the hot springs tour last year circumnavigating Baranof: Tenakee Springs, Warm Springs, Goddard. Had to bail on our all-time favorite, White Sulpher, due to timing of tides, but we love them all. Shoot, we even named our dog after one of them. Cold beer for us! Cheers!

    1. Cold beer is a great alternative to wine! Touring hot springs is a great way to sightsee.

  2. What a fun tour of the hot springs. I love the "Beware" sign and the painting on the fire department door. I've been to a hot springs in New Zealand. We didn't drink wine, but it was nice to soak in it, although it would have been nicer if there had been fewer people there.

    1. The advantage of touring here in the fall, is that we have had most everywhere with little or no people. It's not that we're anti-social, but we have had our pick of anchoring spots, no competition for dock space, and "touristy" spots.


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