While boating down the Chatham Strait in southern Alaska’s great, untamed wilderness, take a break at Baranof Warm Springs. The community of Baranof Warm Springs is a small, seasonally-occupied borough within Sitka, Alaska, boasting 9 springs nestled near a cascading waterfall.
The Hot Springs Pools
Frequently visited during the summer, the centerpiece of the remote community of Baranof Warm Springs is the Baranof Warm Springs themself. The series of natural pools overlooking a gushing waterfall is sure to enchant you while you soak amidst nature.
Boasting nine pools, although only two are developed, the temperatures of the springs range anywhere from lukewarm to 124°F. The pools are located against the raging water of the Baranof River and sit at the end of a short ¼ mile trek.
Near the waters edge is a tiny, extremely cold, plunge pool where you can cool off quickly after a long soak.
Additionally, the seasonal occupants have built a public bathhouse. The bathhouse is located at the waterfront and is open to guests who prefer privacy and, or do not want to trek the 1/4 mile hike to the natural springs. Three private rooms provide guests with stunning bay views all from the comfort of their personal, natural spring water tub.
Note: Access to these springs requires a boat or floatplane ride.
For those looking to stay overnight, the only option near Baranof Warm Springs is the Baranof Wilderness Lodge. Providing guests with either a cabin or lodge, guests can explore the area, soak in one of the on-site hot tubs, or eat at Bajr’s Kitchen. The kitchen provides hearty, home-cooked meals, wine, dessert, and views of Warm Springs Bay.
For backpackers hiking the 16-mile Baranof Cross-Island Trail, across Baranof Island, primitive campsites can be found along the trail.
From the Baranof Wilderness Lodge, you can regularly see seals, eagles, bears, and other wildlife near the bay. Humpback whales are easily sighted in Chatham Strait and the lodge offers float trip tours with a private guide. Enjoy salt and freshwater fishing and premier angling, or take a kayaking tour with friends and family.
Baranof Warm Springs is located 20 miles east of Sitka, Alaska, on the east shore of Baranof Island. For visitors who find themselves exploring Chatham Strait by boat, Baranof is a great place to take in the Alaskan wilderness.
Warm Springs Bay has a public dock with plenty of places to anchor. Since the hot springs are the community’s main attraction, it is not hard to find. Follow the rough path from the end of the boardwalk or ask a local for help.
If you plan to visit the pools via floatplane, check the airport in Sitka for regularly scheduled flights. Flights from Sitka to Baranof Warm Springs take approximately 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the weather.
Note: Baranof Warm Springs community does not feature any roads and the one boardwalk that connects the community does not allow ATVs.
Address: Sitka Baranof Warm Springs, Alaska 99835
Season: Summer | Not accessible in winter months
GPS: 57°05′22″N 134°49′59″W
Nearby Lodging: Baranof Wilderness Lodge | 44 Warm Springs Bay, Sitka, AK 99835 | 530-582-8132