As you travel Alaska and take in all their amazing attractions and places to visit, don’t forget to stop by some of the more relaxing areas to recharge for your next adventure. Goddard Hot Springs, located roughly 45 minutes from Sitka, Alaska and right smack in the middle of a wilderness forest offers some of the best scenic views while soaking in one of the oldest natural mineral waters in the state.
At Goddard Hot Springs, there are two bathhouses for you to enjoy. Because it isn’t like a typical resort and is free to use anytime, it is first come first serve so be sure you either get their early or be prepared to wait a bit. There is also an outhouse and walkway to an from the area. The bathhouses are enclosed in a small shelter and the tubs offer hot and cold valves. The natural waters themselves come in at a hot 153 degrees Fahrenheit so you can play with the colder water so you don’t boil yourself.
History of Goddard Hot Springs
As one of the oldest natural springs in Alaska, Indians used the area as a healing area for their sick back in the 1800’s. There were three cottages set up to house everyone and it quickly became a popular place for Europeans to travel to once they caught wind of the healing benefits. By the late 1800s more buildings were constructed and even a small hotel as people sought refuge here to cure any ailments. As time went on Goddard Hot Springs lost it’s allure and by 1940’s the buildings were torn down and two cedar bathhouses constructed. Present day the springs is operated by the city of Sitka.
Lodging and Camping
Due to Goddard Hot Springs being located in the wilderness you won’t find many places with amenities unless you stay in the city of Sitka. However, for the adventurers there are several great camping areas just above the springs where you can take in the Northern Lights before settling in for the night. If camping isn’t your style, there are some cabins available right across the hot springs bay which gives you access to restaurants.
Unfortunately traveling to Goddard Hot Springs isn’t as easy as driving by car. The most popular form of transportation is through a boat charter from Sitka. The tour guides are happy to take you the 16 miles there while giving you a great history lesson and pointing out some amazing coves to explore. Depending on who you go with, some charters will even stay there while you soak in the waters in order to return you to Sitka when you are ready.
The second option is by a floatplane. There are several rental companies for you to choose from.
The third option and probably the most excited is getting their by paddle trip. Although this is typically a 3 day excursion, it’s one of those stories you can tell for the rest of your life.
After you visit Goddard Hot Springs, you may also want to try Baranof Warm Springs while in Sitka.
Address: Sitka, Alaska 99835
Season: All Year
GPS: 56.846531, -135.379772