Pilgrim Hot Springs is a unique destination in Nome, Alaska that was recently listed among the National Register of Historic Places. The picturesque road to get there is part of the adventure and the payoff is a long, hot, steamy bath.
Once known to locals at the Kruszgamepa Hot Springs in the 1900s, this historical landmark is now a ghost town. In the past, the hot springs were used as a recreation location for miners to bathe, dance in the dancehall, frequent the saloon, and stay overnight.
When the saloon and roadhouse burned in 1908, the property was gifted to a Catholic orphanage and mission for the care of children.
Now, ruins of the orphanage school, church, and properties remain, along with a few thermal pools where visitors can soak. Currently, the 320 acres surrounding Pilgrim Hot Springs is owned by Unataaq, LLC and has the potential to develop into a tourist attraction as well as a source of geothermal energy to reduce the city of Nome’s electrical costs.
Hot Springs Pools
Visitors can enjoy being surrounded by balsam poplar, cottonwood, and pine trees as well as over a dozen historical buildings while soaking in the steaming hot outdoor springs.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Pilgrim Hot Springs is discovered at the end of a breathtaking 68-mile drive along some of the Nome, Alaska’s most eye-catching and picturesque highway. The payoff comes when you get to strip down in the middle of the almost unbearably cold Nome temperatures to bathe outdoors in the 178°F healing waters.
Before You Go
All visitors must obtain permission before entering the orphanage and hot springs site of Pilgrim Hot Springs. You can visit the Nome Visitors Center, the Bering Straits Native Corporation offices, or even the Aurora Inn upon arrival to Nome to request a no-fee recreational use permit.
Make sure to pack food, water, and mosquito repellant to ensure a wonderful day of history and bathing. There are no overnight options at Pilgrim Hot Springs due to its National Register of Historic Places status. Campsites are available outside of the location and there are many Airbnb and other lodging options in nearby Nome.
Pilgrim Hot Springs is best arrived at by car from the city of Nome.
- Travel the Nome-Kougarok Road towards mile 53.
- Turn left at the marked sign.
- A seven-mile gravel road that offers sweeping views of the Kigualik mountain range and Imuruk Basin will deliver you to the entrance of the springs.
Note: A four-wheel-drive vehicle is necessary for travel over the rough and rocky road. Visitors may also charter air service to a small airfield at the site of the springs.
Address: Kougarok Rd, Nome, Alaska 99762
GPS: 65°05′34″N 164°55′23″W