Photo thanks to Cynthia Meyer

Tenakee Springs

Population 130

Getting to Tenakee Springs

Alaska Seaplanes provides service up to 3 times daily in summer and 2 times daily in winter. Charter service, weather permitting is also available.

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Tenakee Springs has a small year-round population which swells in the summertime with seasonal second-home owners, tourists, and transient yacht traffic. A narrow road separates the homes against the hillside from those built on pilings out over the beach on Tenakee Inlet.

About Tenakee Springs

Home of the Hot Springs

Tenakee Springs boasts having the region’s best in fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing by maintaining the community’s pristine natural environment. Located southwest of Juneau and on the east side of Chichagof Island, Tenakee Springs is a small and remote community that can only be accessed by boat or plane. The community encompasses 12 square miles of land and five square miles of water and the main street is only about three miles long. A local ordinance prohibits cars and trucks so people travel through town by foot, bike, or occasionally by an off-road 4-wheeler.

The town’s legendary hot springs bath house is well-known throughout Southeast Alaska. For centuries, miners, packers, trappers, prospectors, and all manner of passers-by stopped at the hot springs for a rejuvenating bath. In 1900 the hot spring was enclosed in a log cabin and the room currently housing the tub was built in 1939. The natural mineral water filling the spring flows at a constant rate of about seven gallons per minute and maintains a steady temperature of about 107 degrees Fahrenheit or 41 degrees Celsius, even into the coldest parts of winter.

Tenakee Springs also includes various other buildings besides the bath house. Some of these buildings include historic eateries, galleries, and craft shops. Synder’s Mercantile is the most iconic of the buildings with its bright teal exterior. The mercantile was established in 1899 and now operates as the Tanakee Market. For over 50 years the Blue Moon Cafe has been serving people and The Bakery, located in the historic Shamrock building, is famous for its warm, fresh cinnamon rolls.

Staple activities of Tenakee Springs, besides bathing in the hot spring, include hunting, kayaking, and sailing. The calm waters of the inlet attract close to 750,000 salmon that come to spawn each year. These roads and waters make Tenakee Springs the perfect place for a fruitful trip.

Tenakee Springs Activities

  • Yoga


    All the walking, hiking, and kayaking require is a good stretch. Visit Buckley Yoga Studio for the gentle experience of Hatha yoga.

  • Sailing


    A sailboat is another great way to see Tenakee’s breathtaking scenery and an array of marine life from the water.

  • Kayaking


    Always a perfect way to take in stunning views and get an up-close glimpse of whales, seals, sea otters, sea lions, and a menagerie of Tenakee’s marine life. Kayak rentals are available through Fishing Bear Charters/Tenakee Eco Tours.

  • Hiking


    There are great hiking trails that lead out of Tenakee. Some of these trails meet up with abandoned logging roads that snake through the island for hundreds of miles. You can hike from one end of Chichagof island to the other.

  • Bear Watching

    Bear Watching

    Tenakee is a bear paradise. Brown bears can be spotted in all areas of Tenakee inlet.

  • Bird Watching

    Bird Watching

    Bird watching is a visitor favorite in Tenakee. With hundreds of species of birds living in and around Tenakee, be sure to bring your binoculars to see how many you can spot.

  • Whale Watching

    Whale Watching

    Besides fishing, the waters of Tenakee Springs are also great for spotting Humpback and Orca whales. The whales can often be seen from the road or a balcony, making Tenakee Springs a hidden gem for the whale watching world.

Getting to Tenakee Springs

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Unseen Alaska

Unseen Alaska

Unseen Alaska

Explore the unseen side of Alaska. Discover the hidden gems of the Inside Passage

Unseen Alaska offers a unique experience whether you want to fish, explore a national forest, relax in hot springs, go kayaking, hike or pick fresh berries. These five community's streets aren’t cluttered with cars, but they are full of welcoming faces and warm places to enjoy the serene landscape.

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