WELCOME TO TENAKEE SPRINGS
“Home of the Hot Springs”
By maintaining the community’s pristine natural environment, Tenakee Springs can continue to boast having the region’s best in fishing, hunting and wild life viewing. And of course, there are the legendary HOT SPRINGS!
Only 45 miles southwest of Juneau, Tenakee Springs is a small, remote community of about 100 people located on the east side of the scenic Chichagof Island on Tenakee Inlet.
The area encompasses 12 square miles of land and 5 square miles of water; and is accessible only by boat or plane. The main street that is only about three miles long and a local ordinance prohibits cars and trucks; so people travel through town by foot, bike or the occasional off-road 4-wheeler.
The legendary hot springs bath house is well known throughout Southeast Alaska and has been a constant in Tenakee Springs’ history. For centuries miners, packers, trappers, prospectors and other passers-by stopped at the hot springs for a rejuvenating bath. In 1900 the hot spring was enclosed in a log cabin. The room currently housing the tub was built in 1939. The natural mineral water flows at a constant rate of about 7 gallons per minute and maintains a steady temperature of about 107F, even into coldest parts of winter.
In addition to the hot springs bath house, there is a smattering of other buildings in the village; most of them historic and home to eateries, galleries and craft shops. Snyder’s Mercantile is the most iconic. With its bright teal exterior, the shop was established in 1899 and now operates as the Tenakee Market. The Blue Moon Cafe’ has been serving the people out of its home for over 50 years and The Bakery is located in the historic Shamrock Building and has become famous for its warm, fresh cinnamon rolls.
There is also a Fire Hall, St Francis Chapel, a Community Center, a school and a newly upgraded boat harbor and Seaplane dock.
While the options for shopping may be few, the outdoor adventures in Tenakee Springs are boundless.
Hunting, kayaking and sailing are also staples of the Tenakee Springs experience.
Long abandoned logging roads interconnect to create hiking trails across the island. The calm waters of the inlet attract 750,000 salmon that come to spawn each year making Tenakee Springs a perfect place for a fruitful fishing trip.
Humpback whales frequently pass by the town and can often be seen from the road or a balcony as they breech the waters. Orcas, too, can easily be spotted from the village, making Tenakee Springs a hidden gem for the whale watching world.
With so many activities to choose from, locals will tell you that it takes at least a week to experience it all.
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.
BEAR WATCHING – Tenakee is a bear paradise. Brown bears can be spotted in all areas of Tenakee inlet.
FISHING – Tenakee Inlet is twenty-six miles long and its calm waters makes a day of fishing fun and relaxing for even the most beginner fisherman. Coho and chum are among the many fish species that can be found within the the fourteen rivers that flow into Tenakee’s nutrient rich inlets. However, salmon is far and away the most common fish species in the inlet. Nearly 750,000 salmon migrate to Tenakee Inlet to spawn including the largest species of salmon, the Chinook. Guided fishing service can be found at Fishing Bear Charters.
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.
HOT SPRINGS – The famous Tenakee hot springs are a rare natural treasure. They have long provided natives, guests and weary travelers alike a relaxing place to soak away all cares. A visit to Tenakee Springs is not complete without a few hours spent in the truly one-of-a kind bath house.
YOGA – All the walking, hiking and kayaking requires a good stretch. Visit Buckley Yoga Studio for the gentle experience of Hatha yoga.
HUNTING – Like so many other outdoor activities, hunting is wildly popular in Tenakee. In fact, many residents the delicious deer meat that abounds in the local area is a staple in the diet of the locals.
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. Phone 907-736-2350.
SAILING – A sail boat is another great way to see Tenakee’s breathtaking scenery and array of marine life from the water.
WHALE WATCHING – It is nearly impossible not to spot a while during a visit to Tenakee Springs. Groups of whales can be seen breaching out of the water so you can see them or spy hopping, which is when the whales come up higher out of the water and turn to gain a better view of their surroundings above water before splashing below once again.
The most common types of whales attracted to the inlet are the large groups of bubble-feeding humpback whales that can be seen traveling in groups of 6 to 15 feeding in the Tenakee Inlet sanctuary before swimming the long distance to the Hawaiian islands. They can be observed bubble-feeding between June and September with the most activity in August and September.
Orcas are also frequently seen in the inlet traveling in groups ranging in size from 6 to 75; the mammal eaters and the salmon eaters. These type of whales fall into two distinct categories, mammal eaters and salmon eaters.
Fishing Bear Charters provides a whale friendly boating experience on the 50 ft Seatonic Two. Their faster, smaller boat, the Fishing Bear, gets visitors close to the whales and kayaking is another great option for an up close and personal experience.
SHOPPING & DINING
Party Time Bakery
Party-Time Bakery is Tenakee’s a delightful breakfast/lunch café and the village’s only art gallery. It is located in the historic Shamrock Building and features locally and regionally made arts and crafts, including works by renowned Alaskan artist and long time Tenakee resident Rie Munoz.
Monday – Saturday, 8am to 2pm, Sunday 9am to 2pm
SPRING & FALL: On a reduced schedule
Closed in the winter
Rosie’s Blue Moon Café
Rosie’s has been serving people for over 50 years. As one of the oldest eateries in Tenakee, Rosie’s has served the cannery workers, loggers, and guests from around the world.
Don’t miss this Tenakee icon.
There are only two public ways to get to Tenakee Springs -fly in by Seaplane or sail in by Ferry.
Seaplane: Alaska Seaplanes Service provides daily service and charter service, weather permitting. Schedule flights easily with their online system.
Ferry: The Alaska Marine Highway System
The State Ferry provides passenger transportation only, since there is no vehicle landing facilities or local roads in Tenakee.
The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) provides regular ferry service to Tenakee from Juneau twice weekly on the ferry M/V LeConte.
If the reservation system does not show the Tenakee stop, it’s recommended that you call the AMHS reservation call center at 800-642-0066.
WHERE TO STAY
Tenakee Springs has limited options for lodging available to visitors. Reservations should be made well in advance. Camping is also allowed in the forest although there are no public campgrounds.
Sea View Cottage
Phone: (907) 314.3439
Rates: Nightly: $100/night (2 night minimum) plus 8% tax
Weekly: $500/wk plus 8% tax
Monthly: $1500/mo. plus 8% tax
Seasonal: 6 mo. minimum $600/mo (no tax).
A refundable, $200 deposit is required upon booking.
Modern, cozy and fully furnished the cabin includes a fully equipped kitchen, queen-sized bed, washer & dryer and an attached covered deck that provides awesome views of Tenakee Inlet.
Phone: (907) 736-2493
Mailing: PO Box 534, Tenakee Springs, AK 99841
Offers two separate guest rooms in beautiful downtown Tenakee Springs. Both rooms have a microwave oven, toaster oven, mini refrigerator, private bathroom with shower, and outdoor decks with gorgeous views of Tenakee Inlet. There is also an outdoor kitchen with refrigeration and a gas barbecue available for use. Linens, dishes, pots, and pans are provided.
Bear Rental Cabin
• Phone: (907) 736-2252
• Email: email@example.com
• Rate: $85.00 plus city tax (8%)
A cozy cabin with one king size bed, conveniently located next door to the Blue Moon Café and around the corner from the Tenakee Springs Market and the famous Hot Springs.
Tenakee Hot Springs Lodge
With five large comfortable bedrooms; two and a half bathrooms, full kitchen, freezers, bicycles, wireless Internet, home cooked meals, satellite TV and breathtaking views, this lodge can comfortably fit large and small groups.
Terry has been painting since childhood and creating and selling arts and crafts since her teens in local street fairs and in occasional swap-meets.
Moving to Southeast Alaska in her early twenties she became enamored with the intense and wild beauty of the state.
Cougar Productions was established in 1986 in Skagway Alaska as a sole proprietorship, painting signs and making porcupine and fossil ivory earrings for the large tourist trade there.
Moving to Tenakee Springs in 1988 where she has continued to paint and manufacture her crafts, fine arts, paintings, cards, prints, sign painting and even selling beer supplies to the local home brewers.
Cynthia Meyer Photography
Do you have great memories of your visit to Tenakee Springs, Alaska, but were unable to capture them with your own camera? Would you like to view the town in both close-up and landscape shots throughout all seasons and weathers? Check out Cynthia Meyer’s web page at: http://cynthiameyerphotography.smugmug.com/ where you can view hundreds of images of the area from the comfort of your own home. Cynthia’s photography highlights the nature and landscape of Southeast Alaska, with an emphasis on Tenakee Springs, but includes some of her travel images also. Her goal is to create fine art by the study of light, color and composition and to have fun doing it. Several years ago she decided she wanted to share her passion for photography by making her images available to a larger audience. The Internet is the vehicle she chose and SmugMug is the company she works with.
Her pottery forms are inspired by the coastal habitat surrounding her home. As an artist and a teacher, she walks in two creative worlds – exploring and expressing her own vision and helping others to discover and develop theirs.
Raven Clayworks – Kathleen Wiest Studios
PO Box 46
Tenakee Springs, AK 99841
Phone (907) 321-2024