Tenakee Springs

We left Hoonah a few days ago and headed down the east coast of Chichagof Island toward Tenakee Inlet. The weather was rainy and the trees were dense on the sloping walls of the island. Often we didn’t see any boats for long stretches of times, and there were no homes at all. It was beautiful. At one point we did see a number of purse seiners all working close together off a point.

The weather picked up and things were getting choppy when we saw at least 10 whale blows near the shore, so despite the choppy waves we stopped and watched for a while. Then we turned into Tenakee Inlet to head to the village of Tenakee Springs.

Tenakee Inlet

I was beginning to think there was no village after all when suddenly the community appeared behind a rock outcropping. The town has about 120 year round residents, and is a vacation spot for folks from Juneau.

The village of Tenakee Springs

We pulled into the harbor and tied up at what we were fairly sure was the transient dock since no one mans the harbor office, and paid at the honor system box. We walked into town to explore. There is a single dirt road leading through the village, lined with some pretty nice homes and in the center of town the key post office, shop and hot springs building. One side of the road is the shore side and the other goes steeply uphill into dense woods, so homes on that side are built into the hills with steep stairs and sometimes tram systems to get supplies up.

The general store – and the stoplight! We didn’t see it turn green.

We walked a long way so did need to use the public toilet.

People were quite friendly and told us about the hot springs – its community run and has been there for many decades, one man said he didn’t think the community would be there if it weren’t for the hot springs.

We all took advantage of a soak the next morning before departing during our respective gender hours. It was great – very hot and relaxing. The water flows at a good pace out of cracks in the rocks around which a cement soaking tub was build, and around that is the building with nice cedar changing room.

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