Serpentine Hot Springs in Alaska can most accurately be described as a “little oasis in a field of green, surrounded by a fence of granite”. It’s the most heavily visited area in the entire Bering Land Bridge National Preserve with visitors and locals lining up for a soak in the healing waters.
Secluded in Western Alaska, they are located inside of an enclosed, remote bathhouse or outside waters.
Natural Hot Springs Pools
A visit to Serpentine Hot Springs offers both a fantastic Alaskan cultural experience as well as a significant geological experience like no other. Visitors may observe wildlife such as raptors, songbirds, caribou, brown bears, red fox, moose, beavers, and moose. The highlight is bathing and relaxing while taking in the extraordinary granite “tors,” which spire over the landscape.
The steamy oasis of Serpentine Hot Springs is encompassed by freestanding spires of rock rising abruptly from the surrounding landscape. This particular Alaskan hot spring boasts two thermal areas, the Serpentine Hot Springs proper and Arctic Hot Springs.
The hot spring water is piped into a quaint, red bathhouse that is just waiting to provide you with protection from the elements and a day of healing. If you prefer to soak outside while taking in the breathtaking views, the outdoor pool is also available for your enjoyment.
Temperatures can be as high as 170°F, so use caution. Cooler water is piped in, but in cold months when pipes can freeze, be prepared to carry water in buckets from the river to cool the high temperatures.
Bunkhouse and Amenities
Serpentine Hot Springs offers a first-come, first-served bunkhouse, bathhouse, and outhouse that can be used by every visitor. No reservations are required.
The bunkhouse is divided into three rooms that sleep 12 people on bunk beds. Coleman stoves and a heat drip stove are available for use inside the bunkhouse. Make sure to bring your own fuel, oil, and matches.
You will also find a bear-safe storage locker and basic cooking, cutlery, and cleaning supplies. Make sure to pack out all of your trash! As for drinking water, you must filter all water for coliform bacteria and giardia. Two gravity-fed Katadyn filters are located inside the bunkhouse for your safety.
An outhouse is located near the bunkhouse and airstrip. Make sure to bring your own toilet paper.
Like so many Alaskan hot springs, no open roads lead to Serpentine Hot Springs. The vast preserve where Serpentine is located can only be accessed by foot, snowmobile, bike, or small airplane. Visitors most often travel on bush planes operated from Kotzebue and Nome, Alaska. These planes are able to land within a short walk from the bunkhouse, bathhouse, and outhouse that are located on-site.
Adequate snow cover in winter months allows for snowmobile access to the springs. A typical two-day, 100-mile journey from Nome, Alaska, serves as a grand Alaskan adventure. A GPS is necessary and the need for outdoor snow camping in extreme weather is to be expected.
If you would rather discover the springs in warmer months, hiking and biking from Nome or Deering are always possible. You will be hiking through wild tundra with no trails. Hike prepared! Pack enough food, water, and a sturdy shelter, as well as bear protection.
Note that ATVs are prohibited.
Serpentine Hot Springs offers an unforgettable experience no matter the season. Summer provides mild temperatures and beautiful weather for hiking or biking through the wide-open tundra. Fall offers slopes covered with wild berries and brilliant autumn colors. In winter, the steamy waters beckon visitors from the cold and spring boasts a land beaming with overwhelming wildflowers.
You can’t go wrong with the decision to explore the great outdoors at Serpentine Hot Springs!
Location: Bearing Land Bridge NP, Alaska 99772
Season: Year-round | Prepare for extreme weather conditions
GPS: 65.8569N, 164.7142W