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Baranof Warm Springs

Sitka, Alaska USA

“Soak in the Hot Springs by a raging river”

Baranof Warm Springs is a small, primarily seasonally-occupied community in Alaska, located on the eastern side of Baranof Island, from which it likely derives its name, in the Alexander Archipelago. It is occasionally referred to simply as Baranof. Baranof Warm Springs is located on Warm Springs Bay which is just off of Chatham Strait. Just about a half mile up from the settlement is Baranof Lake, a large glacially-fed freshwater lake. Baranof Lake is fed from small unnamed glacial run-off streams as well as the relatively large Baranof River. Baranof Warm Springs is located on the southern part of a 34-mile long, 5 to 10 mile wide exposure of a biotite-quartz diorite batholith that crosses northern Baranof Island. The primary attraction is the warm springs. There are a total of nine separate hot springs with temperatures from luke warm to 120 degrees F. Only one is developed in a natural state and is located right up against the white water of the Baranof River. The community built a public bathhouse at the waterfront to provide an option for visitors not wanting to bath communally and/or make the 1/4 mile hike up the trail to the natural springs. Small tour boats come in frequently in the summer, but also fishermen, and employees of the Hidden Falls Hatchery visit as well. The warm springs is also the terminus (or occasionally the trailhead) of the Baranof Cross-Island Trail. On the northern end of Baranof Lake there is also a Forest Service cabin that is quite popular. The cabin can only be reached by boat or float plane. The terrain is too steep to hike.

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