Bell Island Hot Springs, Bell Island

Bell Island Hot Springs, Bell Island

by | Nov 2, 2018

Bell Island is about 40 miles (65 km) north of Ketchikan on Behm Canal, in the Alexander Archipelago of Southeast Alaska. Captain George Vancouver first visited the island on August 12, 1793, and later named it “Bell’s Island” after one of his crew, Midshipman Edward Bell.

The hot springs are located on the southwest coast of Bell Island, at the head of a small bight. The water temperatures range from 125-175 degrees Fahrenheit (50-80 degrees Celsius). The hot springs have probably been used for centuries by Native tribes who recognized the medicinal qualities of the springs and the mineral water. Ketchikan residents reportedly began visiting the hot springs, probably on the advice of local Natives, in the early 1890s, and by 1899, there was a small bathhouse and a tub.

In 1904, the property became private when George Roe filed for a homestead on the federal land for more than 100 acres (40.5 ha) that included the hot springs. Since then various owners have alternately developed and abandoned the facilities. Alaska Airlines leased the property and managed it from 1967 to 1970. A boardwalk of 1500 feet (457 m) connected the deepwater dock to the resort, which included cabins and a pool 80 feet (25 m) long fed only by mineral water. In 1980, the Seattle Times listed Bell Island as one of Alaska’s top 10 attractions. In 2015, the property was purchased by a family from Ketchikan. Read more here and here. Explore more of Bell Island and the hot springs here:

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