Photo by Kawerak, Inc.
Welcome to Pilgrim Hot Springs
Pilgrim Hot Springs is now closed for the winter season.
If you have any questions about wintertime visits, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep an eye on our social media or website for announcements.
As of July 21, 2023, day pass permits for visiting Pilgrim Hot Springs
will be offered at NO CHARGE
Quyanna to Norton Sound Health Corporation for their sponsorship!
"Promoting Wellness of Mind, Body, and Spirit."
Pilgrim Hot Springs is a lush tree oasis with a unique past. On the National Register of Historic Places, this 320 acre property is located in remote Northwestern Alaska, nestled between Hen and Chickens Hill and the Kigluaik Mountain range.
Pilgrim Hot Springs was purchased in late 2009 from the Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska by a consortium of seven organizations in the Bering Strait region, including Bering Straits Native Corporation, Teller Native Corporation, White Mountain Native Corporation, Mary’s Igloo Native Corporation, Kawerak, Inc., Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation, and Sitnasuak Native Corporation. Later, Teller's share was sold to Council Native Corporation. The seven owners formed Unaatuq, LLC which is governed by a board of directors with representation from each owner-organization.
Bering Straits Native Corporation and Kawerak, Inc. are co-managing members of Unaatuq and handle the day-to-day operations of the property and business. Please explore our website or contact us to learn more about visiting this unique destination in Northwestern Alaska. Quyanna!
LISTEN TO "UNAATUQ"
Pilgrim Hot Springs is located approximately 60 miles Northeast of Nome, Alaska. (Remember, there will be no cell service once you leave the city). When leaving Nome, travel two miles east on Front Street, and take a left on Beam Road, heading north. Beam Road turns into the Kougarok Road. Around mile 53 take a left onto a gravel road. On the corner will be an old yellow dozer and you should see a green sign noting "Pilgrim Hot Springs - 7 miles" Take the Pilgrim Road for 7 miles at a slow pace. Please park by the gate at the far end after the shipping containers on site, but do not block the gate. "Guest parking" signs are visible for your reference. Questions? Contact us!
RESPECTING THE LAND
The Pilgrim Hot Springs property is surrounded
exclusively by the Indigenous-owned land of Mary's Igloo Native Corporation. The sacred tundra should be respected, and no entrance to the land outside of Pilgrim Hot Springs is allowed without a permit from MINC.
The road leading into the property crosses through Bering Straits Native Corporation land, Bureau of Land Management land, and finally onto Mary's Igloo Native Corporation land before coming to the main entrance.
To access Pilgrim Hot Springs via road or air you do not need the additional MINC permit.
In 1917, the Catholic Diocese of Nome acquired the Pilgrim homestead. Our Lady of Lourdes Orphanage was built on the site, as well as 14 other structures. A staff of around 20 priests, nuns and other workers ran the facility, which housed around 100 children annually, the first of which were mainly orphans of the 1918 flu epidemic.
Many of the original orphanage structures are still standing, though are in a state of deterioration, including the large two-story church. After more than 20 years of operation and the decline of orphans in need, the mission closed down in 1941. After that time a series of caretakers took care of the Pilgrim Hot Springs property, until it was purchased by Unaatuq in 2009.
EXPLORE THE AREA
Look around you to see scenic landmarks of the Seward Peninsula. Take a walk through time at the abandoned orphanage, explore the property, and relax in the hot springs pool. Enjoy a vast amount of migratory birds that pass through this region, as well as the other flora and fauna of the Bering Strait region.
If you are interested in hiking outside our borders or crossing into Pilgrim Hot Springs from the river, please contact Mary's Igloo Native Corporation for a permit to access their land.
EVENTS ON SITE
Our high tunnel structure, originally intended for gardening, will look stunning draped in your decorations, and is on ground firm enough for tables and chairs, or even a dance floor! Let your imagination run wild with the Kigluaik mountains and lush cottonwood trees as the background for your next event.
Interested in hosting a party, reunion, conference, wedding or other event at Pilgrim Hot Springs next summer? We are excited to work with you.
This sub-Arctic oasis has been a site for agriculture and farming activities since the early 1900's.
From 2016-2018, a strong gardening effort was made at Pilgrim Hot Springs to grow local produce for the region. Many impressive vegetables were harvested to the delight of local customers. The gardens rested for a couple years after this effort.
In 2021, we planted a small test crop that produced a successful harvest. Currently, for the 2022 season, we are revitalizing the garden area by the old mission complex. Stay tuned for more updates on this effort.
Unaatuq is actively working on projects and seeking funding related to energy-generation and direct use of geothermal fluids. Co-managing owner Kawerak, Inc. is currently in negotiations with the Department of Energy - Office of Indian Energy for a renewable energy project. With this funding from DOE-OIE, Unaatuq will build a small Organic Rankine Cycle power plant using an existing well, to power onsite facilities. We will update this information more as the project progresses!
FLORA & FAUNA
Pilgrim Hot Springs boasts not only relaxing natural spas and a gorgeous landscape, but also a bounty of flora and fauna. This sub-Arctic oasis is lush and full of life.
Observe rare migratory birds as they pass through on their way to great adventures. See the majestic crane, a totem animal represented on our company logo, and a symbol of good fortune and eternal youth.