Photo by Kawerak, Inc.
Photo Credit Kawerak, Inc.
Photo by Kawerak, Inc.
Photo by Kawerak, Inc.
Welcome to Pilgrim Hot Springs
Pilgrim Hot Springs is now closed for the winter. If you are interested in visiting by snowmachine or helicopter during the off-season, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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. Quyaana!
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!
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.
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.
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, would look stunning draped in white canvas, and is on ground firm enough for several tables 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, conference, wedding or other event at Pilgrim Hot Springs next summer? We are excited to work with you.
During the early 2010's, Alaska Center for Energy and Power worked in partnership with Unaatuq, LLC, as well as other regional and state partners, to drill geothermal test wells at the site.
Unaatuq is actively working on projects and seeking funding related to energy-generation and direct use of geothermal fluids.
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.
Currently, we are starting vegetables to be planted on site in summer 2021 as a test crop. The produce will be harvested in late summer.
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.