A Colorado hot springs resort is one thing that people don’t automatically associate with a visit to Colorado. But if you think about it, when you’re on an active vacation in Colorado, with the muscular aches and pains that go along with it, indulging in a hot springs visit is definitely appropriate. If you want to spend a relaxing day sitting in and around a warm creek or pool, you’re going to love this gem of a hot springs resort, Mount Princeton Hot Springs. There are so many reasons to LOVE this hot springs resort. Here are just a few.
Mt. Princeton Location
There are Colorado hot springs located all over the state, but Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort is conveniently located for everyone living in a city on the Front Range. That includes folks in Denver, Fort Collins, Pueblo, Colorado Springs and everywhere in between. Mt. Princeton Resort is located in Nathrop, Colorado between Buena Vista and Salida where there are plenty of shopping, museums, and activities to keep you busy during the day.
It’s easy to plan a day trip or a visit of several days to Mt. Princeton Hot Springs. I live three hours away from Mt. Princeton and recently took a mid-week trip for several days in late spring. Those who live even closer can easily take a day trip for a few hours of soaking and enjoying the scenery and ambiance. There are tall trees and mountains surrounding you as you soak in the hot water of these springs. In the late afternoon, there are deer that feed among the trees and cabins close to Chalk Creek which flows through the resort. It’s such a peaceful setting that promotes deep relaxation.
Mt. Princeton Soaking Options
There are a number of soaking options available at Mt. Princeton. Each one is a little different in style, type, and ages permitted.
Historic Bath House
The Historic Bath House at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort was originally built in 1867. Of course, it HAS been renovated since then! Included in admission to the Bath House are the Soaking Pool, the Exercise Pool, and Chalk Creek springs. You can walk down into the creek and build your own “pool” to spend time in, soaking to your heart’s content. Admission for adults is $20/day or $15/day for adults 62 and older from Monday-Thursday. The price is $5 more on weekends. However, if you are staying overnight at the resort, these are included in the price of your stay. The Historic Bath House is open to the public year-round and not restricted in ages allowed. It’s open until 11:00 PM in case you want to get in some great stargazing.
The Spa and Club at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs
The Spa and Club pools are a serene sanctuary open to guests of the Resort ages 16 and up. They are also open until 11:00 PM. There is a large Relaxation Pool with lounge chairs surrounding it. Of all the Colorado Hot Springs I have visited, this is my very favorite setting.
You’re welcome to purchase food and drinks from the Juice Bar just inside the poolside building where the spa and dressing rooms are located. My favorite poolside drink is like a chocolate banana split with cherries! So good!!!
There are classes you can take through the Spa in and out of the water. Of course, the Spa also has relaxing treatments and massages to indulge yourself while there. If you stay overnight, you can receive a 10% discount on spa services.
Located beside the Relaxation Pool are three Cascading Pools. Each one is like a hot tub with natural seating all around. Water flows from the Chalk Creek springs and cascades down to each of the three pools. I did notice that the nearest pool was the hottest in temperature, with the second and third pools decreasing in temperature as water flowed from one to the other pools. The middle pool was “just right” for me.
Unless the snowmelt coming down the mountains in Chalk Creek makes the creek flow too high and fast, you are able to access the actual Creekside Hot Springs. You can usually go in the creek springs during early spring and fall. Late summer is usually ok too unless there is an unusually high amount of snowmelt.
Upper Pools and Slide
There are upper pools and a 400-foot slide open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. This area accommodates large crowds of people and is great for families. This pool area is located across the road from the main Lodge building. As you can imagine, this is where the kids all want to be! So unless you plan to bring children to the resort, or you’re still just a kid inside, you may want to stay in the other pools.
There is also a brand new Family Relaxation pool that opened in July 2019 and is adjacent to the other pool and slide area. The last I heard, the plan is for this pool to open earlier in spring and close in early winter. That will give the upper area a longer season for families to enjoy.
Mt. Princeton Resort Lodging Options
There are several lodging options available for those who plan to spend more than one day at the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort.
The Main Lodge
There are nine beautiful rooms available in the main lodge building. If you like staying close to the action, this is YOUR place. The onsite restaurant and bar are in the main building so you don’t have to walk far for dining. Of course, the Historic Bath House and Spa pools are nearby as well.
This set of rooms is above and away from other areas of the resort. You may see wildlife around your patio overlooking the rest of the property. Deer may wander close by creating a serene setting. You’ll have panoramic views of the mountains from the patio outside your room at Cliffside. I have to say that viewing mountain sunsets from Cliffside is absolutely stunning! These rooms also come with vaulted ceilings, creating a sense of space, and mini-refrigerators.
Hillside rooms are located near the family-oriented upper pools and slide. The views are amazing from these rooms. The mountains seem to soar upward from very nearby. Relaxation comes easy when your stay includes a Hillside room closest to the mountain peaks.
These newest suites located in three areas along the creek lend a modern resort feeling similar to a townsite. There are twenty-five units complete with modern furnishings and accessories. Some of them have a central fireplace to warm up beside. Located east of the main lodge, historic bathhouse, and spa areas, and right in the middle of Chalk Creek, they each have a balcony or patio overlooking the creek. When the water isn’t too high, lodgers can sit in the creek hot springs for a unique soaking experience.
Finally, there are 1-2 bedroom cabins located throughout the property. They each contain fireplaces and stovetops. Decks or patios are included for rocking and relaxing. Chalk Creek views and the sounds of the flowing water provide the ultimate relaxation getaway.
Dining Options at Mt. Princeton
The Princeton Club Restaurant is located in the main lodge and serves Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. When the weather is warm enough, you have the option of dining inside or outside on the patio with fantastic views of the Chalk Cliffs and mountain peaks. We enjoyed all of our meals here during our stay and never felt the need to go looking for other options outside of the resort. The food was exquisite and the presentation was lovely. I don’t want to leave out the desserts. They are simply to die for! Kudos to the chef for all of the outstanding offerings!
Between mealtimes, beginning at 11:30 AM through 9:00 PM, you can order tapas or “small plates.” You can also have soup, salad, or burgers anytime.
The Princeton Club Bar is located directly across from the restaurant in the main lodge. It is a full-service bar where you can have your favorite cocktails before dinner. They also serve tapas and burgers at the bar. In fact, if you get the late-night munchie, you can order burgers up until 11:00 PM.
The Juice Bar at the Spa and Club is located across Chalk Creek and offers sandwiches, salads, snacks, and drinks. This is THE place to be when you just can’t bring yourself to leave the warmth and relaxation of the pools to get dressed for a meal. The Juice Bar is open from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM Monday through Thursday and from 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM Friday through Sunday.
When to Go to Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort
Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort is open all year long. Winter provides a peaceful setting with snow on the grounds. And boy, do those hot springs pools feel good at that time of year? The concierge can help you schedule activities like skiing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and other fun winter things to do.
Springtime feels fresh and new when some trees and flowers begin to bloom. It’s still quite chilly in early spring, but this is primetime for creating your own private “pool” in Chalk Creek hot springs. This is prime relaxation time and a great time to get away from it all.
Summer brings lots of families to the resort and there are all types of activities available then. There are hikes to go on, horseback riding, white water rafting nearby and plenty of time to soak in the hot springs.
Autumn brings changing leaves and the Aspen trees are brilliant with gold and orange foliage. September is prime leaf viewing season at Mt. Princeton. A hike in the woods and fresh cool air of fall is bracing and simply not to be missed.
A Little Lagniappe (something extra)
While staying at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs, you will not want to miss a nearby ghost town! St. Elmo is accessible by car or all-wheel drive vehicles in winter. It is an old mining town set up high in the mountains. From May to October, there is a general store open where you can buy soft drinks, T-shirts, and other small items. The ghost town buildings themselves are privately owned and you can’t go inside them, but many have displays in the windows or open windows. You can gaze inside and maybe catch a glimpse of old mining tools, lamps, or furnishings. It’s a very cool place to visit and one of the most accessible ghost towns in Colorado.
The Wrap Up
If you’re planning a trip to Colorado, remember to schedule some time at Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort. It’s easy to get to from the Front Range cities and provides the mountain activities you want PLUS a hot springs relaxation that cannot be matched anywhere. I highly recommend a stay in this magical playground in the mountains! Just click the link in this paragraph to get to their website.
If you want to learn more about special places to visit in Colorado, check out these posts: https://adventuresbeyondthenest.com/perfect-day-trip-to-estes-park-and-rocky-mountain-np/ https://adventuresbeyondthenest.com/how-to-plan-a-fall-foliage-tour/ https://adventuresbeyondthenest.com/what-a-glorious-autumn-season/
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