Like all of Colorado’s natural wonders, the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs were first used by Native Americans and later exploited and built out by successful miners in order to exploit the land for financial gain.
Turn Back Time
The original hotel, with a grandiose fourth-floor addition, was successful under its second owners until the Great Depression. After the crash, the hotel changed hands and direction several times before becoming what it is today. The current owners purchased Mt. Princeton in 2004 and have since made massive renovations. Today the resort maintains its western charm while also offering a modern get-away suitable for groups of all ages.
Present Day Mt. Princeton
Nestled between mountains, this spot is far more than just hot springs. We were happy to find a full-service cabin waiting for us when we arrived. These cabins feature two comfortable rooms and a full kitchen, with plenty of space for a large group and sleeping areas for up to ten. You can also stay in luxury cliff and hillside rooms or in the main lodge if you want to be in the center of it all. Either way, you will be a short walk from hot springs, drinks, and enticing meals.
Mt. Princeton has a variety of pools for swimming and soaking. The upper pools are kept around 75 degrees and are connected to an endlessly entertaining 400- foot water slide. The view of the mountains from these upper pools and the cooler temperatures are a great place for families with younger children.
On the club side, there are an array of more mature offerings including a more laid back 16 and up soaking pool and increasingly discreet romantic cascading pools. Arguably the most popular features are the natural pools that line Chalk Creek. These unsophisticated pools can be used when powerful flows created by snowmelt ease and offer a welcome return to the natural beauty of the hot springs.
When you are done swimming there are a number of activities and amenities to enjoy. Our favorite was the Princeton Club Restaurant. The rustic, elegant restaurant specializes in elevating its American Alpine fair by using local produce and bringing organic ingredients to the mountain whenever possible. Both the meal and the drinks from the Princeton Club Bar were lovely accoutrements to a day spent exploring the resort. Notable and appreciated in both experiences was the care put into finding both service and culinary talent.
Local Winter Sports
For our winter sports enthusiasts, regardless of how professional you are on the slopes and trails, there is an almost endless array of activities to get your sport on. From Mt Princeton, reassured with the knowledged that all bumps can be balmed in the springs later, you can access a wondrous diversity of winter (and anytime) sports options. Choose your own adventure: skiing, backcountry skiing, dog sled tours, snowmobiling, aerial adventures, fishing, golf, hiking, horseback riding, jeeping, kayaking, mountain biking, rafting, rock climbing, tennis lessons, zipline tours, and stand up paddle courses are all options.
This is not a wilderness camp, being a bit closer to luxe than your average mountain resort. Still, there is something wonderful to be said about unwinding in the shadow of the Rockies without giving up Wi-Fi, electricity, fine dining or access to a full spa.
Our advice: leave your city early and stay here as long as you can.
Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort
15870 • County Road 162 • Nathrop, CO
Toll Free: 719.395.2447
Boulder: 2h, 45m. 141 miles.
Denver: 2h, 25m. 130 miles.