Mt Princeton Hot Springs Weekend

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What a setting!

You all know how much I love Colorado and try not to let a year pass without at least one visit.  In 2015, when my backpacking trip was cut short by illness, I spent some time exploring new (to me) areas, like Buena Vista. On my way out to St Elmo ghost town, I passed by Mt Princeton Hot Springs and knew I had to come back. As soon as I got home to a computer, I was checking calendars and availability – a year out, the fall weekends were almost booked up! I was lucky to snag a condo cabin for 3 nights in October.

The cabin area and road leading to the hot springs

I flew into Denver early on a Friday, grabbed a rental car and hit the road. Buena Vista is about 3 hours from the Denver airport. Taking the southern route, 285, is much more enjoyable than the craziness of the I-70 corridor. Technically, Mt Princeton Hot Springs is in Nathrop, about 10 minutes from Buena Vista. Buena Vista is where you’ll find a grocery store, gas stations and restaurants.

Friday night I was unexpectedly solo, thanks to a long-time friend (who I hadn’t seen in years), who stood me up. Awkward. Anywhoooo…so I spent some time in the hot springs pool and used the evening to catch up on work – unfortunately, I was still doing two jobs at work, and this trip came at the end of quarter, so I had to lug a laptop along, which I almost never do!

Catching up on work while enjoying al fresco lunch

Saturday morning, I took advantage of the free yoga class in the pool – I’ve never done water yoga before, and it was fantastic! It was 50 degrees outside, the pool is around 100 degrees…it made for a great start to the day! Later in the day, my friend Deborah arrived from Denver and we set out for a short hike at Cottonwood Pass. We couldn’t find the trail-head we were looking for, so ended up just parking at the pass and following the trail there for a bit. The view was pretty amazing, as we watched a storm roll over the next valley.

Cottonwood Pass - storms rolling in over Gunnison County

Cottonwood Pass

The aspens may have been a bit past peak, but they were still pretty spectacular! We made several photo stops along the road on the way back to our cabin.

Cottonwood Pass

When we got back to the cabin, my aunt Norie had arrived from Denver. We spent the evening cooking dinner in the cabin, and enjoying the hot springs. Before bed, I gave nighttime photography another shot, but I still need to work on it – nothing share-worthy on this trip (at least I was able to stay up past dark – thank you, shorter days!)

Sunday morning, we had a quick breakfast in the cabin and cruised the web for a suitable hike that would still allow the ladies to get back to Denver at a reasonable hour. We settled on the Poplar Gulch trail near St Elmo ghost town. We all had our SLR cameras out, so it was a leisurely stroll through the woods as we each snapped a ton of photos of the changing aspens.

Poplar Gulch Trail near St ElmoNorie and I

St Elmo

Norie and I decided to have another soak before she hit the road, so we went to some of the other pools – we first went to the river, where stones are arrayed to form pools of varying temperatures. This was a cool feature, but I didn’t love sitting in sand and rocks, so we headed back up to some of the other pools.

Sitting in the river after a dayhike

After both Norie and Deborah had gone back to Denver, I was solo again, with a lot of work to catch up on. I decided to head into Buena Vista for dinner since the wifi at the resort wasn’t great. Quincy’s Steakhouse had free wifi and 1 menu choice: steak, haha! I was able to finish most of my work and enjoy another soak before bedtime.

I had the latest flight on Monday, so I had plenty of time to find my way back to Denver. I first went into Buena Vista to hire a new realtor for my property in nearby Twin Lakes. (For sale here!)  Once that business was taken care of, I decided to drive up and see the property. I always love driving through Leadville and this time I got spritzed with snow while the nearby peaks got a dusting of white.

Road between Twin Lakes and Leadville

From there, I headed over to Breckenridge, another of my favorite mountain towns. I had lunch here and spent a few hours strolling main street, mostly window shopping. Then, it was time to begin the sad drive back to the airport. I get so sad every time I leave Colorado – so why do I keep leaving? When will I finally just stay?! Hopefully soon!

No amount of time in Colorado is ever enough, but this was a great little weekend getaway and I truly loved Mt Princeton Hot Springs resort. The wifi was bad, restaurant service spotty, but you just can’t beat the setting.  I love that it’s not right in town, but close enough to run in for anything. The resort offers a ton of different lodging options – we had the downstairs half of a cabin (called a condo cabin.) There are also full cabins, Cliffside and Hillside hotel rooms, and rooms in the lodge. In the summer, there’s a kid-friendly pool with waterslide, and the main pool and spa area have a full roster of free fitness classes.  Our cabin had a queen size bedroom, plus a pullout couch in the living room. We also had a small kitchen, which was convenient as the on-site restaurant was pricey and did not offer a lot of variety.

Mt Princeton Hot Springs - 1 Bedroom Cabin Condo

Mt Princeton Hot Springs - 1 Bedroom Cabin Condo

Mt Princeton Hot Springs - 1 Bedroom Cabin Condo

This is definitely someplace I will return to someday and hopefully sooner rather than later!  So…what other Colorado hot springs resorts do I need to check out?


Mt Princeton Hot Springs

This post is part of The Weekly Postcard blog linkup.  Check out other great posts here!


Two Traveling Texans

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31 thoughts on “Mt Princeton Hot Springs Weekend

    • Yes, definitely recommend this area! Glenwood Springs is nice, too! I think Strawberry Hot Springs is by Steamboat Springs, which is quite a haul from Denver.

  1. Yes Colorado is so pretty and I haven’t spent near enough time there. Looks like you had a great weekend in spite of your friend. The pool yoga sounds really interesting and fun, would love to try that sometime. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    • I don’t think you can ever spend enough time in Colorado! Never enough for me, anyways!

  2. Ooh this looks so relaxing and the water yoga sounds interesting! I’ve never heard of that before! Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!

    • It was…I wish water yoga was a thing here, but I suppose it wouldn’t be the same without the mountains in the background!

  3. I’ve never been to Colorado, and it’s something I really need to remedy! If only for the foliage, this place looks and sounds so wonderful! Water yoga would be… interesting, haha.

  4. That looks like such a spectacular trip! How beautiful are those views though! I really hope to explore Colorado and that area of the country more. I am really missing out on something! Such a breathtaking adventure.

  5. You can live without Wi-Fi, but it’s such a shame the restaurant isn’t as good as it could possibly be! Beautiful photos, I’ll have to visit Colorado in the Autumn.

    • It’s my favorite season in the mountains – warm days and cool nights, crisp air…ah, I can’t wait for fall again!

  6. Oh wow this place sounds like a dream. I love hot springs (especially the sound of the river ones) so it will for sure be going on to my to do list.

    • Cool, let me know what you think! If you are into backcountry camping, there are remote hot springs only accessible by hikes, which I think sounds pretty neat, but having a cozy little cabin was nice, too!

    • Thanks! Fall is my favorite – I think I took 4 weeks of vacation last year between September and October, trying to catch all the fall colors.

  7. Great info and beautiful pictures. That 100 degree hot pool looks amazing! Sometimes no wifi is a good thing, for me personally. Hope you get to go back soon- sounds like you leave your heart there.

    • I sure do! And wi-fi is usually not a necessity as I like to get off the grid, this trip was an exception due to a work situation. It was good practice for becoming a digital nomad, though 🙂

  8. It looks so beautiful in autumn. I need to go visit the US in autumn so I can see those colours. I haven’t done too much in Colorado but this place looks like its worth a visit and I would love to stay in one of those cabins too.

    • Autumn is a pretty special time in much of the US – the days are warm, nights are cool and the colors can be amazing!

  9. This looks so relaxing! I was in the Denver area for vacation a couple weeks ago and the mountains are so relaxing. I wish we would’ve had time to visit this area while we were there because it looks beautiful.

    • There is so much ground to cover in Colorado, I go every year and there are still many places I haven’t seen!

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