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On Walkabout at: The Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort, Colorado

Basic Information

Picture from Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort

Narrative

Back in August when I hiked up the 14,269 foot Mt. Antero I made the decision to stay a couple of nights at the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort at the base of the mountain.  The resort is located just off of Highway 285 south of Buena Vista in the small community of Nathrop:


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The resort is beautifully situated between Mt. Antero on the left and Mt. Princeton on the right:

Road to Mt. Princeton Hot Spring Resort

For most of the 14ers I have climbed I had to complete long drives before even starting my hike up the mountain.  So for my 16 mile round-trip hike up Mt. Antero it was quite nice to be able to stay at hotel located only a short distance from the trailhead.  When my family and I checked into the hotel I could tell that the resort was a mixture of older buildings that had a lot of new renovations done to them to include the main entrance to the lodge:

Picture from Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort

The lodge has a number of nice rooms in it which is where we stayed. The lodge is not the only place to stay at the resort.  There are also cabins of various sizes that can be rented at the resort as well in addition to cheaper hotel style rooms that are located a long walk from the hot springs.  Expect to pay at least a $125 for the cheapest rooms at the resort.  The cabins are of course much more expensive, but they look quite nice and are probably a bargain for larger groups:

Picture from Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort

The lodge is also where the on site restaurant is located.  After checking in we decided to go and eat at the restaurant.  The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor dining options.  The views of the beautiful Chalk Cliffs at the base of Mt. Princeton are just stunning:

Picture from Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort

It took a long time to get our food which was pretty good, but definitely overpriced.  Considering that visitors would have to drive quite a ways to find another restaurant the resort knows they have a captive audience.  The prices did not seem to be driving people away because the place was packed.  Here is a picture of the pasta I ordered in preparation for my upcoming hike up Mt. Antero:

Picture from Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort

The pasta was good, but I thought the chicken was a bit chewy.  My wife had a steak which was really good:

Picture from Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort

The bread that came with our meals was really good as well and since it took so long to get our food our really nice waitress kept bringing us more bread to eat:

Picture from Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort

My daughter had grilled cheese which she enjoyed:

Picture from Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort

Though overpriced overall we would eat at the restaurant again considering the convenience of being right there in the lodge.  Plus if I already spent a good chunk of money for the hotel room what was a few more dollars to have a nice dinner with my family?  Anyway after eating dinner we decided to walk around and check out the property.  Right across from the lodge is a small Country Store that much like the restaurant sells over priced items to the resort’s captive audience:

Picture from Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort

Despite the prices much like the restaurant the Country Store appeared to be doing pretty good business.  However, the whole time we stayed at the resort we did not see one person gas up their vehicle there considering the fuel prices were over a dollar higher than what can be found just a short drive down the road:

Picture from Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort

From the country store we walked over to where the hot springs are located.  The main hot springs area is divided in half by Chalk Creek that flows through the property:

Picture from Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort

On the left side of the creek is where families can take a dip in the hot spring water while on the right side is the adult only area.  The adult only area has its own pool as well as a spa and exercise gym.  In addition to these two options, people can also sit in Chalk Creek and make little pools using gathered rocks to contain the hot spring water flowing into the creek:

Chalk Creek Flowing Through the Resort

Chalk Creek was a pretty scenic presence throughout the property where in a number of areas the hot spring water bubbling from the surface could be seen draining into the creek:

Picture from Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort

On the hills above the property is where the cheaper lodging for the resort is located along with a large swimming pool.  The upper pool seemed to big the main area for young kids to play at.  The water though did not feel as warm as the pools closer to the creek.  Because of that we headed back down to the lower pools and soaked in them for a while.  The lower pools were not as packed as the upper pool and my wife and I really had a good time talking with some of the other people enjoying the hot springs.  My kids enjoyed the water too and had fun playing with a inflatable penguin raft we brought with us.

The next day after I completed my hike up Mt. Antero it was awesome to go to the lower hot spring pool again and just relax my legs.  The water was really hot which I liked and the setting was just really beautiful:

Picture from Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort

Conclusion

All in all I cannot complain about our stay at the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort.  The spring water was really hot and relaxing, the room was nice, the service was top notch, and the location is just stunning.  Really the only thing that I think would turn people off from coming here in the high prices.  However, for my family the experience was worth the price and we will definitely come back again.

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