Complete Mount Princeton Hot Springs Review

If you are looking for the best hot springs near Buena Vista, Colorado, this is the place! Mount Princeton Hot Springs are located among scenic views of mountain peaks over 14,000 feet and heated by geothermic springs.

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We recently paid a visit to this Colorado-famous hot springs pool to see if it was worth the hype. Here you’ll find why we loved it and a few minor things that could have made it better.

Mount Princeton is great for families with their variety of pools and great waterslides. Read on in this Mount Princeton Hot Springs review to see why you should pay a visit, and maybe even stay the night for extra perks, to this Colorado-famous hot springs resort.

Pinnable image that says "should you go to Mt Princeton Hot Springs Colorado". 4 images: a pool with cement floor around it, a 0 entry pool with a grate on the floor as you enter, two slides dropping into a pool area, an overview image of the resort from above featuring blue and green tennis courts among the trees
overlooking a large resort area. There are a lot of trees everywhere near and far, but between them you can see a blue and green tennis court, a pool to the right and a pool on the left, a few cabins sticking up from the trees below

Where is Mount Princeton Hot Springs

Mount Princeton Hot Springs is often referred to as being located in Buena Vista, but it’s technically located in Nathrop, Colorado. Buena Vista is the next town over where many traveler stay the night and explore the town, but to get to Mt Princeton hot springs, it’ll take 20-30 minutes of a drive to arrive.

This hot springs resort is located in Nathrop. While Nathrop includes Browns Canyon National Monument, the hot springs are on a different side of town.

To arrive at the hot springs from Buena Vista’s downtown area, you’ll head south on 285 to Chalk Creek Dr where you’ll take a right/head west. The hot springs resort will be about 4.5 miles down the road.

If you’re looking for the best hot springs in Buena Vista, it’s this place. There are a few in the area, of which are a bit smaller and not as entertaining for families. But this Mount Princeton Hot Springs review will show you why this is the BEST family hot springs near Buena Vista.

The Mount Princeton Hot Springs review

While you can stay the night at the resort, the main reason people come to Mount Princeton Hot Springs resort is, well, for the hot springs.

The pools are located in different areas of the resort, with the three main pools being at the top of the hill.

You can access the hot springs even if you are not an overnight guest. Head to the upper pools where you can purchase a day pass for each member of your party.

Here is a rundown of each hot spring pool available to day pass guests:

a dark colored infinity pool with lots of people, the far end stretches toward a mountain in the backdrop, large white and gray clouds above

Infinity Pool

The infinity pool is in the upper section next to the upper pools. It has a more natural hue to it than the upper pools and stays much warmer. It is typically kept around 99-104 degrees.

Kids are welcome in this pool, and it’s actually great for little ones as it has a zero-entry slope. However, it gets pretty warm and heats up your body quickly.

an aqua colored pool with a green tube slide dropping into it on the right.  A narrow winding walkway in the water to another section of pool beyond the first one.  Pool loungers on the left side and mountain silhouettes in the backdrop

The Upper Pools

The upper hot spring pools are atop a hill among a few cabins and next to the basketball court. These pools vary in temperature from 82-99 degrees. They are warm, but not hot, making them the most comfortable pools to sit in for an all-day kind of soak.

My only complaint about this pool area was actually outside the pool on the pool deck. Near the entrance building and bathroom, they have put this blue flooring on. It’s meant as an anti-slip surface, but it is really painful to walk on. It felt like shattered glass, and a few of my kids got pretty bad cuts on their feet walking on it.

Luckily, that floor does not go throughout, but just in a small section when you first walk in (where we happened to claim a chair and walked to-and-from often).

There are two upper pools, connected by a small waterway you can walk between the two. Some listings on third party sites for the resort mention them having a “lazy river.” I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean, and wonder if this little water walkway is what they call a “lazy river.”

It is not a lazy river.

The upper pools are the best place for families thanks to their moderate temperature and size, allowing for playing and splashing without killing anyone’s relaxation mode.

If you are traveling with kids, the upper pools are most likely where you’ll spend most of your time. They have more shallow areas than the bathhouse pools and more space to play.

Plus, they have the golden egg: waterslides.

two dark green waterslides ending at an aqua colored pool at Mount Princeton Hot Springs, a small splash at the end as someone just landed.
mountain in the background

Waterslides at Mount Princeton Hot Springs

One of the upper pools is the landing site for the 2 newer waterslides at Mount Princeton. They recently removed their 1 in-ground waterslide and replaced it with two, fast paced slides.

Those over 48″ are welcome to pay an extra fee for access to the waterslides.

One slide is a tunnel and fully enclosed the entire ride. The other starts out enclosed, but after 3 turns it opens up.

The slides are longer than your average city-park slide and, in my opinion, were quite fast!

That said, my kids really enjoyed them and basically just spent the day climbing up the stairs and riding down the slides over and over.

The slides close at 5:00, along with the upper pools.

people standing in a long rectangular pool.  One person hanging off the side wall on his phone, kids in the middle on the pool, other people standing in the pool.

The Bath House Pools

The great thing about the Bath House pools is that they are open until 9:00pm. So when the upper pools close at 5:00 and you are not ready to go yet, you can walk all the way down to the main resort and down to the bath house.

As you go in the bath house, head to the left where you’ll go through a very small hallway and into the pool area.

Kids are welcome in these two pools. They are much warmer than the pools in the upper section and typically around 105 degrees.

What I don’t like about these pools is that they are deeper, making it not ideal for small kids.

I also didn’t like that they didn’t appear to be filled all the way. I think they actually were, but by the way the outer wall slopes, it makes it so the edge of the wall where it turns into the ground above is a stretch for younger kids to reach.

We had to help one of our kids get out because the side was too far up from the water for them to pull themselves up.

So overall, while kids are welcome, I would recommend these pools more for adults.

As they are technically called the “soaking pools,” many people go here to relax and soak. The atmosphere makes it a little less playful, so I recommend kids who want to splash around stick to the upper pools.

a high, flowing river with small circled off areas with rock just under the top of the river, a sidewalk outside the river and a lamp post on the sidewalk

Creekside Hot Springs

We love being able to soak in natural hot springs pools, like we did in Pagosa Springs. Access to the natural creek springs is included in your day pass. You can access them through the bath house and to the right when you go outside.

The temperature of these pool vary GREATLY dependent on when in the year you visit. And, often during late spring and early summer, they are closed because the river is so high that it overflows into the pools, making them unsafe to access (as pictured above).

But if you visit when they are open and safe, soaking in the creek pools is a beautiful and scenic way to reap the benefits of the geothermal hot springs.

a green and blue basketball court with a few people on it, a tennis court beyond that.  Mountains in the background and grass in the foreground

Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort Guest Amenities

If you have the budget and the opportunity, I recommend staying the night at the Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort.

This place has everything you need to enjoy, relax, and have fun for a few days.

Here are a few things that make it super convenient and fun to stay. They are all included in your overnight stay, except spa treatments and the restaurant (or purchases at the market).

  • Spa ($)
  • Restaurant ($)
  • Fitness room
  • Small market/shop
  • Tennis courts
  • Basketball courts
  • Fitness classes
  • Yoga classes
  • Bicycle rentals
  • Lawn Volleyball court
  • Cross Country ski rentals

In addition, there are conference rooms and event spaces, should you wish to have a wedding or family reunion, or any other group gathering at Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort.

Lodging Options

There are many options for lodging at Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort. Whether you are looking more for standard rooms, cabins, or something along the river, they’ve got it.

Larger families or large groups will find a cabin ideal, as many of them can sleep up to 8 or 10 people.

Guest Perks

While anyone is welcome to purchase a day pass to the hot springs, pay for a spa treatment, or buy a pass to a yoga class, being an overnight guest has extra perks.

For the Hot Springs, overnight guests get to enjoy exclusive hours from 8-10:00 am when the springs are not open to the public. This really helps avoid crowds (even though the slides aren’t open quite yet). This is extra incentive for guests to stay the night and have a little more space.

Yoga Classes are included for overnight guests. Get even more relaxation on your stay by jumping in and finding your zen.

Spa treatments aren’t included; however, resort guests get a discount on services.

Plus, resort guests have access to all the amenities listed above, just for staying the night at this highly-rated, top resort.

Our Pick
overlooking a large resort area. There are a lot of trees everywhere near and far, but between them you can see a blue and green tennis court, a pool to the right and a pool on the left, a few cabins sticking up from the trees below

Mt Princeton Hot Springs Resort

Stay at Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort for included hot spring access, exclusive hours, included fitness and yoga, resort amenities, and log cabins with great views of the 14ers in the area!

Mount Princeton Hot Springs from Denver

Denver is the closest major airport to Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort. From this airport, it is just under 3 hours to drive to Mount Princeton.

It’s a fairly easy route to arrive. From the airport, take I-70 west to C-470 east, and then 285 south. This will take you into Buena Vista and Nathrop.

FAQ about Mount Princeton Hot Springs

What is the closest town to Mount Princeton Hot Springs?

Mount Princeton Hot Springs is located in the town of Nathrop, though it’s neighboring town of Buena Vista is a popular spot for travelers,.

What river runs through Mount Princeton Hot Springs?

The Chalk Creek runs right through and along Mount Princeton hot springs. If the conditions are right, you can soak in the creek pools which are right in the river.

How long does it take to drive from Colorado Springs to Mount Princeton Hot Springs?

To get from the center of Colorado Springs to Mount Princeton hot springs it takes right around 2 hours to drive. This makes it a great day trip if you leave early and get to spend the day soaking.

How high is Mount Princeton Hot Springs?

The elevation at Mount Princeton Hot Springs is 8,250 feet. Those visiting from lower elevations should make sure to stay hydrated and not exert themselves too hard until they adjust to the elevation.

Is Mount Princeton Hot Springs clothing optional?

No, it is not clothing optional. Mount Princeton Hot Springs is a family-friendly environment, welcoming all ages. Clothing or swimwear is required in all the pools.

Mount Princeton Hot Springs Review: Wrap Up

We really enjoyed our time at Mount Princeton hot springs. My kids loved the waterslides and swimming in the pool-like environment. While it was nowhere near the size of Glenwood Hot Springs (the largest hot springs pool in the world), it was a decent size for the size of the crowd that was present.

If you are looking for hot springs in Buena Vista (or near, in this case), I recommend Mount Princeton as the place to go. Having different pools to choose from and waterslides make it the most exciting for families.

And if you need somewhere to stay in Buena Vista, Mount Princeton is about the top place you could stay if you have the budget.

We enjoyed our time here and definitely think it’s worth a visit the next time you are looking for family activities in Buena Vista, Colorado.

Our Pick
overlooking a large resort area. There are a lot of trees everywhere near and far, but between them you can see a blue and green tennis court, a pool to the right and a pool on the left, a few cabins sticking up from the trees below

Mt Princeton Hot Springs Resort

Stay at Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort for included hot spring access, exclusive hours, included fitness and yoga, resort amenities, and log cabins with great views of the 14ers in the area!

Pinnable image that says "should you go to Mt Princeton Hot Springs Colorado".  4 images: a pool with cement floor around it, a 0 entry pool with a grate on the floor as you enter, two slides dropping into a pool area, an overview image of the resort from above featuring blue and green tennis courts among the trees

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