tis' the season to relax and take it all in
As I write this, I sit by a window in my apartment in Nashville watching the snow fall and reminiscing adventures. It's beautiful and cozy. I'm a big fan of the once-a-year kind of snow where you can ski, sled, admire it for a short time and then immediately go back to wishing for warmth. A hot springs is the best of both moods.
Typically when you relax, you wind down. In this case, you wind up the mountains until you land on Mt. Princeton in Northrop, next to the small historic town of Buena Vista, Colorado.
As you drive to the resort, mountains tower for miles and the surrounding scenes look painted into the distance.
I was born in Ohio, so almost everything is cool to me, but I can’t even imagine locals becoming numb to the views that this part of the state has to offer.
When you get to the entrance, there is a large parking lot aside from the main lodge. You will see a handful of luxury cabins connected by trails surrounding the area.
Once you park, there are stairs adjacent to the lot that take you down to the historic bathhouse. Along this route, arrow signs direct you to the springs.
If you are staying at the resort, the springs and pools are free for unlimited use within the hours of operation, otherwise, you can purchase a $35 day pass. This pass includes the hot springs, two heated pools and the resort's large infinity pool. There are locker rooms for visitors to change in, and if you forget to bring your own towel like me, you can purchase one for $10 dollars. They give you $5 back for returning the towel at the end of your visit.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
If you are not vaccinated, a mask is recommended for entrance.
There are bathrooms and showers in the locker rooms as well as a machine that dries your towels.
You cannot call and reserve a day pass in advance. The hot springs are first come first serve for one day visitors.
None of the pools have lifeguards.
You can purchase lodging packages that include dinner, accommodations for private parties, complimentary skis, mountain bikes, fitness classes and discounts on spa amenities.
Before heading out to enjoy the hot springs, you are given the option to buy cans of beer and wine to enjoy while lounging.
Once you exit the locker room, there is one door that takes you to the sidewalk by the river where the springs are, and another that sends you directly into a large heated pool.
To get into the springs, you will have to climb down a steep pile of rocks to the river where there are small separated pools. The river itself is cold and the pools are distinguished by rocks. It was just me and my friend Reagan on this trip, but I think each pool can fit at least 8 people comfortably. The water is extremely hot upon entrance and takes awhile to get used to. It's a real toe dip and ease in situation. I would occasionally stick my feet in the river to cool off.
Obviously you will be a little cold when you step out of the springs since you are in higher altitude. It is an entirely relaxing experience and I could have spent a whole week there. The air is crisp and the atmosphere is friendly and inviting.
This was the perfect way to cap a nonstop weekend adventure and I want to take my whole family back one day. If you get a chance you explore Buena Vista while you're in the area and visit the shops, you will not regret it.
This is the first hot springs that I have ever been to, and it will not be the last! If you have a hot springs experience that you would like to share or have suggestions to visit other locations around the country, send me an email through the contact information on the homepage of my website. I would love to hear about your experiences.
Whether you are planning a romantic getaway, family vacation, wedding reception, business retreat, relaxing weekend with friends or are trying to switch things up for an afternoon, consider checking out Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort.