I was recently contacted via email by a woman from Arkansas who is planning a trip to Colorado this July. She wanted to know about some off-the-beaten path locations that would be ideal for a multi-generational family trip that included ages ranging from 6 to 60.
I gave her four recommendations, including Grand Lake and Glenwood Springs, two destinations I’ve written extensively about here on HeidiTown. However, there were two other locations I told her about that have received less attention in the last year, so I decided to turn them into posts.
Recommendation #2: Mt. Princeton & St. Elmo, Colorado
Here are two off the beaten path gems that would make excellent destinations for a multi-generational family trip. In fact, they are just an hour away from Fairplay, so a family could combine this trip with the one written about in the first post, Multi-generational family travel in Colorado, Part One.
Mt. Princeton is not a town, but a hot springs resort. Visitors can book a lodge style room or a full-size cabin, which would be perfect for a family traveling in a group. The VIP pools are pretty awesome, and only available to guests of the resort. In the past, however, the VIP section is 16 and over, so any young children would have to remain in the standard pool areas, which are also nice.
One really cool and unique aspect of Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort is the river running through the property. It has hot spots and visitors can create their own personal hot spring pool in the river, which is pretty fun for kids and adults. There is a very good onsite restaurant, which is convenient, because the nearest town, Salida, is a 30 minute drive.
During the summer, Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort also has a super family-friendly pool with a 400 foot water slide. If I were a kid, I could spend all day in this 75 degree kid-paradise. I don’t have a photo, but you can see it here.
Up the road from Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort, and only accessible in the summer, is St. Elmo, Colorado’s best preserved ghost towns (in fact, one of the country’s best preserved ghost towns). Plan to spend an afternoon exploring and taking photos. There is a small store in St. Elmo open during the summer and there is a bed and breakfast called the Ghost Town Guest House, open seasonally. I haven’t stayed there, so I don’t know more than what I’ve read on their website.
If you stay at the hot springs resort, St. Elmo would be a fun place to bring a picnic. You’ll likely see wildlife on the drive between Mt. Princeton and the ghost town, so keep your eyes open wide and camera at the ready. There are lots of great photography opportunities in St. Elmo if anyone in the family is a photographer or an aspiring photographer (like me).
Want to see more photos of St. Elmo? Go to the HeidiTown Facebook page here.
I have written about both of these places, but unfortunately it was for print publications and I don’t have a hyperlink for them. For more information on Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort visit MtPrinceton.com.