Multi-generational family travel in Colorado, Part Two

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 Hot Springs Resort VIP Pool.
Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort VIP Pool.

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.

The VIP area for guests-only include these three wonderful hot pools.
The VIP area for guests-only include these three wonderful hot pools.

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.

the river running through Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort.
We’ve been to Mt. Princeton several times. This particular trip was in May and the river was a bit too high for making river hot spring pools. This picture was taken from the bridge that hooks up the resort with the VIP area and spa.

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.

St. Elmo, one of the best ghost towns in Colorado.
Peaking in the windows of buildings in St. Elmo, Colorado’s best preserved ghost town.

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).

Wildlife in St. Elmo chipmunk 1wildlife near St. Elmo, Colorado.

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

This is not a paid advertisement and no compensation of any kind was received for this post.


  1. We’ve visited St. Elmo many times over the years and love it! When the kids were little, it was always hard to get them to stop feeding the chipmunks so we could leave. We ride ATVs there from Taylor Park via Tin Cup, so we get to see two ghost towns. Haven’t been to Mt. Princeton Hot Springs, though. Looks like it should be on our list.


    1. Yeah… Ryan had to pull me away from the chipmunks too. LOL! I couldn’t stop taking photos. I have 30 or so, mostly blurry, pictures of them. 🙂

      I’ve never been to Tin Cup, so I’ll put that on my list and you put Mt. Princeton on your list!

      Thanks for stopping by HeidiTown, Mandy!


  2. Beautiful photos. Looks like a very relaxing place to go. On the list!!


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