Hiking & Hot Springs







fall-view-IMG_9784Mount Yale is an intimidating sight from the Upper Arkansas River Valley. Framed by rolling foothills, the mountain rises to a sharp point, its 14,200-foot summit silhouetted knifelike against the sky. This distant perspective belies the true nature of the Collegiate Peak. Mount Yale’s southwest slopes offer an excellent trail through fragrant forests and rolling alpine tundra. The most challenging part of the hike, the rocky summit ridge, is also the shortest part of the hike, and can be traversed with minimal difficulty. An added bonus: Mount Yale is one of the few Sawatch fourteeners with a paved road to the trailhead.


From the stoplight at the intersection of U.S. 24 and West Main Street in Buena Vista, head west on West Main Street/CR 306 toward Cottonwood Pass. After 12 miles, park at the Denny Creek Trailhead on your right.

Directions From the Denny Creek Trailhead, the trail heads north into the forest. The route crosses Denny Creek after about a mile. About a quarter mile later, a sign marks the trail junction for Mount Yale or Hartenstein Lake/Browns Pass. Take a right toward Mount Yale, following the trail through forest as it steepens before leaving tree line. Continue along the trail until you reach the saddle, marked by a large cairn. From here, head east along the right side of the ridge toward the summit, choosing the most stable footing. Cairns help mark the remaining route.

  • Distance 9.5 miles round trip from the Denny Creek trailhead
  • Difficulty Strenuous
  • Elevation gain 4,300 feet
  • Hiking time Allow for one mile per hour, though this may vary greatly depending on physical fitness and altitude acclimation.
  • Best months June-September, depending on snowpack

Tips Mount Yale is a popular hike, and the Denny Creek trailhead quickly fills up on summer weekends. A weekday hike offers more solitude and a less crowded parking lot. As afternoon thunderstorms are common during the summer, many hikers leave the trailhead at 6 a.m. to leave the summit before noon.

Red tape Mount Harvard is located in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area, where there are wilderness-specific regulations on camping, campfires, dogs and the size of your group.

Follow leave-no-trace principles

Wilderness regulations




(Peaks over 14,000 feet in elevation)

10 Hiking Essentials

  1. Water (1.5 Liters per person per 5-6 hours)
  2. Snacks (Beef Jerky, nuts, power bar)
  3. Navigation (map and compass and/or GPS)
  4. Sunscreen
  5. Extra clothing (hat, socks, gloves)
  6. First aid supplies
  7. Light (headlamp or flashlight)
  8. Fire starter and matches/lighter
  9. CD Rom or mirror, whistle, mosquito repellant
  10. Emergency shelter (Biffy Bag)


12 popular trailheads in the Nathrop area with hikes for all abilities and age levels. Surrounding areas have additional options for exploring our beautiful valley.

Trail Etiquette

Care For Colorado

The Etiquette of Poop


Trash The Trash

COTREX Colorado Trail Explorer APP

Respect Wildlife

Surrounding Towns

Buena Vista, Colorado

Buena Vista, Colorado

Buena Vista, Colorado is just 9 miles from Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort. This unique mountain town is located on the Arkansas River. There are many shopping opportunities along with restaurants, a brewery and a distillery. LEARN MORE

Salida, Colorado

Salida, Colorado is 21 miles from the resort. This is Colorado's largest National Historic District. Dine on the banks of the Arkansas River and explore the many art galleries in this historic downtown. This area was named Colorado's first Creative Arts District. LEARN MORE




Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort
Phone: 719-395-2447
15870 County Road 162 Nathrop, Colorado 81236-9703






















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Hot Spring Pool Maintenance Schedule October 3 & 4, 2023

Soaking Pool & Exercise Pool will be closed Tuesday October 3, 2023 and Wednesday October 4, 2023 for routine maintenance and deep clean. The Bath house building will be closed both days. Day pass holders may access to the Creek and Spa & Club locker rooms but NOT the Spa & Club Pools. The Spa & Club pools will remain gold band age 16+ only.

The Infinity Pool will be open 9AM - 9PM on Tuesday October 3, 2023 and Wednesday October 4, 2023
for hotel guests and general public.