St Elmo Ghost Town

St Elmo Ghost Town

Lately, I’ve been very interested in the ghost towns of Colorado. There is something fascinating about a once fully-operational town that has almost vanished leaving decaying buildings and small belongings of those who called it home. On my list of places to check out was St. Elmo, CO.

After doing some research I found that St. Elmo has a few residents (3?) and has many privately-owned buildings that have been tastefully restored. On Saturday morning, my dog and I left the Denver area and headed out high way 285 towards Johnson Village.

Along the way we were greeted by a bright sunrise and clear blue sky. The temps were cool and the roads were empty. We were cruising past the ranch lands of Fair play, CO and making good time on Hwy 285.

St Elmo Ghost Town

After enjoying the road for about 2.5 hours we approached the town of St. Elmo, CO.Rounding the corner we were greeted by the sight of a white house with an old B-Series International Harvester truck. This was just the beginning of the many buildings that line Main Street.

St Elmo Ghost Town

The Ghost Town Guest House is a bed & breakfast that was built with style of the late 1800’s. It’s really great to learn that most of the buildings on Main Street are original and well kept. The Miners Exchange is currently a general store for the town, but is operational only during some parts of the year. Historically it was a place where miners could stop in and exchange gold dust and nuggets for cash, but today all you’ll find are antiques and souvenirs.

St Elmo Ghost Town

There are several other unique structures further down the road, including an abandoned Post Office and Mercantile Building. The other major street in town, Gunnison Ave, sits parallel to Main Street. It has a mixture of private residences and businesses, and is the entrance to Tincup Pass.

At one point the town of St. Elmo was home to over 2,000 residents mostly after silver and gold, but today it’s a great blend of a ghost town and museum. It is wonderful to see the local community tastefully restore the buildings and keep the history alive. Not only are the buildings cool, the scenery is beautiful. This part of Colorado is known for its rugged beauty. Forest Roads litter the surrounding areas and offer virtually any type of adventure and I highly recommend vi siting when you get a chance.

St Elmo Ghost Town

After leaving town we headed out on one of the local forest roads for some exploration, cruising along in the Tundra on mostly-graded roads. After a couple of minutes exploring,the gorgeous Alpine Lake appeared. It was the perfect gift as we left St. Elmo and headed back towards civilization.

St Elmo Ghost Town

In the evening we were back home and tired after a day of exploring. It felt fantastic to get out for the day and check out some new terrain. Next time you’re looking for an easy adventure with lots of history, consider stopping by St. Elmo, CO.


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