The St Elmo Ghost Town is not actually a ’20 min’ stop, but it was so much fun to poke around in, I decided to include it anyway!
You’ll need about 1 1/2-2 hrs for this excursion.
From I-285 S you’ll take the Chalk Creek / Rd 162 exit toward St. Elmo. The drive will be about 35 minutes to the town, but will take you through the scenic Mt Princeton Hot Springs Resort along Chalk Creek. With a great view of Mt Princeton on your right, and the Cascade Falls Viewpoint (get out your cameras), the drive alone is worth your time!
When you reach the outskirts of St Elmo, there will be a place to park your car and tiny trailer. You’ll see the bathroom facilities here. The General Store is still available for a little shopping, but you won’t find any food. Explore the town on foot. Enjoy being nestled in amongst the Collegiate Peaks, the Sawatch Range & the Chalk Mountains.
Try and imagine what St Elmo was like in it’s heyday. Built in 1878 as a gold mining camp, St Elmo’s population peaked at more than 2,000. It took on saloons, dance halls, and bawdy houses. In 1881, the Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad came through the area, and a station was built in St. Elmo. From here, the tracks continued through the historic Alpine Tunnel. You can read more about St Elmo and the railroad HERE.
There are a number of surviving ghost stories here in St Elmo, and exploring the locations of these sightings is entertaining. Read about Annabelle Stark and other ghost stories HERE.
Retrace your route to return to I-285.
To use the “20 min in Colorado” Category, read HERE
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