St. Elmo Ghost Town has a few ghost stories, is well preserved, and at close to 10,000 ft. elevation, the setting is sensational. If you are the curious sort you will find more here than just old buildings.


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Upon entering the town the “General Store” open in the summer months has a selection like no other general store. Occasionally you will find the owners wandering around in the off-season, who let us peek around the goodies & antiques in the backyard of the store.


Only two places are open in town, the rest of town is left to a few inhabitants and the local ghosts. “Ghost Town Guest House Bed & Breakfast” is open year-round and is the home of the most famous ghost in St. Elmo, Dirty Annie”, if you are inclined to believe in such things… I found the area beautiful and not filled with hauntings of any kind.


Day trip


Bring sunflower seeds and hand-feed an abundance of busy chipmunks next to the Guest House.

Wandering through the town of St. Elmo, with numerous original late 1800s buildings still standing, surrounded by pine, spruces, and aspens, you get a sense of how it used to be.

Nestled high in the Collegiate Peaks and knowing what altitude we are at it’s a mystery how they lived through the winters. Nowadays, it looks like a great adventure to explore on snowshoes.


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Founded in 1880, St Elmo lies in the heart of the Sawatch Range. Was once known as Forest City, later changing its name and at one time boasting 2000 residents after a massive gold rush. The majority of the town worked the popular Mary Murphy Mine.

Several hiking trails lead out of St. Elmo At the end of Poplar St., head up the hill, and find a trail. We ventured away and found an old wood rail car, and soon realized we were following the “once upon a time” tracks leading to the historic Alpine Tunnel.

A great short book I read > “Memories of St Elmo” – that I highly recommend!


Colorado hiking


Heading back towards St. Elmo, we passed more old restored cabins, wandered on side trails to a creek bed, and eventually landed back in the heart of town.





An old schoolhouse sits in a cluster of aspen trees, restored inside and out. Located on the edge of town it is a must-see.


Historic schools


St. Elmo is one of the best-preserved Ghost Towns in the US. Wandering and hiking keep us busy for hours in this scenic valley for hours.

For information on year-round lodging visit > “Ghost Town Guest House Bed & Breakfast”

For information on the General Store visit > “St. Elmo General Store”


On Hwy 285 going south from Buena Vista, CO., go just past Nathrop, CO., and turn right onto County Rd 162. St. Elmo is 19 miles on a well-maintained road.




Hike or snowshoe to a captivating historic 1879 Resort along the shores of Twin Lakes, > Inter-Laken Trail 

If you enjoyed St Elmo Ghost Town, you will be enthralled with South Park City, an authentic 1800s town of 40+ buildings to explore > “South Park City”, Fairplay, CO



Day Hikes for the Hiking Enthusiast!

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