Colorado: St Elmo ghost town

Cup Of Jo

8/31/20

Here we are friends, last part of the trip!

Friday: Crested Butte

Saturday: Black Canyon National Park & Blue Mesa Reservoir

And today I’m sharing the last part of the trip, our good ol’ Sunday funday to St. Elmo.

St. Elmo

St. Elmo is a well known ghost town in Chaffee County, founded in 1880. This little town is one of the bigger ghost/abandoned towns and notably highly trafficked.

Coming from Gunnison, where our airbnb was, it was about a 2 hour drive but luckily in the direction of home for us too. So we headed out and about 30 minute into our drive, GPS gave us a 9 minute earlier ETA, if we went on this alternative route. So…to heck with it, sure, why not?! Well, ya’ll what we thought was going to be a sweet short cut ended up being something quite bittersweet. This new route took us on this back road through alongside the edge of a mountain on a treacherous road, no more than 5′ wide compiled of rocks, boulders, and potholes. Oh joy, what an experience that was. We were about 30 min away from getting to St Elmo after about 1.5 hours of carefully navigating on this road… and the rest of the road was blocked off. Oh the DREAD that fulfilled both Andrew and I, poor Andrew especially doing all the driving, knowing we had to retrace the exact road all the way back, ugh.

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So we turned around and went all the way back. I will say in retrospect (only because we came out of it unscathed) it was such a bizarre, unique, kind of scary at times but really cool experience. Being submerged within nature and all it’s glory trekking alongside a mountain- it was honestly beautiful. The views were unreal. But also how the heck did people travel on that back in 1880?!?

In total a 2 hour drive turned into a 5 hour drive there, but lo and behold we made it. The real route was much easier to travel on, I highly advise taking that.

St Elmo is one of the bigger preserved ghost town’s I’ve visited with 43 standing buildings. There’s a great eeriness while peering through the windows in some of these buildings, the items left behind….

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The town was actually nestled deep in the mountains with great views on the ride in. It just boggles my mind that settlers were able to travel to and from these tiny towns on these roads (esp in the winter, like how?!). It just gets me thinking what life may have been like back in the 1800’s and how grateful I am now to have the luxury of paved roads. Despite the mishap it was quite the adventure and I’m so happy we inevitably were able to visit this famous ghost town.

But I will say there’s no place like home and it was SO nice when we finally got back to our home sweet home. Alright friends, I’m off to run some errands. Happy Monday Funday!

xo, JJ

2 thoughts on “Colorado: St Elmo ghost town

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