Founded in 1880 and now on the National Register of Historic Places, St. Elmo, Colorado, is considered a ghost town even though it does have a few inhabitants. The St. Elmo General Store (See photo in slideshow) offers a variety of goods and services.

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St. Elmo (ghost town), CO - 12

St. Elmo is located 20 miles southwest of Buena Vista and is considered one of Colorado’s best preserved ghost towns. It is definitely off the beaten path but not far off the route I’d chosen to drive from Indiana to Southern California in early October, 2007.

Mining of gold and silver was the lure to St. Elmo, and the early population reached approximately 2000. When the supply of ore diminished, so did the population. For detailed information, go to,_Colorado.

Much of my drive off the main highway on Chalk Creek Drive to St. Elmo was under a canopy of golden aspens. I loved all my time in Colorado that fall until snow started falling as I left the mountains, making me a bit nervous until I reached lower elevations. No, I do not have a 4-wheel drive vehicle!

St. Elmo (ghost town), CO - 02

Note: I also drove to Crested Butte, another not-so-easy-to-reach place, the next day. Although you can take secondary roads from St. Elmo to Crested Butte (approx. 60 miles), I chose a more traveled set of roads that were twice the distance as the secondary roads. Since it was late afternoon when I left St. Elmo, I traveled to Gunnison for the night before proceeding to Crested Butte and then Telluride.

My closest destination after Telluride was Page, Arizona and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. In this part of the U.S. there are few easy routes to reach my destinations. I’ve maintained my on-the-road lifestyle so I can allow time for these out-of-the-way places as I travel from one house/pet-sitting assignment to the next. My final destination on that fall trip was the San Diego area.