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“A ghost town with real people!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of St. Elmo

St. Elmo
Ranked #3 of 11 things to do in Nathrop
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Level Contributor
172 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“A ghost town with real people!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2012

A 20 minute drive from Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort brings you to St. Elmo, the most exciting ghost town you'll ever see. Many of the original buildings on the main street are still standing and some even allow you access to see how life was "back then." The are still people living in some of the outlying homes, so there is a general store still operating as well as a small lodge in a beautifully-restored multi-story building. It's definitely worth the short drive to see this slice of the early days out west.

Visited June 2012
Thank Jeff B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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263 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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  • Any
English first
Orono, Maine
Level Contributor
61 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Didn't have that ghost-town feel”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 7, 2012

We drove quite a while to see St. Elmo, as it had been touted as the best ghost town in CO by a number of books we looked at. We weren't expecting to see a huge ATV rental facility on the way into town; a new-ish motel that didn't seem to fit with the surroundings; and several new, nice houses with "private property" signs all over them within feet of one of the partially-restored buildings (schoolhouse). It felt like a privately-owned, hands-off kind of place, not quite what we expected.

Also, feeding chipmunks is not my idea of a great time. In general it's not a good idea to feed wildlife; they carry diseases too, so I don't think I want them crawling all over me. (And I'm from rural Maine so I see plenty of them!) It seems a little irresponsible of the owners to encourage feeding these wild animals. Do they get fed by anyone in the wintertime? I doubt it.

The drive there was really beautiful and St. Elmo's location is also quite pretty; the few buildings that are there are great examples of the old architecture, and the story of the Starks and the dying town is a good one. If you're in the area it's a nice place to go, but be warned that it's not exactly a ghost town, more like some old buildings now being encroached upon by tourism. Too bad! If you want to see some old buildings and go inside, I'd recommend the very good South Park City in Fairplay. We had a much better time there!

Visited June 2012
Thank Oronian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Central Missouri
Level Contributor
31 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“feed the chipmunks”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 5, 2012

Scenic mountain country drive to neat old townsite. St. Elmo store sells black sunflower seeds to feed to chipmunks and ground squirrels which will eat from children's hand if they can sit still a while - well worth the trip. Decent outhouse is down the road a couple blocks - ask for directions. Hancock area is not much further and very nice for a picnic yet still very accessible by car. Great hiking, fresh air and mountain views.

Visited May 2012
Thank Homeward_Travler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
458 reviews
206 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 342 helpful votes
“Great general store and chipmonks”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2012

We drove up from Buena Vista, taking a break from gold-digging while the truck was in for transmission repairs. (see the two other reviews on the Jeep rental & repair shop).

The chip monks and squirrels were so amazing as they scampered and waited for us to give them food, but we had nothing to give!

The store owners were very helpful in answering questions about the history of the town. We then proceeded to the Mary Murphy and Hancock mines, which were fascinating to me as a NY city girl.

Highly recommend visiting the area if you are nearby.

Visited May 2012
Thank Bchgrl9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Historic ghost town”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 1, 2012

St. Elmo itself was rather disappointing in that few of the buildings have been restored and made available for access. The drive up there was pleasant. There is a "Country Store" with books that tell the history of St. Elmo, souvenirs, and snacks. The chipmunks are very friendly and will crawl all over you if you offer snacks (available from the store).

Visited May 2012
Thank Mazewalker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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