|Click on any image to view it at a larger size.||St. Elmo - St. Elmo is arguably one of the most
in tact ghost towns in all of Colorado, with approximately 30 to 40 original buildings
still standing. Take Chaffee County Road 162 west at Nathrop and head west into the canyon.
You'll pass the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs, Agnes Vaille Falls and large aspen groves.
St. Elmo Links:
|Hancock - From St. Elmo, follow signs to the road that
was once an old railroad grade. Driving a high-clearance vehicle is probably a very good idea.
|Tincup - If you have a sturdy 4-wheel drive vehicle,
one can reach Tincup by traveling a few miles west over Tincup Pass from St. Elmo.
The more common route is to travel over Cottonwood Pass to Taylor Park Reservoir
in Gunnison County, head south a few miles and follow the signs to the Tincup turnoff. I should note that
during the summer, many live in Tincup and some might debate whether this is truly a ghost town.
|Vicksburg and Winfield - From Buena Vista, travel north
on Highway 24 and travel west at Clear Creek Reservoir
(Chaffee County Road 390). The old mining
towns turned ghost towns of Vicksburg and Winfield are located in the canyon.
Winfield served as the larger town and during its peak was home to 1,500 residents.
Vicksburg & Winfield Links:
|Granite - At one time, a few thousand residents
called Granite home and it served as the county seat for Lake County. This was when the land consisting of
Chaffee County was included in Lake County. The town population dwindled when better
mining prospects were found elsewhere. Today, State Highway 24 runs through it and
six year-round residents live in Grante.
|Independence - Independence is located just west of Independence Pass
and the Continental Divide. The winters were long and brutal
and when mining went "belly up," much of the town was deserted
with many heading downhill to the town of Aspen. Today, one can walk
around the remains of Independence as it is located adjacent to Highway 82
with a parking area.
|Bonanza - Bonanza is located
west of Villa Grove in Saguache County, located south of Chaffee County.
To get there, take Highway 285 south through Poncha Springs and Poncha Pass.
Just before arriving in the small town of Villa Grove, the turn off for Bonanza
is on your right (west).
|Turret - The ghost town of Turret
is located approximately twelve miles northeast of Salida in the mountains. Take Chaffee County Road 175 out of Salida and follow signs.