“Ghost” towns dot Chaffee County as relics of bygone mining booms. Most are reachable by car, although four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended. Some of the better known are:
Vicksburg – About 9 miles west of U.S. 24 on CR 390 in Clear Creek Canyon, the townsite contains several original cabins that are privately owned. A small museum offers interpretive history displays on weekends.
Winfield – Three miles further up CR 390 are the remains of Winfield. All of the buildings, including the 1889 schoolhouse, are privately owned. An interpretive sign gives a history of the area.
St. Elmo – About 17 miles west of U.S. 285 on CR 162 in Chalk Creek Canyon, the town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and contains several 1880s-vintage wood-frame buildings. The graves of many early residents lie in Iron City Cemetery on CR 292.
Turret – From Salida head northwest on Colo. 291, right onto CR 175 for about 10 miles, then follow CR 184 to the left. A booming mining town in the 1890s, its buildings are privately owned. Swinging Rock, a local natural landmark, is accessible via a short trail hike.