Due to it’s easy accessibility and intact historic architecture, St. Elmo is one of the most famous “ghost towns” in Colorado despite the fact that it’s not a ghost town at all. St. Elmo is an active community with many inhabited structures, operating businesses, and even some new construction.
The Forest Service lands around St. Elmo are some of the most popular in Colorado for outdoor recreation, particularly sightseeing and ATVing. Driving through at 2pm on a mid-week day, there were perhaps 50 people walking the historic streets, the visitor parking area was full, and the Forest Service road was congested with traffic and parked ATV trailers. Fortunately the weather turned sour, and driving back through at 5pm the town was entirely deserted, allowing for unobstructed photography.
Many historic sites and actual “ghost towns” (abandoned town sites) in this region of Colorado are on public land with full access. St. Elmo, on the other hand, is entirely private property. Therefore, trespassing off of the public streets and sidewalks is understandably not allowed.