Mount Princeton Half Day. Enjoy a fabulous Colorado mountain adventure you will never forget. We climb in open topped jeeps up the steep, rocky switch backed road leading to a saddle near the top of the 14,197 foot tall Mt Princeton. Watch for chipmunks and marmots scampering along the trails and breathe deeply. Thin mountain air easily carries the fresh scents of pine, sage and wildflowers. At the end of the road, we'll visit Bristlecone Cabin, which is nestled in a grove of ancient Bristlecone pines. The average age of these trees is 1,000 years, with some trees over 4,000 years old - these are the oldest known tree species in the world!
St. Elmo Ghost Town and the Mary Murphy Mine Half Day. A fun tour for adults and children alike is visiting St Elmo - Colorado's historical and most original turn of the century ghost town. A mellow and scenic dirt road gently climbs its way past the Chalk Cliffs and follows Chalk Creek up the valley to St. Elmo which has been labeled Colorado's Best Preserved Ghost Town. Built in 1878 in a heavily forested area, the town was first named Forest City. As the town continued to grow it was incorporated under the new name of St. Elmo.
By the time the town reached its peak it was home to over 2000 people and had taken on all the trappings of a true Colorado mining town complete with saloons, a dance hall and bawdy houses. Twenty-four original buildings still remain in St. Elmo including the mercantile building, a saloon, the county courthouse and jail as well as many private homes. All of the buildings in St. Elmo are privately owned and well preserved and there is a general store that still operates in the warmer months. All the buildings are labeled and detail interesting information about the buildings history as well as the date the building was built.
Not far from St. Elmo is the Mary Murphy Mine, one of the more intriguing historical sites in this region, particularly since it has not been altered by restoration efforts. Many of the buildings are still standing as they were left over 100 years ago. After visiting the mine we will continue to climb up to near timberline and the scenic beauty of Hancock Lake. This scenic and historic ½ day tour can be combined with our Mt Princeton tour for a full day of action. This trip is our most suitable tour for families with young children or for folks nervous about steep climbs. We offer these tours from Monday through Saturday, May through Labor Day. Trips depart at 8 am and 1 pm.
Mount Antero Full Day. Rock hounds won't want to pass up a 4x4 visit to the summit of Colorado's Mt.Antero. At 14,269 feet, it is one of the highest mountains in the Buena Vista area. As we wind up the rugged trail with its many switchbacks, you will want to have your camera handy for magnificent views of surrounding peaks and tree covered valleys. Along the trail you are sure to spot chipmunks, marmots and an occasional shaggy white mountain goat. Even though you are likely to encounter snow at the top, there are also many wildflowers bravely peeking out between the rocks. This is a 'must do' adventure you will never forget.
All known gem deposits on Mt. Antero occur above timberline, making it the highest known gem locality in the United States and one of the best areas in the United States for mineral and gem collecting. Gemstone quality aquamarines can still be found by the lucky visitor in pockets or bubbles in the granite rock, mostly in what is known to scientists as miarolitic cavities. Many other beautifully colored minerals can also be found in abundance including Fluorite, Muscovite, Phenakite and Smoky Quartz.
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