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Rocky Mountain Driving Tours

A great place to stop for information on driving tours, hiking trails, fishing, and other fun activities is the South Park Ranger District Office located in Fairplay at 320 US Hwy 285 (just north of the intersection of US Hwy 9).  Call them at (719) 836-2031.



Eleven Mile Canyon

The first Colorado Midland passenger train chugged up Granite Canyon (now Elevenmile Canyon) in 1887.  A very scenic gravel road now retraces the old Colorado Midland grade where locomotive residue can still be seen around railroad tunnels blasted through solid granite.


Guanella Pass Scenic & Historic Byway

Follows an old wagon trail used by miners traveling between Georgetown and Grant.  Gold lured miners and others to the area, but it was silver that brought prosperity to the valley.  Today, visitors may explore this 22-mile historic route by car and / or hike the many area trails.


Buckskin Historic Auto Tour

This historic auto tour begins at 10,300 feet in downtown Alma, and follows County Road 8 for five miles to Kite Lake (12,000 feet).  Sign posts along the route correspond to nine historic sites, including the Paris Mill, that are interpreted in the Buckskin Gulch historic auto tour brochure.  Auto tour brochures are available from the South Park Ranger Distict Office.


Mosquito Pass Historic Auto Tour

The Mosquito Pass Historic Auto Tour follows the old stage road (County Road 12) west to the summit of Mosquito Pass.  Sign posts along the road correspond to nine historic sites that are interpreted in the auto tour brochure.  Four-wheel drive is required beyond sign post number 5.  Auto tour brochures are available from the South Park Ranger District office.


Weston Pass Historic Auto Tour

The “Road To Riches,” as it was known, originally served as a wagon road between Fairplay and Leadville.  Sign posts at various points along the road correspond to ten sites that are interpreted in the Weston Pass Historic Auto Tour brochure.  Auto tour brochures are available from the South Park Ranger District office.


Fourmile Creek Historic Auto Tour

Retraces the Denver, South Park & Hilltop Railroad up Fourmile Creek.  Sign posts along the route correspond to ten different interpretive sites.  At the head of this basin, Horseshoe Mountain is believed to be one of the most perfectly shaped glacial cirques (bowls) in existence.  Auto tour brochures are available from the South Park Ranger District office.


Boreas Pass Historic Auto Tour

This 22-mile driving tour follows the old Denver, South Park and Pacific Railway grade over Boreas Pass.  From Como the narrow gauge “Highline Route” climbed to the Great Divide (11,482 feet).  Sign posts along the road correspond to 12 sites that are interpreted in the Boreas Pass Auto Tour Brochure.  Tour brochures and audio CDs ($10) are available at the South Park Ranger District office.


Tarryall Valley Tour

Tarryall Road (County Road 77) provides a very scenic auto tour between Jefferson and Lake George.  This valley also contains 32 sites that are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.  Roadside exhibits interpret seven notable sites along the route.  Please contact the Ute Trail River Ranch (719) 748-3015 or the Park County Tourism Office for a copy of the Tarryall Valley tour brochure.


1880's Mining Town, St. Elmo

Drive back in time to the late 19th century visiting 5 remote ghost town sites.  Chalk Creek Canyon (County Road 162) has a lively, colorful mining town and railroad history.  St. Elmo is an authentic 1880’s mining town, and now a National Historic Site.  When entering St. Elmo the remains of the mill pond can still be seen.  The pond served as a swimming hole in the summer and an ice skating pond in winter.  St. Elmo was the railhead for the Denver, South Park, & Pacific Railroad until the line was completed to Gunnison through the Alpine Tunnel.  The last train passed through St. Elmo in 1926.

For more information about St. Elmo and the surrounding historic and recreational sites, contact the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce at 719-395-6612.  You may access or download these driving tours to your computer or mobile device at www.southparkheritage.org/driving-tours

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