Wednesday, September 7, 2016

2016 Western Trip – Days 47-48 – St. Elmo & Salida Winery

Even though it was a holiday weekend, we decided to make the drive up to the ghost town of St Elmo and as expected many others had decided to do the same thing – lots of traffic on the road and little to no parking when we got there.

Rather than do a big write up, I’ll just post a few of our thoughts and comments and refer you to Trekking With The B’s who just made a great post with lots of pics on the same trip we took but without the throngs of people.  These are the white “chalk” cliffs at the base of Mt Princeton followed by a look approaching St Elmo.

These are of Alpine Lake which has a small community of the same name with a neat entrance sign.

On the way back, we got a shot of Chalk Creek's Cascade Falls but it is only a portion of the long cascade.  I couldn't find any data on the length or drop of the falls but it appeared to be several hundred feet.

This area is also know for it's hot springs and we drove by a couple of them and the pools were all full of folks.  Princeton Hot Springs Resort looks like it would be a great place to go in cold weather (web shots).

On Labor Day, there was a mass exodus from the area with very heavy traffic on US-285 heading back to Denver  - glad we were passing that turn off and heading on south to Salida to visit Mountain Spirit Wineries tasting room, only to discover it closed – can’t imagine a tourist business being closed on such a major tourist day.

Part of the same business is the Twisted Cork Café and before we could walk away, a waitress said she could do a wine tasting in the restaurant. 

So we did our tasting, liked and bought several then split a lunch on their patio.

After that, it was a trip to Walmart and a drive around downtown Salida – which looks pretty prosperous with few empty buildings and mostly tourist stores.
Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


9/4–9/5/16 event dates


  1. Love all of the photos. And that Winery is a nice find.

  2. We did a little site seeing in our area and could not believe how many businesses were closed. Oh well - take your dollars with you! So glad you're having a wonderful trip - the scenery is amazing!

  3. I know how you felt trying to see an area when there were TONS of people around. That is how we felt when we visited the Grand Canyon in June of 2011.... Yeeeee GADS... It was terrible... Lots of tour busses filled with Asians who would just as soon run over us than to move out of the way (or to share the path).... We want to go back to the GC sometime in OFF-SEASON so that we can really enjoy it...

    It does look like a beautiful area though. Glad you got to see some of it.. Beautiful waterfall/cascade....

    P.S. It's still miserably hot here.. You are SO lucky to be where you are.

  4. Gotta love that slow sign. Beats the tired old one referencing children! Glad you got your wine tasting in.

  5. Larry, Nice photos of the area! Lucked out on that sure and save a bottle to share with us when ya'll get back. Had no clue about the hot springs. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  6. We totally missed Salida. I guess as hard as we try, you can't do it all. The hot springs were great even in the summer if you dip into the cold creek when you get too warm.


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