Miner’s Loop Colorado
4 Ghost Towns: St. Elmo, Woodstock, Tincup & Hancock
- Start/End: St. Elmo CO
- Ghost Towns: St. Elmo, Tincup, Woodstock and Hancock
- Skill Level: Difficult
- Distance: 44 miles
- Usage: Moderate
- Season: Late July – fall.
- Vehicles Allowed: 4×4, ATV, SxS, motorcycles. Short wheel base & high clearance.
Endless Off-roading In Taylor Park
Located in the Taylor Park region, an area renowned for it’s off-roading, this ride combines Hancock Pass Road 295, Cumberland Pass Road 765 and Tincup Pass Road 267.
Among locals, you may hear this route referred to as the Miner’s Loop, but unlike the Alpine Loop, this loop trail doesn’t have an “official” name. And, since this is a loop, you have a lot of options on where to start; both Taylor Park and St. Elmo make good starting points.
Although this loop is one of the most popular and spectacular in the area, it’s just scratching the surface of the riding that’s available here.
So, if you’re not up for the challenge of this advanced route, don’t let that keep you from visiting and exploring the other hundreds of miles of trails open to ATVing. There are easy and moderate trails plus a lot more advanced trails.
Best ATV Guidebook For Taylor Park & Crested Butte
Tincup Pass/St. Elmo and Hancock Pass are both covered in this book.
This book covers 30 ATV trails, 22 out of Taylor Park and 8 out of Crested Butte.
- 7 Easy Trails
- 12 Moderate Trails
- 11 Difficult Trails
One of the most awesome rides covered in this book is a ride from St. Elmo Ghost Town to Aspen. You descend through the Aspen Ski Area and park near the bottom of gondola where you can then walk into town. This ride is Moderate.
Related Post: Alta Lakes & Alta Ghost Town – Telluride CO
You get not one, not two, not three, but four Colorado ghost towns on this high alpine loop. St. Elmo is a well preserved ghost town, but there’s not much to see at the Hancock site, it’s been claimed by time and the elements.
Woodstock has a few buildings still standing and some remain. Technically, Tincup doesn’t qualify as a ghost town as it’s still occupied by a handful of people. However there are several historic buildings still standing as well as an old cemetery.
And, even if you’re not into ghost towns or old west history, this exciting high alpine route is still worth doing. You ride over three separate mountain passes over 12,000 feet high – it’s like you’re riding on the top of the world.
Ghost towns, unsurpassed mountain views, alpine tundra, endless meadows and the small, but charming, Mirror Lake all combine to make this one of the 10 best ATV trails in Colorado.
ATV Rentals & St. Elmo Guided ATV Tours
Since this is such a popular off-roading destination, there are a few options available for vehicle rentals and guided tours.
If you aren’t comfortable heading out into the wilds on your own then a guided tour may be the way to go. And although renting an ATV or taking a tour isn’t budget friendly, it’s well worth the splurge.
Location: Buena Vista CO
RMAR offers a full day guided tour that starts in St. Elmo to explore the surrounding area. They also offer RZR and dirt bike rentals for exploring on your own.
Location: Pitkin CO
Conveniently located just off the Miner’s Loop with easy trail access from the rental office. They offer 2 and 4 seat RZR rentals for self guided travel.
Location: Crested Butte
This company offers vehicle rentals for self guided off-roading in both Crested Butte and Taylor Park.
They rent 2 and 4 seat Can-Am Mavericks and Polaris RZR, 6 seat Polaris Ranger Crew EPS, 2 seat Can-Am Maverick X3 Turbo and Jeep Rubicons.