St Elmo to Tincup Trail - Jeep Trail near Buena Vista, Colorado

Tips before you go – St Elmo to Tincup Trail


Fill up your gas tank — there’s no gas for miles after Tincup

Air Down your tires!

Keep your jeep dog at home — very rough ride even with a seatbelt


Jeep Dog

Getting to St Elmo – Buena Vista to St Elmo


To get to the St Elmo to Tincup trail From Buena vista, it is about a 4o minute drive. To get there you are going to want to take highway 24 south. Keep your eye out for county road 162, it will be on your right after you pass Nathrop. Take that right and follow it for 19 miles until you hit St Elmo. If you’re looking for other things to do in Buena Vista, there is hiking, hot springs and so much more.


St Elmo is one of the most popular ghost towns in Colorado. With only 2 business still up and running, it’s still a fun little town to walk around and check out the old buildings.

If you’re an animal lover like me, be sure to stop by the general store in town and grab a bag of sunflower seeds to feed the friendly group of chipmunks that hangout in-front of the St Elmo general store! They will eat it right out of your hand.


St Elmo Ghost Town

The Trail – St Elmo to Tincup off-road trail


The St Elmo to Tincup trail is a 12.1 mile lightly trafficked trail about 40 mins from buena vista, Colorado. The trail is rated moderate – Difficult and mainly used by jeeps, Atvs, side by sides, and dirt bikes.

The best time to visit this trail is summer/fall before the snow covers the trail. It should take you about 2-3 hours to complete the loop. This depends on how many times you stop or how fast/slow you go down the trail.

The trail is filled with amazing views of the trees and mountains which make for perfect photo ops!


St Elmo Jeep trail , Colorado

Prepare yourself for a long bumpy ride if you have a cheaper lift kit on your jeep. I learned that day that you get what you pay for and I will NEVER buy a cheap lift kit again for my jeep.

Check out my Jeep Build Page to see what gear I use!


The trail itself is just very bumpy, you are driving over rocks, going through mud puddles, climbing up steep hills, but overall it’s a super fun trail! One of my favorite ones we did while in Colorado. Keep in mind certain parts of the trails are going to be challenging no matter what off-road vehicle you have.


Jeep trail in Buena Vista , Colorado

There is a stopping point about 6 miles in. It’s called the Continental Divide and the elevation is 12,154 Feet. This is a great spot to stretch your legs, have lunch, and just take a break from getting beaten up by the trail!


After the pass, the trail is going to break off to the left and to the right. We thought it went in different directions but it leads to the same spot. The left is more narrow and rough, more meant for smaller off-road vehicles, so if your in a jeep I’d say stay right.


St Elmo Jeep trail , Colorado

After the Continental pass – Tincup Colorado

From the pass, you have about a 6 mile drive down to the town of Tincup. The trail gets more narrow and rocky as you work your way down. So just take your time and if you have a spotter, have them get out to make sure you don’t slam into the big rocks, or get too close to the cliff side.


With the trail getting more narrow, be considerate of other people on the trail and let big groups pass you. You will notice while passing most groups, each person will hold up a number letting you know how many people are still behind them so you know when it is ok to continue.



To Tincup – Jeep Trails in Colorado

You know your almost done the trail when you come to a gorgeous lake, from here its about 3 miles to Tincup. The lake is definetley worth stopping at to hang out for a bit before you finish the trail. The road after Pomeroy Lake is the smoothest part of the whole trail and will lead you right into the town of Tincup.


St Elmo to Tincup Pass Jeep trail , Colorado

Off-Road Rentals – St Elmo to Tincup


If you still wanna enjoy this Trail but don’t have any kind of off-road vehicle, there are lots of places to rent them in the town of Buena Vista.

BV Jeeps Mountain Adventure RentalsThey rent out Atvs, Side by sides, and Jeeps.

Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals They rent out dirt bikes , and side by sides.

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