I love visiting ghost towns and have been to dozens in Colorado, but Saint Elmo is the best! Even though it's been nearly deserted since the 1930s, it looks pretty much just as it did in the 1880s and 90s. It's one of the best preserved ghost towns in the state, with dozens of buildings standing. Most are empty, but there is a bed and breakfast and a shop open and few summer cabins. The scenery is as big a draw as the town itself and can't be beat! It's beautiful. The fall is the best time to visit when the aspens are changing. If you're feeling outdoorsy, there are campgrounds just up the road (CR 162).
We did a three day tour around Buena Vista and Salida the first week of October, and hit the Aspens perfectly (I think).
We stayed in Buena Vista, our first day, we drove down to Salida, went up Marshall Pass, over to Sargents, and then back over Monarch Pass and home to BV. A great drive, suitable for any car. Super fall colors, and great photos of Mt Ouray.
Our second day, we drove to Salida, had lunch at the West End, and new restaurant (for us at least) and then went up Ute Trail to Aspen Ridge. About 20 miles of solid Aspen immersion. the colors were great, sometimes the Aspen completely cover the road in a big arch. This is a little rougher drive, and not good for a low clearance car, but any kind of truck of high car would be fine. Aspen Ridge ends at Trout Creek pass, and then back to BV.
Our final day, we drove to St Elmo, and semi restored ghost mining town. No tourists and lots of old buildings and authentic looking props. The Aspen were great again, seemed like perfect timing for the drives.