Chalk Creek

Chalk Creek enters the Arkansas river nearby. The canyon carved out of the mountains contains many historic and beautiful places to visit. A stage line once transported passengers to the mining towns of Alpine, St. Elmo, Romley and Hancock. During the mining era a railroad also ran up the valley to Hancock and then continued through the Alpine Tunnel through the mountain and on to Pitkin. Both the stage roads and the railroad bed are now used for travel up this valley. The railroad was abandoned shortly after the mines closed. The severe winters and heavy snow made keeping it operating impractical just for tourists. In addition other railroads found more practical routes over the mountains. The town of St. Elmo has survived with many of the original buildings intact and a few buildings remain in Alpine as summer cabins but the towns of Romley and Hancock are only marked by a few of the remaining ruins. The Mary Murphy Mine that once flourished has several buildings remaining. Some of the other mines can be reached by jeep or small 4-wheel drive vehicles, the Tilden and the Iron Chest are among the most spectacular. Roads to these mines are difficult and should only be attempted by experienced 4-wheel drivers.


Celia Bell 2012