Near one of Colorado's most-visited ghost towns, land managers are looking to make a historic cabin available for group overnights.

The U.S. Forest Service recently announced a proposed $120 per night fee to rent the two-story log structure known as Iron City Cabin. It's about a mile away from St. Elmo, the storied destination frequented by off-roaders, horseback riders, hikers and anglers.

Dating to the early 1880s, the cabin is called that for the old smelter settlement that took root in Chalk Creek Canyon west of Salida. The cabin is also called Brown Canyon, for its first known resident, Henry Brown. He added the second story in 1890.

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Now the cabin boasts some modern amenities to go with rustic ones, such as the wood burner. A recent news release detailed electricity, a kitchen with a stove, refrigerator and sink, as well as a bathroom with a bath and toilet.

Accommodating six people, the idea is to "offer visitors a new opportunity to enjoy the beauty and recreational opportunities the area has to offer," according to the release, "while staying safe and warm in a unique, historic cabin with comfortable beds to sleep on."

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The proposed $120 nightly fee was based on amenities and services "and a market analysis that indicates the rate is fairly competitive with other public and private entities in the area," according to the release.

The Salida Ranger District is gathering feedback for the proposal through September. Comments can be submitted at:

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