10 Things to Do in Silverton Colorado – 2024 Ultimate Guide

Table of Contents

Welcome

Welcome to Silverton, Colorado, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the San Juan Mountains. This charming town is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike, offering a plethora of things to do in Silverton Colorado that will leave you in awe. From exploring historic mines to embarking on scenic hikes, Silverton promises an unforgettable adventure for every traveler. So, pack your bags and get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty and excitement that this captivating destination has to offer.

Popular Experiences and Attractions

Silverton Historic District:

Essential Information

– Address: Silverton, Colorado
– Opening Hours: Varies by establishment
– Fee: Free to explore
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts and those interested in the Old West

Overview

Silverton Historic District in Silverton, Colorado, offers a glimpse into the town’s rich past with its well-preserved buildings and fascinating stories. Stepping into this historic district is like stepping back in time to the days of the Old West. Visitors can wander the streets lined with charming Victorian-era architecture, browse through quaint shops, and learn about the area’s mining history.

One of the highlights of the Silverton Historic District is the Mining Heritage Center, where visitors can explore exhibits showcasing the town’s mining heritage and the challenges faced by early miners. The district also features historic saloons, restaurants, and museums that provide a deeper understanding of Silverton’s colorful past.

For history enthusiasts and those seeking a taste of the Old West, Silverton Historic District is a must-see destination that offers a unique glimpse into Colorado’s fascinating history.

Silverton Mountain:

Essential Information

– Address: Silverton, Colorado
– Opening Hours: Varies by season
– Fee: Day passes starting at $79
– Visit Duration: Full day
– Ideal for: Advanced skiers and snowboarders

Overview

Silverton Mountain in Colorado is a premier destination for advanced skiers and snowboarders seeking an adrenaline-fueled experience. With its challenging terrain and untouched powder, this mountain offers a unique and thrilling adventure for those looking to push their limits on the slopes. The rugged beauty of the San Juan Mountains provides a stunning backdrop for a day of heart-pumping runs and unforgettable memories.

At Silverton Mountain, visitors can expect steep chutes, deep powder, and a backcountry feel that sets it apart from traditional ski resorts. The mountain’s remote location adds to its allure, attracting thrill-seekers from around the world who are eager to test their skills on some of the most challenging terrain in North America. Whether you’re a seasoned expert or looking to take your skiing or snowboarding to the next level, Silverton Mountain offers an unparalleled experience that will leave you craving more.

Animas Forks Ghost Town:

Essential Information

– Address: County Road 2, Silverton, Colorado
– Opening Hours: Daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
– Fee: $5 per person
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts and outdoor explorers

Overview

Perched high in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, Animas Forks Ghost Town stands as a testament to the region’s rich mining history. Once a bustling mining town in the late 19th century, today it offers visitors a glimpse into the past with its well-preserved buildings and artifacts. Walking through the deserted streets, you can almost hear the echoes of the miners who once toiled here in search of silver and gold.

The ghost town’s rustic charm and historical significance make it a must-see destination for anyone interested in the Old West. From the abandoned homes to the dilapidated storefronts, every corner of Animas Forks tells a story of the boom and bust cycle that defined the mining towns of the era. Whether you’re a history buff looking to step back in time or an outdoor enthusiast seeking a unique adventure, a visit to Animas Forks Ghost Town promises a memorable experience that captures the essence of Colorado’s mining heritage.

Million Dollar Highway:

Essential Information

– Address: Silverton, Colorado
– Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Scenic drives, nature lovers

Overview

The Million Dollar Highway in Silverton, Colorado, is a must-see destination for those seeking breathtaking views and a memorable road trip experience. This iconic stretch of highway winds its way through the rugged San Juan Mountains, offering travelers a glimpse of Colorado’s natural beauty at every turn. With its steep cliffs, hairpin turns, and panoramic vistas, the Million Dollar Highway provides an unforgettable driving adventure for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a photography enthusiast capturing the stunning landscapes or simply looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, this scenic route promises a truly unforgettable journey through the heart of the Rocky Mountains.

Mayflower Gold Mill:

Essential Information

– Address: 135 County Road 2, Silverton, CO 81433
– Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Monday – Saturday)
– Fee: $10 per adult, $5 per child
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts, families

Overview

The Mayflower Gold Mill in Silverton, Colorado, stands as a testament to the region’s rich mining history. This historic site offers visitors a glimpse into the once-thriving gold mining industry that shaped the area. As you explore the well-preserved structures and machinery, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and triumphs of the miners who toiled here in search of precious metals.

Walking through the Mayflower Gold Mill, you’ll be transported back in time to an era of grit and determination. The informative guided tours provide valuable insights into the mining process and the impact it had on the local community. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the past, a visit to this site is a must for anyone seeking to uncover the stories of Colorado’s mining heritage.

Experience the allure of the Mayflower Gold Mill and discover the fascinating history that lies within its walls. From the towering structures to the intricate machinery, every corner of this site tells a story of perseverance and ingenuity. Don’t miss the opportunity to step back in time and immerse yourself in the legacy of Colorado’s mining industry at the Mayflower Gold Mill.

Ice Lakes Trail:

Essential Information

– Address: Silverton, Colorado
– Opening Hours: Sunrise to sunset
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 4-6 hours
– Ideal for: Hikers and nature enthusiasts

Overview

Tucked away in the rugged San Juan Mountains of Colorado, Ice Lakes Trail is a must-see destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a challenging yet rewarding hiking experience. The trail’s stunning alpine scenery, crystal-clear turquoise lakes, and vibrant wildflowers make it a photographer’s paradise. With a moderate to strenuous difficulty level, the hike offers a sense of accomplishment as you ascend to the breathtaking Ice Lake and Island Lake. The trail is best enjoyed during the summer months when the wildflowers are in full bloom, creating a colorful tapestry against the backdrop of towering peaks. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker looking for a new challenge or a nature lover in search of serenity, Ice Lakes Trail promises an unforgettable adventure in the heart of the Colorado wilderness.

Kendall Mountain:

Essential Information

– Address: Silverton, Colorado
– Opening Hours: Varies by season, check website for details
– Fee: Admission fee required
– Visit Duration: Half-day
– Ideal for: Outdoor enthusiasts, families

Overview

Perched in the heart of Silverton, Colorado, Kendall Mountain stands as a beacon for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure in the Rocky Mountains. With its diverse terrain and stunning vistas, Kendall Mountain offers a plethora of activities year-round. From hiking and mountain biking in the summer to skiing and snowboarding in the winter, this hidden gem caters to thrill-seekers of all ages and skill levels.

The mountain’s well-maintained trails provide the perfect setting for a day of exploration and adrenaline-pumping fun. Whether you’re a seasoned outdoor enthusiast or a family looking for a memorable day out, Kendall Mountain offers something for everyone. So, pack your gear, grab your loved ones, and head to Kendall Mountain for an unforgettable experience in the great outdoors.

Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour:

Essential Information

– Address: 721 County Road 4A, Silverton, CO 81433
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM (May – October)
– Fee: $25 for adults, $15 for children
– Visit Duration: Approximately 1.5 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts and families

Overview

The Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour in Silverton, Colorado, offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into the region’s rich mining history. Step back in time as you descend into the depths of a real gold mine and learn about the challenges and triumphs of the miners who once toiled underground. The guided tour takes you through tunnels and shafts, showcasing the equipment and techniques used in the pursuit of precious metals.

Experience firsthand the grit and determination required to extract gold from the earth in this authentic mining setting. The knowledgeable guides provide insights into the mining process and share stories of the individuals who shaped the area’s mining legacy. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about Colorado’s mining heritage, the Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour offers a memorable and educational experience for all ages. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore a piece of the state’s storied past.

Silverton Northern Railroad:

Essential Information

– Address: Silverton, Colorado
– Opening Hours: Varies, check website for schedule
– Fee: Ticket prices vary, check website for details
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: History buffs, train enthusiasts

Overview

The Silverton Northern Railroad in Silverton, Colorado, offers visitors a unique glimpse into the region’s rich history and stunning natural beauty. As one of the oldest narrow-gauge railways in the state, this historic railroad takes passengers on a scenic journey through the rugged San Juan Mountains, showcasing breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. Whether you’re a history buff or a train enthusiast, a ride on the Silverton Northern Railroad is a must-do experience that provides a fascinating look into Colorado’s past while offering a relaxing and picturesque adventure. Don’t miss the opportunity to step back in time and enjoy the charm of this iconic railway.

Molas Pass:

Essential Information

– Address: Molas Pass, Silverton, Colorado
– Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, photographers, road trippers

Overview

Molas Pass in Silverton, Colorado, offers a breathtaking natural landscape that is a must-see for anyone exploring the area. Situated along the Million Dollar Highway, this high mountain pass sits at an elevation of over 10,000 feet, providing stunning panoramic views of the surrounding San Juan Mountains. The pass is a popular stop for road trippers and outdoor enthusiasts alike, offering a chance to witness the rugged beauty of Colorado’s wilderness.

Visitors to Molas Pass can take in the fresh mountain air while marveling at the expansive vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see. The area is ideal for nature lovers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse themselves in the tranquility of the great outdoors. Whether you’re a photographer seeking the perfect shot or simply looking to enjoy a scenic drive through the mountains, Molas Pass promises a memorable experience that showcases the natural beauty of Colorado’s landscape.

Food and Cuisine

Rocky Mountain Oysters

Why is it so special:

Rocky Mountain Oysters, also known as prairie oysters, are a unique delicacy made from deep-fried bull testicles. Despite its unconventional main ingredient, this dish is a must-try for adventurous foodies looking to experience a true taste of the Wild West. The dish is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, with a flavor profile that is both savory and slightly gamey. Rocky Mountain Oysters have a long history in the region, dating back to the days of cattle ranching in the American West.

Where to Try It:

For an authentic Rocky Mountain Oysters experience in Silverton, head to the Handlebars Food & Saloon. This local spot is known for serving up this unique dish in a casual and welcoming atmosphere. If you prefer a more upscale setting, check out the Grand Imperial Hotel Restaurant, where you can enjoy Rocky Mountain Oysters prepared with a gourmet twist.

Green Chili

Why is it so special:

Green Chili is a beloved local dish in Silverton, known for its bold flavors and spicy kick. This hearty stew is made with slow-cooked pork or beef, green chilies, tomatoes, onions, and a blend of aromatic spices. The dish is rich, flavorful, and perfect for warming up on a chilly day in the mountains. Green Chili has deep roots in Southwestern cuisine and is a staple in Colorado’s culinary scene.

Where to Try It:

To savor a delicious bowl of Green Chili in Silverton, stop by the Avalanche Brewing Company. This brewery and restaurant offers a tasty version of the dish that pairs perfectly with their craft beers. For a more traditional take on Green Chili, visit the Brown Bear Cafe, a local favorite known for its homestyle cooking.

Events and Festivals

Silverton Skijoring

Silverton Skijoring is a thrilling winter event where skiers are pulled by horses through a course filled with obstacles and jumps. This unique competition attracts both participants and spectators from all over, offering an exciting display of skill and speed against the backdrop of the stunning San Juan Mountains.

Hardrock 100 Endurance Run

The Hardrock 100 Endurance Run is a prestigious ultramarathon that takes place in the rugged San Juan Mountains surrounding Silverton. Known for its challenging terrain and high elevation, this race draws elite athletes and outdoor enthusiasts looking to test their limits in one of the most demanding trail races in the world.

Silverton Brass Band Festival

The Silverton Brass Band Festival is a celebration of music and community, featuring performances by brass bands from across the region. Visitors can enjoy a variety of musical styles, from traditional marches to contemporary compositions, in the charming setting of Silverton’s historic downtown.

Interesting Facts

– Silverton, Colorado is one of the highest towns in the United States, sitting at an elevation of over 9,300 feet above sea level.
– The town is home to the famous Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a historic steam-powered train that offers breathtaking scenic rides through the San Juan Mountains.
– Silverton is known for its rich mining history, with the area once being a booming silver mining town in the late 19th century.

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