Ultimate Guide To Things To Do In Silverton CO

Things To Do In Silverton CO

Are you curious about what to do in Silverton, CO? If so, you’re certainly not alone. Like many before you, the allure of the San Juan Mountains and this historic town’s charm is hard to resist.

We understand that urge to explore all that Silverson has to offer—from the rush of skiing down Kendall Mountain Ski Area, wandering through scenic trails, to stepping back in time at places like the Mayflower Gold Mill or catching a ride on the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

After putting our heads together and doing some digging, we’ve crafted a guide brimming with activities that cater to every taste. Whether it’s adventure or history you seek, get ready for an unforgettable trip filled with discoveries at every turn.

Key Takeaways

  • Drive the Million Dollar Highway for stunning views and history-filled stops like Red Mountain Pass.
  • Hike the Ice Lakes Trail to see vibrant wildflowers and breathtaking mountain scenery.
  • Tour historic sites like the Mayflower Gold Mill and ride the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Train for a taste of Colorado’s mining past.
  • Explore ghost towns around Silverton to learn about the region’s rich history.
  • Enjoy outdoor activities such as snowmobiling in the San Juan Mountains, fishing in serene lakes, or skiing at Kendall Mountain Ski Area.

Discover the Top Attractions in Silverton, CO

Things To Do In Silverton CO - A stunning photo of the scenic Million Dollar Highway with winding roads and rugged mountains.

Explore the scenic Million Dollar Highway, visit the San Juan County Historical Society Museum, hike the Ice Lakes Trail, tour the Historic Mayflower Gold Mill. Ride the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Train, explore ghost towns around Silverton and see the Christ of the Mines Shrine.

Stroll through historic downtown Silverton and enjoy craft beers at Golden Block Brewery.

Drive the Scenic Million Dollar Highway

We all pack our bags for an adventure on the Million Dollar Highway. This stunning 25-mile stretch from Silverton to Ouray offers breathtaking views and a heart-pounding drive through the San Juan Mountains.

It takes about 45 minutes without stops, but who can resist pulling over to soak in those dramatic landscapes? Along the way, we spot old mining relics by Mineral Creek and marvel at the towering Red Mountains.

Our route also leads us through parts of the San Juan Skyway, starting its majestic loop in Durango. Reaching Ouray feels like stepping into another world, often called “the Switzerland of America.” Here, in a National Historical District, we find streets lined with history and charm.

The trip fills our cameras with photos and enriches us with stories of Colorado’s rugged past.

Explore the San Juan County Historical Society Museum

We visit the San Juan County Historical Society Museum at 1557 Greene St. in Silverton, Colorado. This place charges $12 for adults and $11 for seniors to get in. Inside, we discover a 14,000-square-foot Mining Heritage Center that tells the story of mining in the area.

There’s also a fully redone jail from 1902 right next to the museum where our self-guided tour begins.

As we move through the exhibits, we learn about early English settlers and how mining has changed over time in the San Juan region. The experience gives us insights into local history and present-day efforts to preserve it.

Through artifacts and stories, we see how this small town played a big part in Colorado’s silver boom – making it a must-see spot for those exploring Silverton’s past.

Hike the Ice Lakes Trail

We tackle the Ice Lakes Trail for a breathtaking adventure in Silverton, Colorado. This trail stretches 7.4 miles roundtrip and starts at an elevation of 9,800 feet, climbing to a summit of 12,300 feet.

From mid-June to mid-October, the path is clear of snow, perfect for hiking. Winter turns it into a wonderland for snowshoeing. The best months for vibrant wildflowers are July and August.

Camping near the Ice Lakes lets us follow leave-no-trace principles, keeping the area pristine. This trail offers stunning views and a rewarding journey through the San Juans.

Whether we seek solitude or a challenging trek with friends, this hike promises unforgettable experiences among some of nature’s finest landscapes in Silverton Colorado.

Tour the Historic Mayflower Gold Mill

Let’s take a tour of the Historic Mayflower Gold Mill, located just two miles outside of Silverton. Admission is $10 per person and self-guided tours are available Monday to Saturday.

Parts of the film “Night Passage” were filmed at the mill, adding an interesting Hollywood connection to its historical significance. With authentic operational sounds and workings, this experience provides a captivating glimpse into the area’s mining heritage.

It’s a family-friendly visit suited for children 10 years and older.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to explore the intricate workings of this historic site nestled in picturesque Silverton, CO – perfect for families seeking an educational yet engaging adventure.

Ride the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Train

The Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Train operates year-round and carries passengers to Silverton from May to October, then Cascade Canyon from November to April. Winding through the breathtaking San Juan National Forest, this historic train boasts a fascinating journey back in time, with its splendid engines dating as far back as 1882.

Offering various adventure packages along with event specials like THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride and Cowboy Poetry Train adds excitement to an already enriching experience.

With a variety of train rides such as Scenic Round Trip Silverton Train and Cascade Canyon Express on offer, there’s something for everyone. Exploring this iconic route is an immersive way to grasp the profound historical context while embracing the captivating natural beauty of Colorado’s wilderness—making it a compelling must-visit for any travel enthusiast eager for authentic experiences.

Visit the Ghost Towns Around Silverton

Embark on a journey to explore the ghost towns surrounding Silverton. Animas Forks, accessible via the Alpine Loop Byway, is a must-see attraction dating back to 1873. It offers a glimpse into the mining towns’ history from the late 19th and early 20th centuries—an enriching experience for history enthusiasts.

While discovering these ghost towns, you’ll unveil firsthand how they’ve shaped the region’s historical landscape. The picturesque remnants of these once-thriving communities stand as testaments to their bygone eras, attracting visitors keen on understanding the area’s rich mining heritage and historical context.

See the Christ of the Mines Shrine

Standing at 16 feet, the Christ of the Mines Shrine is made from 12 tons of Italian Carrara marble. It boasts an enchanting view overlooking Silverton and was funded by both the Catholic Church and the people of Silverton.

This colossal shrine located on Anvil Mountain is believed to have protected miners during a significant flood in 1978. Accessible via 15th Street off the Million Dollar Highway, visitors can leave notes in the visitor’s log book near this magnificent structure.

Visitors are invited to leave personal messages in the visitor’s log book placed near this awe-inspiring shrine that stands proudly on Anvil Mountain. Made from 12 tons of Italian Carrara marble, it represents faith and strength while providing a breathtaking view over Silverton.

Funded by both the Catholic Church and local community members, its historical significance dates back to protecting miners during a major flood in 1978.

Stroll Through Historic Downtown Silverton

Silverton’s historic downtown boasts charming 19th-century architecture, offering an immersive journey into the town’s rich history. Our Heritage Mining Park offers a peek into the silver and gold mining that shaped Silverton.

The stroll is peppered with local shops showcasing authentic mountain town treasures. It’s a leisurely walk, allowing you to soak in the ambiance of this storied area.

The rejuvenating sounds of the Animas River add to your experience as you take in landmarks like Grand Imperial Hotel and picturesque churches. Family-friendly dining options are available for a cozy respite after your stroll.

This district encapsulates Silverton’s historical significance, providing unique insights into its past amidst a serene and idyllic setting.

Enjoy Craft Beers at Golden Block Brewery

Nestled in the heart of Silverton, Golden Block Brewery invites beer enthusiasts to savor exceptional craft beers while soaking up the town’s laid-back atmosphere. Rated 4.5 out of 5 on Tripadvisor and ranked #5 of 20 restaurants, it offers a rich variety of American, Bar, Pizza, and Pub cuisines.

Whether you’re a fan of IPAs or seeking bespoke brews including old hundred gold ale or red mountain pass lager—Golden Block Brewery has something for everyone. Open from 11:30 AM to 11:00 PM on most days, this brewery stands as a must-visit destination for those who appreciate meticulously crafted beers amidst picturesque surroundings.

In addition to its flavorful offerings, Golden Block Brewery caters to various dietary preferences with Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, and Gluten-Free choices available — ensuring everyone can partake in the experience.

As part of our exploration through quieter towns like Silverton CO., embracing local flavors at Avalanche Brewing Company complements an authentic journey through this ever-evolving realm.

Outdoor Adventure Activities in Silverton, CO

Things To Do In Silverton CO - A serene mountain lake surrounded by towering peaks and lush forests, captured in high definition.

Hike the scenic trails and explore the backcountry. Camp in the wilderness, fish in serene lakes, and enjoy rafting on challenging rivers.

Hike Scenic Trails

When exploring Silverton, CO, you can embark on an adventure through 79 scenic trails offering breathtaking views of forests, wildlife, wildflowers, and lakes. You’ll find trails suitable for snowshoeing, bird watching, and rock climbing.

For an easy trail option, consider Handies Peak via American Basin Trail. If you seek stunning views, don’t miss the Columbine Lake Trail #509 or the gorgeous Coal Bank Pass to Engineer Mountain Summit route.

Every trail promises a diverse experience with its unique features — whether it’s towering peaks or tranquil lakes nestled in nature. These picturesque routes cater to various outdoor activities and lead towards awe-inspiring landscapes waiting to be discovered by adventurers like ourselves.

Camp in the Wilderness

When it comes to camping in the wilderness near Silverton, CO, there are diverse options for outdoor enthusiasts. Primitive campsites at South Mineral Creek and Molas Lake Park provide a back-to-nature experience.

These areas offer breathtaking natural beauty and opportunities for activities like hiking, geocaching, and boondocking. For those seeking modern amenities, several campgrounds in Silverton cater to tents and RVs.

Moreover, the pet-friendly Kendall National Forest CG is a great option for travelers with furry companions.

To engage with nature on a deeper level, visitors can explore the serene lakes in the region which offer excellent fishing opportunities or take advantage of various trails ideal for hiking and mountain biking within reach of these campgrounds.

Mountain Bike the Rugged Trails

We can explore Silverton’s rugged mountain trails on a thrilling mountain biking adventure, with over 65 miles of single track trails. The town offers bike rentals and guided tours to cater to various skill levels.

These scenic routes provide an exhilarating way to experience the spectacular mountain scenery in this world-class mountain biking destination.

The town’s growing trail system provides diverse options for riders seeking different experiences in their outdoor adventures, making it an ideal spot for those looking for quieter and smaller towns away from the typical tourist destinations.

Fish in Serene Lakes

Discover the tranquility of fishing in serene alpine lakes surrounded by the breathtaking San Juan Mountains. Enjoy a peaceful day casting lines and reeling in catches from crystal clear waters, including popular spots like Molas Lake Park, offering an idyllic setting just 4 miles south of Silverton.

Embrace the beauty of nature while engaging in this timeless outdoor activity, with options for both primitive campsites at South Mineral Creek and modern amenities at various campgrounds during the summer season.

Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner seeking relaxation amidst stunning landscapes, Silverton’s serene lakes provide an ideal haven for fishing enthusiasts looking to connect with nature.

Experience Rafting on Challenging Rivers

You can raft on the upper Animas River for exhilarating white-water adventures. The river offers challenging rapids, making it a popular choice for adrenaline junkies and thrill-seekers.

Durango Rivertrippers Adventure Tours provide rafting packages, ensuring an exciting experience in Silverton’s realm of outdoor activities.

Ride Horses in the Backcountry

Several stables and outfitters offer guided horseback riding trips in the backcountry of Silverton, CO. The San Juan Mountains provide a stunning and picturesque backdrop for this activity.

It offers a unique perspective of the landscape and allows an intimate connection with nature. Horseback riding provides an immersive way to explore the natural surroundings, making it a popular outdoor adventure activity in Silverton for individuals seeking quieter and more authentic experiences.

Explore Trails by Jeep

Discover the breathtaking beauty of Silverton’s rugged terrain and historic sites on a thrilling Jeep adventure. With the option to rent Jeeps, you can embark on an expedition into the heart of the San Juan Mountains and navigate through 75 miles of mesmerizing landscape known as the Alpine Loop.

Experience panoramic vistas, historical mining towns, and Colorado’s rich heritage while guided tours offer insightful commentary on this scenic journey. Don’t miss out on visiting ghost towns like Animas Forks or exploring off-road trails tailor-made for robust outdoor exploration.

Ride ATVs and OHVs on Off-road Trails

Ready to explore the thrilling terrain? The San Juan Backcountry company offers ATV, UTV, and Jeep rentals and tours. You can enjoy an ATV/UTV 3-Day Adventure Tour for guided rides across scenic off-road trails.

Remember that OHV riding is available in San Juan County but not within the Town of Silverton. If you’re up for it, the Alpine Loop spans over 65 miles and is a paradise for off-roaders.

For more details or bookings, contact San Juan Backcountry at (970-387-5565) or via email at tours@sanjuanbackcountry.com.

So who’s ready for an adrenaline-pumping adventure?

Snowmobile in the San Juan Mountains

Ready to explore the San Juan Mountains? Let’s rev up the adventure with snowmobiling. We’ve got you covered as we delve into those pristine white landscapes on top-of-the-line Polaris® snowmobiles.

The private 55,000-acre area offers an exhilarating terrain for a thrilling ride. Get ready to embark on this snowy escapade and don’t miss out on the excitement – book your guided snowmobile tour with Ice Pirates Snowmobile Tours today!

Unlock a whole new level of exploration in these vast mountains. Feel the thrill as you navigate through this winter wonderland, speeding across well-groomed trails and enjoying majestic views all around.

Whether you’re new to snowmobiling or an experienced rider seeking more than just adventure, our tailor-made tours are designed to cater to every enthusiast’s needs. So gear up, buckle in, and let’s hit those mountain trails!

Winter Sports and Activities in Silverton, CO

Ski down the thrilling slopes of Silverton Mountain, and experience the rush of heli-skiing adventures. Snowmobile through the mountain trails or enjoy a day of skiing at Kendall Mountain Ski Area.

To find out more about winter fun in Silverton, CO, immerse yourself in our guide!

Ski the Slopes of Silverton Mountain

When hitting the slopes of Silverton Mountain, get ready for challenging and technical terrain while skiing or snowboarding. The mountain’s renowned for its ungroomed runs, providing an exhilarating experience.

Guided skiing is available throughout the season, with unguided options kicking in during springtime. Consider opting for a Premium Pass to enjoy benefits like discounted heli-skiing runs.

Moreover, the mountain staff is highly reputed for offering support and prioritizing safety, making it a top choice for skiers seeking an adventurous challenge.

Experience Heli-skiing Adventures

When in Silverton, you can heli-ski or heliboard at Silverton Mountain. The mountain offers guided and unguided skiing and snowboarding experiences. Heli-skiing options start at $184, providing a thrilling adventure for experienced skiers and riders seeking an unparalleled experience on pristine snow.

The premium pass not only includes discounted heli runs but also grants access to partner mountains, enhancing the overall ski experience. This isn’t simply skiing; it’s an opportunity to embrace the thrill of untouched terrain and revel in the best that winter has to offer.

Snowmobile on the Mountain Trails

Snowmobiling in Silverton is a thrilling way to explore the majestic San Juan Mountains. Molas Pass offers scenic snowmobile trails, and Ice Pirates Snowmobile Adventures provide top-of-the-line snowmobiles for this popular activity.

The snowmobiling experience is designed to enhance exploration and enjoyment of the natural beauty that surrounds Silverton. It provides firsthand experiences of the everchanging terrain in winter, adding depth to our suite of activities across these quieter and smaller towns.

With reviews noting the memorable scenery and professional guidance offered by Ice Pirates Snowmobile Adventures, this outdoor venture becomes an essential part of exploring Silverton’s winter charm.

Enjoy Skiing at Kendall Mountain Ski Area

When visiting Silverton, CO, we highly recommend skiing at Kendall Mountain Ski Area. It’s an ideal spot for in-town and family-friendly skiing, snowboarding, and sledding. This area offers uncrowded slopes that are perfect for learning to ski or enjoying a variety of downhill adventures.

Visitors can also take pleasure in sledding and snowboarding while reveling in the idyllic mountain atmosphere.

So why not plan your next ski trip to Kendall Mountain Ski Area? You’ll be treating yourself to a delightful winter experience with an array of affordable activities amid serene surroundings.

Engage with the Colorado Travel Community and Explore More

Discover hidden gems in the Colorado travel community. Dive into local flavors at Avalanche Brewing Company and savor the taste of regional cuisine. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Silverton’s mining park.

Challenge Yourself at Red Mountain Pass

As you drive the Million Dollar Highway, prepare yourself to navigate the exhilarating twists and turns of Red Mountain Pass. The stunning panoramas of rugged peaks and colorful foliage will captivate your senses – a must-see during fall with golden aspen trees dotting the landscape.

This unapologetically challenging road offers an adventurous journey amidst some of Colorado’s most awe-inspiring mountain scenery.

Savor Local Flavors at Avalanche Brewing Company

Savor local flavors at Avalanche Brewing Company. This brewery ranks #3 out of 12 restaurants in Silverton and boasts a solid 4.5-star rating. The location offers an expanded brewing capacity and seating, ensuring you can savor a variety of craft beers and indulge in delicious American, Brew Pub, and Pizza cuisine with vegetarian-friendly, vegan, and gluten-free options.

Located at 1067 Notorious Blair St., the brewery serves lunch, dinner, and drinks while also providing takeout and outdoor seating for an excellent dining experience.

Taste Local Cuisine and Discover Breweries

Let’s explore Silverton’s delightful food scene with a range of options to suit different palates, including vegetarian-friendly, vegan, and gluten-free choices. The town boasts top-rated breweries like Golden Block Brewery and Avalanche Brewing Company where you can savor craft beers.

If you fancy exploring other areas in Colorado, Frisco offers outdoor activities at the Outer Range Brewing Co., while Boulder is home to Avery Brewing and Mountain Sun Brewing for more flavorsome experiences.

Get ready for some culinary adventures as we uncover Silverton’s local cuisine and intriguing breweries with options catering to various dietary preferences. Whether it’s relishing craft beers at esteemed spots like Golden Block Brewery or dipping into flavorful experiences in other parts of Colorado such as Frisco or Boulder, there’s plenty here to excite your taste buds.

Learn at Silverton’s Heritage Mining Park

Immerse yourself in the captivating history of Silverton at its Heritage Mining Park. Explore the rich mining legacy through guided tours aboard a mine train, offered by the Old Hundred Gold Mine.

Delve deep into the area’s past at the Mining Heritage Center Museum, gaining valuable insights into the life of early 1900s miners through exhibits featuring photographs, mining artifacts, and historical documents.

Feel the immersive experience provided by San Juan County Historical Society as it unfolds fascinating layers of regional heritage. The museum offers a vivid picture of the area’s prominent mining history, offering an educational journey for those seeking to understand this breathtaking transformation firsthand.

Experience Driving on the Million Dollar Highway

We drove the Million Dollar Highway, known for its stunning views and nerve-wracking drop-offs. It stretches 25 miles from Silverton to Ouray and takes around 45 minutes without stops.

The absence of guard rails increases the nerve-wracking experience, but it’s safe if driven carefully and paying attention to oncoming traffic. Whether the name came from building costs or gold ore presence remains unclear, but we thoroughly enjoyed this breathtaking drive.

Hike the Picturesque Barrett Twin Lakes Trail

Barrett Twin Lakes Trail is a scenic 3-mile hike located near Silverton, CO. The trail offers captivating views and photo opportunities of the twin lakes surrounded by rugged mountain peaks.

With an elevation gain of approximately 500 feet, this trek is suitable for hikers of various skill levels. It’s advisable to check the trail conditions beforehand due to variable accessibility depending on seasonal snowfall.

The trail has received positive feedback from hikers, particularly for its natural beauty and serene surroundings. As you embark on this adventure in the heart of nature, don’t forget to add Barrett Twin Lakes Trail to your list when exploring quieter and smaller towns like Silverton.

Things To Do In Silverton CO Conclusion

So much to explore in Silverton, CO! From the breathtaking Million Dollar Highway to the historic Mayflower Gold Mill, this town offers a diverse range of attractions. Whether it’s hiking through the San Juan Mountains or enjoying craft beers at Golden Block Brewery, there is something for everyone.

The outdoor adventure activities and winter sports options make Silverton an all-season destination. Engage with the Colorado Travel Community and delve into more experiences that await.

Things To Do In Silverton CO FAQs

1. What can we do in Silverton CO during winter?

In winter, Silverton turns into a snowy paradise. We can hit the slopes at the Silverton Mountain Ski Area or go snowshoeing through scenic trails. For those who love adventures, trying out skiing down Imogene Pass is a must.

2. Are there any hot springs near Silverton where we can relax?

Absolutely! Just a short drive away, Ouray Hot Springs Pool offers us a warm and relaxing soak with stunning mountain views around. It’s perfect after a long day of outdoor activities.

3. Can we explore any historical sites in Silverton?

Yes, we certainly can. The Shenandoah-Dives Mill lets us step back in time to see how mining operations worked back then. Exploring this site gives us an interesting peek into the town’s rich history.

4. What about dining options? Is there a craft brewery in Silverton?

Sure thing! After exploring, we can unwind at a local craft brewery in town or enjoy delicious meals at various restaurants offering cozy atmospheres and tasty food.

5: Where should campers and hikers head to for the best experiences near Silverton?

Campers and hikers will find plenty of spots around Silverton to set up camp or start their trail adventures—like near Lake City or along Durango & Silverton routes… With breathtaking landscapes all around, it’s an outdoor lover’s dream come true.

Similar Posts