Things To Do In Silverton, Co: Complete Guide

Mercy Brice

things to do in silverton co


This article contains the best things to do in Silverton co. Please ensure to read this article to the end to learn more.

Silverton has a rich history as well as a decent amount of tourists. After various surveys, we were able to gather this helpful information, which will guide you step by step.

Silverton is well-known for the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a former mining train that is now a National Historic Landmark, and globally famous events.

Silverton Mountain offers a realistic big-mountain skiing experience for everyone. The base lodge is a wood-fired Quonset hut, and there is just one chairlift. There are about 2,000 acres of steeps, chutes, and gullies on the mountain.


Summertime offers several chances for Jeeping, hiking, and backpacking around Silverton. To reach the subalpine lakes of unearthly blues at Columbine and Ice Lakes, hikers must ascend steep terrain covered with wildflowers. 

Near Molas Pass, mountain cyclists may access some stretches of the Colorado Trail. Hire a Jeep to see the well-known Alpine Loop and any of the several abandoned settlements scattered across the highlands.

Below are the best things to do in Silverton co. If you have any questions, please use the comment form below.



1. Ski At Kendall Mountain Recreation Area

things to do in silverton co

Kendall Mountain is a fantastic spot to ski with the family.” Ski facility offering tree runs, all-level terrain, and a chairlift, as well as an ice rink and rentals.

Kendall Mountain is a modest ski slope in the Colorado town of Silverton. It was built in the 1950s by the Grand Imperial Hotel and launched in the early 1960s.

The area was discovered to be operating without a permission in 1983 and remained closed until the late 1990s.

It claims to be the “cheapest ski slope in the West,” with 35 acres (140,000 m2) of skiable terrain divided into 11 routes. It has a base elevation of 9,300 feet (2,800 meters) and an altitude of 2,800 feet (800 m).

The best place to take your family skiing is Kendall Mountain Ski Area in Silverton. At Kendall, the cost of skiing for your complete family is less than the cost of a single lift ticket at one of Colorado’s bigger resorts.

Come experience their laid-back, family-friendly ambiance and create memories with an affordable mountain retreat that’s ideal for families with young children and newbie skiers and snowboarders of all ages!

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2. Explore The San Juan Backcountry

things to do in silverton co

In the 1990s, San Juan Backcountry was founded. One of the first tour companies in Colorado was called San Juan. The most pristine wilderness in America is found in the San Juan region, which is located near Silverton and Durango.

For more than 25 years, the San Juan Backcountry has been in operation. They have knowledgeable guides who have lived in Silverton for a long time and some who have actually worked in the mines.

I recommend their whole package, which lets you combine some of their offers with a roundtrip train travel from Durango to Silverton and an overnight stay, for the best San Juan Backcountry experience.

They are your backcountry guides, and they are confident that you will love all of their amazing Colorado ATV rentals and excursions, as well as the breathtaking landscape ranging from 9,300 feet to 13,000 feet.

San Juan Backcountry offers an ATV experience (single, double, or side-by-side, 2–6 persons) across some of the most inaccessible and stunning terrain in the United States.

Be ready to witness stunning scenery, rocky mountain terrain, waterfalls, abandoned mines and villages, tram towers, wildflowers (in season), and occasionally even animals.

Old Ute Indian trails, mining roads, and historic supply lines are among the roads you will travel today.

Additionally, they provide guided day hiking into some of the San Juan Mountains’ most breathtaking terrain. Also, you can visit the old mines, mills, and structures around Silverton, Colorado.

By hiking over a mountaintop to discover a massive, historically significant structure that has been there for more than a century is fantastic! If you are looking for the best things to do in Silverton co, then try this spot.

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3. Visit The Silverton Mountain Ski Area

things to do in silverton co

There is a chairlift here, along with thousands of acres of untracked terrain, making it a top-tier alpine winter sports destination.


In the United States, Silverton Mountain is a ski resort that was established on January 19, 2002.

Silverton Mountain, which is well-liked by skiers and snowboarders, features a single chairlift that takes guests into its terrain, which is meant for advanced and expert skiers or riders.

The terrain of Silverton Mountain is actually only appropriate for strong, experienced skiers and boarders who are at ease on double black diamond routes. Advanced skiers are advised to hire a guide during the unguided season.

Silverton Mountain is Northern America’s highest and most difficult ski area. The mountain has 1,819 acres of lift-accessible territory and more than 22,000 acres of hike-to and helicopter-accessible area.

There are no manicured runs or trails. Each guided party of eight or fewer skiers may anticipate to trek for 5 to 45 minutes to access runs.

Aaron and Jen Brill created Silverton Mountain, which was launched for business on January 2002.

The ski area is meant to have a low environmental effect. And it is based only on skiing, with no plans to construct condominiums or high-speed chairlifts.

USA Today named it the Best of the West: Skiing in Colorado, Utah, California, and Nevada for Extreme Terrain.

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4. Check Out The San Juan County Historical Society Mining Heritage Center

San Juan County Historical Society Mining Heritage Center

For the purpose of preserving the history of San Juan County, Colorado, the San Juan County Historical Society (SJCHS) was founded in 1964 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) Colorado Corporation.

The Society is in charge of running the Silverton Power Station, the Mayflower Mill Tour, the Allen Nossaman Memorial Archive, the Mining Heritage Center, and the 1902 County Jail Museum in Silverton.

SJCHS has won multiple recognition from History Colorado and two National Honor Awards for its efforts from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It’s also one of the best things to do in Silverton co, Today.


The growth of San Juan County has been centered on its mining history.

The railroad for ore transportation, the Otto Mears toll road system, the mining of precious metals (from multiple mines, the mills and smelters, boarding houses), etc., were all important service sectors in the mining industry’s success.

The Mayflower Mill, the Town of Silverton, and the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad have all been named National Historical Landmarks. SJCHS owns the Old Hundred Boarding House, which is listed as a Colorado Historic Place.

The oldest cabooses in the state of Colorado are the Casey Jones and the Silverton Northern Engine House, which house the renowned 315 narrow gauge steam engine.

Join us at San Juan County Historical Society today, and experience its wonders.

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5. Pay A Visit To Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour

Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour

The Old Hundred Gold Mine is a gold mine in San Juan County, Colorado, USA. The mine is about five miles east of Silverton, Colorado, near the ghost town of Howardsville. The property is no longer mined, but is open for tours in the summer.

The Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour is a guided mine tour that takes you 1/3 mile into the heart of 13,000 foot Galena Mountain. 

Follow the vein and see real mining equipment in action. Pan for real silver, copper, and even gold – and you can keep whatever you find there! Best of all, panning is FREE with your ticket purchase!

Brief History:

The Old Hundred Gold Mine’s history began in the spring of 1872. The following 30 years were dedicated to searching and exploiting the veins on Galena Mountain by Reinhard, Gustave, and Otto Neigold.

During the long winter months, the Neigolds entertained the frontier mining camp with music, singing, operas, and plays. In 1898, one of the claims was called the “Old Hundred,” most likely after the popular German song “Old Hundreth.”


The corporation gathered almost a million dollars and constructed a new No.7 level tunnel at 12,000 feet elevation, still more than 2,000 feet above the creek below.

After investing more than $1.5 million, an oil corporation leased Galena Mountain in 1973 and converted it into an oil refinery.

The abandoned mine was purchased by the Texas oil business Dixilyn Corporation in 1967, and it was later brought back to its previous beauty.

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Notice: The data in this table is subject to change at any time, so always check their website.


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6. Explore The Silverton Northern Railroad

Silverton Northern Railroad

The Silverton Northern Railroad, a now-defunct American 3 ft Narrow Gauge Railroad, was built to connect Silverton, Colorado, with the mining region north of the city along the upper Animas River.

Otto Mears, a well-known Colorado toll road constructor and Russian immigrant, created the Silverton Northern Railroad as his third railroad venture.

The line’s terminus, Animas Forks, was reached in 1896. The Gold King Mine established the Silverton, Gladstone and Northerly Railroad, which Mears acquired in 1915 and turned into the SN’s Gladstone Branch.

After several years of idleness, the SN was demolished in 1926, and in the late 1930s, the main line was curtailed.

The main goals behind this SNRR Project are historic preservation and economic development for the community of Silverton and San Juan County as a whole. 

It will provide visitors to the county with another attraction and also encourage overnight visits to their historically rich town of Silverton, located in the mountains of Colorado.

By exploring the Silverton Northern Railroad, it’s also one of the best things to do in Silverton co. Why not pay a visit today?



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7. See What Is Happening At Mayflower Gold Mill Tour

things to do in silverton co

The Mayflower Gold Mill Tour is a great location for photos. People who enjoy mining, equipment, or simply industrial-looking items would enjoy this. Things can still be turned on to operate.

Steel balls from the gold mill and local ore specimens are available at the gift store and have excellent historical data.

The Mayflower mine’s ore, which was transported to the mill by an aerial tramway, was mined for its gold, silver, lead, zinc, and copper, and the mill was designed to extract those metals.

It continues to use machinery for the flotation separation of metals from crushed ores, which was routinely carried out until 1945. In 1997, the Silverton Historic District was enlarged, and in 2000, it was designated a National Historic Landmark.

The Mayflower Mill was the largest and most sophisticated of the large mills constructed in the San Juan Mountains. 

This remarkable example of mining history, a National Historic Landmark, is accessible to the general public. See for yourself how the miners succeeded in removing gold, silver, and base metals from the hard rock ores.

To treat ore from the neighboring Mayflower Mine, the San Juan Mill was constructed in 1929. An aerial tramway over 9,000 feet (2,700 m) in length carried ore from the mine to the mill.

The mill had a daily capacity of 1,000 tons of ore processing. Up until 1945, it continued to run normally until being mainly shut down. The San Juan County Historical Society took control of it as a museum in 1992.

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8. Visit The Molas Pass

things to do in silverton co

High up in the San Juan National Forest, in the same-named county and mountain range, is where you’ll find Molas Pass. The 10,970-foot peak of Molas Pass is accessible to drivers on Highway 550 between Silverton and Durango.

It includes a few switchbacks on the north approach and is far less daunting than Red Mountain Pass on the same roadway, despite being one of Colorado’s tallest mountains. In the winter, it is typically kept open.

Around Molas Pass, there are many places to go hiking, riding four-wheelers, and snowshoeing in the winter. Little Molas Lake, which lies close to the pass, is a popular spot for fishing and non-motorized boating.

Molas Pass is also the final mountain pass in the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic event, which takes cyclists from Durango to Silverton via rail. 

The roadway that runs through Molas Pass (US 550) approximately parallels the Durango and Silverton Railroad. After Molas Pass joins Silverton, the following 25 miles of US 550 north to Ouray become known as the Million Dollar Highway.

Molas Pass and the Million Dollar Highway have a reputation for being scenic but difficult drives. Although the road is entirely paved and highly maintained, it is still considered dangerous by most drivers. 

Drivers are highly recommended to keep their eyes on the road while their passengers enjoy the view. If you are looking for the best things to do in Silverton co, then try molas pass.

The asphalt road that runs through this mountain pass is usually open all year, although it closes during major snowstorms. Before approaching the pass, always check the weather.


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9. Snowboard At Silverton Powdercats

things to do in silverton co

Silverton Powdercats, offers guided cat skiing and snowboarding adventures above storied Molas Pass, for a day of limitless powder skiing or snowboarding.

Their extensive backcountry offers a variety of top-notch Colorado powder skiing and snowboarding terrain less than ten minutes from the Town of Silverton.


Their terrain offers something for everyone, from the challenging slopes of Big Mo to riding expansive powder fields in Lime Creek and tree skiing in the Glade. Intermediate to advanced.

Due to the variety of terrain at Silverton Powdercats, which is situated close to Silverton, Telluride, and Durango in Southwest Colorado, they can find courses to suit everyone’s preferences.

Cat Skiing in Silverton:

Silverton Powdercats provides a genuine alpine experience and is situated in the spectacular San Juan Mountains, seven miles above Silverton, Colorado. 

They have a wide San Juan landscape with chutes, steeps, glades, forests, and open bowls, some of it above tree line and rising to a height of 12,500 feet.

A private tour of hundreds of acres of San Juan’s most pristine untracked terrain is available via Silverton Powdercats. You can get good snow days to weeks following a storm because of high elevations that keep the snow cool and light.

For those looking for more difficult skiing or boarding, they also offer short, cat-assisted excursions for a little more thrill.

Powerful Pisten Bully snowcats with cutting-edge passenger cabins are used by Silverton Powdercats.

Enjoy the scenery from their cozy, enclosed cabins, which will guarantee your visitors a relaxing, enjoyable, and peaceful excursion.

You can take a guided snowcat excursion at any of the backcountry ski huts or lodges in the San Juan Mountains, such as Silverton Mountain, Telluride, Durango, Purgatory Mountain Resort, Wolf Creek, Crested Butte, Monarch, or Silverton Mountain.

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10. Catch Fun At Cunningham Gulch Out and Back

Cunningham Gulch Out and Back

A popular tourist destination is Cunningham Gulch Out and Back, which is situated at 721 Co Rd 4 in Silverton, Colorado, 81433. The company is classified as a tourist destination.

If you’re planning to go on off-road adventures or go hiking while in the Silverton region, the Cunningham Gulch is a great place to camp in the backcountry. 


The Gulch provides a wide variety of wilderness campsites and is well situated at the trailhead to the Highland Mary Lakes, one of the best day treks in the San Juan Mountains.

There is no nightly cost for camping here. As a result, this location offers a practical and simple camping alternative for people seeking to complete the Cunningham Gulch circle, which includes the Highland Mary Lakes Trail to pristine alpine gems above treeline and the surrounding summits.

The Cunningham Gulch in Glen Coe has two “tiers”: an upper tier with the Highland Mary Lakes Trailhead and a lower tier with a loop next to the road for camper cars and campsites.

Brief History:

The region has a long history of mining. The Old Hundred Boarding House, constructed in the first decade of the 20th century by Reinhard and Gustave Niegold, German prospectors for the Midland Mining Company, is perched high above Cunningham Gulch on Galena Mountain.

The Old Hundred Mining Company ultimately purchased the interests of the musical brothers, Reinhard, a pianist, and Gustave, an opera singer, in 1904, expanding the local mining industry.

In Cunningham Gulch, the Old Hundred Mining Company erected tramways and bunkhouses, but the region was never very fruitful, and mining ended in 1908 at a loss.

Cunningham Gulch was never successful in oil drilling or mining, but the basic infrastructure still stands.


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11. Explore The Little Giant Peak

things to do in silverton co

The town of Silverton is close to Little Giant Peak. In its cluster of summits, Kendall Peak is the highest mountain, making it the third highest peak overall. The peak of Little Giant is quite challenging to reach.

Trails make up the majority of the trek, however they are all fairly steep. I am aware of three ascent routes, all of which are on unfavorable loose scree. The pinnacle of this mountain is perched over a diagonal strip of sulfur, and it is rapidly decaying.

The entire Little Giant Peak is covered in mining relics. Mine shafts from the Shenandoah mine have fallen along the Dives Basin path.


There are several mines in Arrastra Gulch, as well as the abandoned Aerial tramway, which is still suspended, and a ghost town near Silver Lake. If you’re interested in Colorado mining history, this mountain may be a real treat.

There are several camping options in the Silverton area. If you wish to pay to camp, there is a $14 per night campground on Molas Lake.

If you don’t want to pay, there are plenty of free locations along the Animas River. There is also a tiny camping place up Cunningham Gulch.


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12. Experience The Tower Mountain Silverton

things to do in silverton co

Tower Mountain, a peak in the San Juan Mountains northeast of Silverton, Colorado, rises to a height of 13,558 feet (4,132 meters).

The town of Silverton is located in southwest Colorado, and Tower Mountain is the highest of the 13ers that encircle it.

The mountain’s real splendor may be seen during the ascent. The prettiest view, however, would be of Mt. Sneffels’ enormous pyramid rising over the Red Mountains directly in front of it.

Hematite Gulch, a steep drainage to the southeast, can be used to access this mountain.

The trail leads you past groves of infant Aspen trees, pine trees, stunning meadows of wildflowers, and finally to the top screen and rock. The little Hematite Lake adds to the area’s attractiveness.

This area is great for mountain lovers, and if you’re seeking for the best things to do in Silverton, CO, you should visit Tower Mountain Silverton.


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13. Have Fun At Velocity Basin

things to do in silverton co

The east-facing slope of Silverton Mountain Ski Area is home to Velocity Basin, formerly known as Colorado Basin.

Despite the fact that this is a short, straightforward track, the scenery and vistas are breathtaking. It’s hard to imagine this basin is so near to the city because of how beautiful it is.

A little turquoise lake lies at the bottom of the cirque basin known as Velocity Basin. It can be reached via CR 52 outside of Silverton and is situated at an altitude of 3.449 meters (11,315 feet) above sea level.

The hike is quite steep and challenging to manage, and the road leading to there is a rocky 4×4 road.

You might only be able to run this trail safely in the middle of the summer because winter arrives early and remains late there. Here, spring doesn’t really start until July or August.

There are a few muddy spots here and there, but nothing to worry about. Keep an eye out for prospective turnouts since you can encounter traffic in awkward places. Just below the lake, the route comes to an end.

The elevation is made up of a somewhat steep road. The 2.73km (1.7 miles) long route to the peak begins at State Highway 110. The elevation gain throughout this distance is 241 meters, with an average gradient of 8.82 percent.

So you are free to visit today!


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14. Relax At Shangri-la Soaking Pools

things to do in silverton co

There is no better way to unwind after a day of mountain sports than at Shangri-La Soaking Pools. 

Unfortunately, Silverton does not have any natural hot springs for people to use, so they created three indoor pools that range in temperature from 99 degrees to 103 degrees and are guaranteed to have the appropriate temperature for you.

The Shangri-La Soaking Pools, which are open all year, are the ideal way to enhance a magnificent visit to Silverton.

It is also Silverton, Colorado’s sole certified pool and spa facility. So, feel free to visit and experience its wonders. 

Hydrotherapy has several health advantages, including stress reduction, muscle and joint pain alleviation, increased circulation, and, ideally, a good night’s sleep.

If you’re seeking the top things to do in Silverton CO, Shangri-La Soaking Pools is highly recommended. You will adore and love this spot.

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Final Concepts

When looking for things to do in Silverton co, shouldn’t be a problem. This is because visitors will find something to do in Silverton at any time of year. But summer and early fall are popular seasons for most tourists.

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, established in 1882 to transport silver and gold ore, is one of the town’s most popular attractions. Today, it conveys history lovers, interested families, and vacationers from all over the world.

Visitors may tour the Old Hundred Gold Mine or visit the adjacent ghost town Animas Fork to explore abandoned structures and peek into the past. Also, the Self-guided tours of the Mayflower Mill are available, you can also visit to explore more.

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