Silverton is nestled in a spectacular valley (9,318 feet
in altitude) on the upper Animas River. Surrounded by four
lofty peaks of the great San Juan Mountains, the town has
retained its original Western character with wide streets,
old hotels, and a terminus for the narrow gauge railroad.
The U.S. Department of the Interior has designated the
entire town of Silverton a National Historic District.
Silverton winters are brutal, but summers are sunny and
welcoming. Silverton and the sur-rounding mountains offer
many recreational activities including hiking, backpacking,
alpine and cross country skiing, sledding, ice skating,
fishing, mountain biking, hunting, horseback riding, and
photography. The town organizes a number of events from
bluegrass to barbershop. A jail-turned-museum and a restored
19th-century courthouse evoke both early mining and
Victorian life in the area.
Silverton is the starting point for explorations into old
mining camps at even higher altitudes. It's also the
turnaround point for the Durango & Silverton Narrow
Gauge Railroad, which originates in >Durango
47 miles to the south. The famous Iron Horse Bicycle Classic
follows the Durango-Silverton road and takes place every
Memorial Day weekend -- sometimes in a blizzard.