Nestled at 9,318 feet above sea level in the heart of Colorado’s rugged San Juan Mountains, Silverton is a quaint, historic mining town that is transforming into a nexus of outdoor adventure.
Located in the southwest corner of the state, 48 miles north of Durango, Silverton is the only incorporated town in San Juan County. With a year round population of 701, Silverton offers idyllic small town living and an exceptional quality of life. The downtown district is a National Historic Landmark, steeped in and committed to preserving the area’s rich mining history. The highly walkable downtown district is lined with colorful shops, galleries and restaurants, and boasts two micro-breweries, three coffee shops, and over a dozen lodging establishments. The community enjoys an expanding arts and culture scene, hosting numerous special events throughout the year. Silverton School, with enrollment of roughly 75 students in grades K – 12, provides an innovative, nationally recognized Expeditionary Learning model and low student-to-teacher ratio rarely found in public schools.
In Silverton, access to the great outdoors is literally at one’s doorstep. San Juan County encompasses 389 square miles, approximately 89% of which is public land managed by the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. The county has the highest mean elevation of any county in the U.S. at 11,240 feet.
Summer tourism and recreation are Silverton’s main economic drivers, though the winter and shoulder seasons are growing. The town is the terminus of the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which ferries some 150,000 passengers from Durango to Silverton each year via historic steam trains. In summer, the town provides a perfect jumping off point for hiking, backpacking, camping, fishing, mountain biking, rock climbing, mountaineering and four wheeling adventures. Winter sports enthusiasts enjoy fat biking, Nordic skiing and snowmobiling on an extensive network of groomed trails, lift accessed skiing at Kendall Mountain and Silverton Mountain, as well as nearly limitless options for backcountry skiing and stellar natural ice climbing.