Silverton, CO is known for its diverse and plentiful recreational opportunities. If you’re in town for a limited time, you may have trouble deciding which adventures to pursue. Similarly, if you’re a local trying to show a visitor the “best of Silverton,” you might be trying to narrow down the best attractions. We’ve done the work for you. Below are five of our favorite Silverton experiences—beloved by both locals and visitors alike.
Million Dollar Highway—This six-mile stretch of the San Juan Skyway offers incredible views of the area. The beautiful scenery, winding road, and diverse views of the mountains make this an excellent experience for lovers of the outdoors and those who prefer to soak in the sights from the comfort of a car.
Ice Lakes Trail—This breathtaking hike takes adventurers up over 3,000 feet of vertical in just 3.5 miles. Featuring waterfalls, sweeping views, and steep switchbacks, this difficult but rewarding trek is worth the effort. Inexperienced hikers should do this one with a friend or group, while more experienced hikers can manage this 7-hour trip on their own.
Island Lake—Located in San Juan National Forest, this alpine like sits at an elevation of roughly 12,400 feet. The four-mile trek up to the lake brings hikers past abandoned mines and equipment from the 1920s, as well as beautiful alpine wildflowers and jagged 13,000 footers. The lake itself is aqua-blue and often surrounded by snow year-round.
Mayflower Gold Mill—The Silverton area is known historically for the abundance of gold and silver. In the late 19th century, thousands of settlers moved to the area hoping to capitalize on this natural resource. The Mayflower Mill, located two miles northeast of downtown Silverton, is one of the best-preserved mining artifacts in the country. A beautiful and easy hike brings visitors up to the mill itself.
Silverton Mountain—If you’re looking for a unique adventure, Silverton Mountain should be the first item on your list. This is, essentially, backcountry skiing with the added accessibility of a chairlift. Often, backcountry skiing is only accessible with hikes and helicopters; Silverton Mountain provides an easier alternative through guided tours and unmatched snow conditions.