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Silverton - Ouray
Featured as one of a "Dozen Distinctive Destinations" and listed in "America's Most Charming Towns and Villages," Silverton offers the rustic allure of an Old West Town amid spectacular mountain scenery. Tall peaks, shimmering lakes, clean air, and good people—part of what the Silverton and San Juan County are all about.
600 Year-Round Residents
The area has some of the cleanest and clearest, highest-quality air in the U.S. When Silverton was a prosperous mining hub, Blair Street had forty fully-functioning saloons. Silverton's riches now lie in the many attractions and outdoor adventures. With a mild, sunny spring and summer and a color fest of leaves in the fall, you can pick from a number of activities. People do live here in the winter—Silverton has over 600 year-round residents.
The enchanting mountains surround and provide a breathtaking setting for many outdoor activities. The Weminuche Wilderness Area lies in part of San Juan County, giving access to Colorado's largest wilderness and primitive area. The Weminuche is located in the San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests of southwestern Colorado. The wilderness area has three peaks—the Eolus, Sunlight, and Windom Peaks—that tower above 14,000 feet in elevation. Fifty miles of the Continental Divide, the geological backbone of North America, dissect the Weminuche.
Situated in a river valley, just 23 miles north of Silverton on the Million Dollar Highway, lies the often-photographed and treasured town of Ouray. Known as the Switzerland of America, Ouray offers hundreds of miles of back-country roads for jeeping, hiking, or mountain biking. The trails that surround the town provide spectacular mountain photography. Ouray is in the heart of the San Juan Skyway, a spectacular road that has been designated as one of the most scenic drives in America.
Things to Do
Area activities include hiking, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, backpacking, rock climbing, as well as jeeping, ATV and hummer tours. Go whitewater rafting, take a llama trek, explore ghost towns, or solicit one of several experienced adventure guide services. Tour a gold mine and try your luck at panning for gold. There is no better place to hike than the majestic high country, with unlimited hiking opportunities and a huge variety of difficulty and length. Silverton is truly one of Colorado's best kept secrets.
While visiting, check out the gold mine tours, theatre groups, entertainment, and nightlife. Everything in Silverton is original with 20 restaurants from which to choose, there are no chain restaurants or accommodations. The town does have a variety of bed & breakfast inns, camping, vacation rental homes, condominiums, fine hotels, and a motel. Be sure to browse through the numerous quaint shops, galleries, and restaurants, or take a walking tour and lodge in a genuine turn of the century hotel bed and breakfast.
Just six miles from the town, Silverton Mountain offers extreme mountain biking at its finest. Be sure to visit the Silverton Outdoor Learning & Recreation Center. Silverton Mountain’s Summer Bike Park offers challenging downhill mountain biking. Try the extra challenging lift-served trails. The Canadian-style bike park (on a smaller scale) is now available for your riding pleasure. You don't need a big hit bike to have fun, but it is much more fun if you do. Silverton Mountain also offers the highest summer scenic chairlift ride in North America and the coldest beer.
Finish your day of adventure with a relaxing soak in any of Ouray's natural hot springs. Visit one of the many restaurants, enjoy an ice cream cone, or stop in for a brew and brats at the outdoor Biergarten. There are many dining choices from French bakeries and family-style cafes to the ultimate in international cuisine. Enjoy an outdoor cook-out, miniature golf, live entertainment, coffee house, tavern, All American Musical Revue, or take in a movie.
Just one hour from Ouray, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is one of the newest National Parks in the lower 48 states. The canyon—one mile deep at its deepest point, and 1,150 feet across at its narrowest—was carved out over millions of years by the Gunnison River.
Join over 200,000 annual passengers who travel on the Durango-Silverton narrow gauge railroad amid snow covered towering mountain peaks. Silverton and Ouray can be reached by automobile or by air service into Montrose, Telluride, Grand Junction, or Durango. Taxi, bus and limo transportation services are available to and from both towns with car rentals available at the airports.
Summer Travel Discounts
If you are seeking a memorable Colorado Rocky Mountain outdoor experience in the spectacular San Juan Mountains, but demand an affordable yet inexpensive vacation, then click on the activities and categories on your left and come and enjoy one of the most beautiful places on the earth, with lower prices every day.Photo Courtesy of Molas Lake Campground Park
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