One Day in Silverton, Colorado: 7 Activities You Can’t Miss

One Day in Silverton, Colorado

This is a tiny town with a population just under 1000 inhabitants – but don’t let the size fool you! Silverton, CO, is packed with things to do (it is a tourist town), and hopefully, you get to spend more than one day there! However, we have compiled a list of the best things to do in Silverton if you are just passing through for the day. This beautiful town is rich in history, full of adventures, and maintains the charm and aesthetic of an old-school Wild West mining town. If you have one day in Silverton, check out these top 7 things to do that will fill up your time perfectly. Get ready for an incredible and thrilling adventure!

1. Take A Ride On The Durango-Silverton Steam Train

This is one of the most popular attractions in Silverton for many reasons. It’s a very old train ride that is rich in history – originally opened in 1882. It’s prime reason for use was to carry gold and silver from one destination to another. However, the train ride is a trip that people quickly began using as a leisurely tourist attraction, for the sheer fact alone that it might be one of the most scenic and gorgeous train rides you’ll ever take. You can still take this short train ride today, so have your camera ready and book your adventure here!

2. Take A Drive On Colorado’s Famous Million Dollar Highway

This drive is not for the faint of heart! It is a thrilling drive that will test your fear of heights, however; you will be glad you chose to do it! The Million Dollar Highway was also built in the early 1880’s, and it is one of the most gorgeous and stunning routes you will find in the U.S. – this is why the highway has thousands of visitors from around the world every year.

Though it is one of the most scenic routes you will ever see, it is also one of the most dangerous! There are no guardrails on these winding and twisting roads, and the route is made up entirely of steep cliff drop-offs. Caution is advised – take it slow and steady, and enjoy the view!

3. Get Your Own Old Tyme Portraits

The best possible memory you can leave Silverton with is your very own old tyme style photo by visiting Professor Shutterbugs! You can get your portrait taken against old and historical buildings, dressed up in top-notch and fancy Old West and Victorian costumes. The whole experience will make you feel like you’re alive in the 1800’s, from entering the building to getting dressed up, to taking your very own old tyme portrait.

4. Grub Out On Some Delicious BBQ Or Rocky Mountain Oysters

It’s easy to get exhausted while exploring Silverton, but luckily, it’s also easy to get some good grub to boost your energy for the rest of the day! The Pitts Again is a restaurant located in Arizona, and the food is so good it was featured in Guy Fieri’s famous show Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives! Fortunately, their sister branch is located in downtown Silverton, and you’ll get the same incredible dining experience. Pulled pork, brisket, peach cobbler…if you’re a fan of BBQ, this is the place for you!

If BBQ isn’t really your thing, another popular hub for grub is called Handlebar’s Restaurant & Saloon, also located in downtown Silverton. And when in Colorado, you should try an all-time favorite staple – Rocky Mountain Oysters! Beware – this is not seafood. It is a famous delicacy that’s actually bison or bull testicles. They are breaded, deep-fried, and served with BBQ sauce for dipping. 

5. Check Out The Christ Of Mines Shrine

The Christ of Mines Shrine is located on the northern side of Silverton, and it was built more than 50 years ago. It is a humbling sight to see and is a reminder of Silverton’s rich mining history. The idea was thought of by a pastor and stands high on the hillside. It does serve its religious purpose, but ultimately, it is dedicated to the miners of Silverton throughout history.

The shrine was built so large on purpose – you can’t miss it. You’ll see it right before entering the town. This is a great place to stop and take pictures, as well as be humbled by Silverton’s rich mining history.

6. Take A Hike On The Ice Lake Trail

This is the perfect evening adventure – a gorgeous hike surrounded by mountains during one of Colorado’s amazing sunset views. Shockingly enough, this hike will really get you up there – you’ll start at an elevation of 9,900 feet and work your way up to over 12,200 feet! Therefore, the hike isn’t the easiest, but it is hands-down the most beautiful in Silverton. The route trails through meadows and forests and leads into two stunning lake basins. The gorgeous turquoise waters are enough of a reason and reward to finish the hike!

7. Visit The Abandoned Animas Forks Ghost Town

The Silverton area is home to many abandoned mining towns – many of which are so remote you won’t even know how to access them! One of the most popular ghost towns is known as Animas Forks, founded in the late 1800’s and standing high in the San Juan Mountains. Many of the log cabins from the old mining camp are still standing today – Animas Forks is a great place to take some time and explore. 

Final Thoughts

From a scenic train ride to old tyme pictures and grubbing out on some of the best food in the South Western side of Colorado, Silverton is packed with amazing things to do that will only take you a day to get through. And luckily, if you are only cramped for a one-day visit, you will more than likely get everything done on your Silverton bucket list, as the town is so small. This is a humbling place to visit with gorgeous views as well as a high altitude to change your perspective on the world. 

If you are looking to visit Silverton, CO, there are even more activities you can do besides the ones listed above. Also, remember that this is a very small town, so places to stay overnight are limited. Your best bet would be to stay the night in one of the cities that are within an hour’s drive, such as Durango or Montrose (also very gorgeous places to visit). Last but not least, enjoy your time and make memories!

Add Silverton to your list of Colorado towns to visit!