Area Spotlight: Silverton, Colorado
Sitting at over 9,000 feet the township of Silverton, Colorado boasts some of the most spectacular scenery and outdoor activity in the lower San Juan Mountain Range. What started as a mining camp in the late 1800's, has now become a yearlong tourist destination. With mountains a plenty and old mines littered throughout the region, Silverton has become a top destination for hiking, hunting, trail riding, and as of 2002, skiing. Jeepers come from all over the country to hit the trails and see some of the most spectacular views of the San Juan Range in all of the 4 Corners Region. With a ton of back country passes, one could spend most of the day over 11,ooo feet if they wanted too. During the summer, campers flock to Silverton for back country camping and hiking. But the town is a small one, with a population just over 500 people, life here is not easy. Winters are long and harsh and could easily cut the small town off from the rest of the world for days, maybe months. But, go to any of the local restaurants or bars and you will find warm hearted people that love where they live and embrace a tourist economy. Visit Silverton and I promise you will not be disappointed.
Just south of town you can find many signs of the mining history of Silverton.The drive might make some people a little uneasy, but the payoff is a look back into the history of Colorado. Sitting so high in the mountains, one can only imagine the drive to get there being a little tremulous. Highway 550, or the Million Dollar Highway, is a winding mountain road with sheer dropoffs down thousands of feet and leads you to a land forgotten by many and seen by few.