Silverton is a small, historic mining mountain town, tucked away in a remote part of the western San Juan Mountains and surrounded by steep peaks. Located at 9,318 feet above sea level, Silverton sits within 15 miles of seven of Colorado’s most famous 14,000-foot peaks. The San Juan Mountains receive more moisture than any other place in Colorado each year and are famous for their gorgeous alpine lakes and the thousands of wildflowers that grow during the summer. Some of the country's best four-wheel drive roads are found in the area around Silverton and the closest towns are Ouray, Ridgway, Durango, Montrose, and Telluride.
Silverton is located in the middle of the famous Million Dollar Highway, US HWY 550. This is a well maintained asphalt road, which you will drive in order to reach Silverton from either Durango or Montrose. With switchbacks and steep inclines (sometimes lacking guardrails), you do need to be a confident and attentive driver. However, it is entirely paved and driven by semi trucks and large RVs year round. If you can add 30 minutes to your planned drive time, you won't regret having the extra time to stop at the many stunning overlooks along the way. We highly recommend planning to drive this road during daylight.
No. The road from Durango to Silverton is paved and the drive to the venue is accessible directly from town on a flat dirt road, so no special vehicle is required.
The San Juan Mountains are moody! Silverton is located above 9300 feet in the mountains, so it can be very warm during the day and get chilly in the evenings, as the sun starts to set. The average temperature in Silverton in August for a typical day ranges from a high of 72°F to a low of 45°F. We'd recommend bringing a jacket and some warm layers to wear in the evenings. Colorado summers often bring afternoon rain showers, usually starting at noon and lasting for at couple of hours. Higher elevation also means you're closer to the sun, so don't forget to bring sunscreen!
The town of Silverton sits at just above 9000ft and you may simply become winded when going up a set of stairs at this altitude! But for those of you traveling from sea level, it is possible you may feel more significant effects, such as headaches, dizziness, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Here are some tips to help you prepare: 1) Drink LOTS of water. Hydration is crucial for helping your body adjust to both the altitude and the dry climate. 2) Take time to acclimate. Consider driving into Colorado or spending an additional night at lower elevation before heading up into the mountains. Denver, Montrose, and Durango are all great places to acclimate. 3) Take it slow on the alcohol. Alcohol will hit you harder at high altitude! 4) Once again - drink lots of water!