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View of SilvertonLike it's neighbors, Ouray and Telluride, Silverton was a prosperous mining community during the late 1800's. At one time the town boasted over 2000 residents and was one of the bawdiest, rowdiest mining towns in the San Juans.Silverton main street Today there are about 550 residents, many of them artists and craftsmen. Because the town was never the victim of a major fire as so many mining camps were, the buildings have been preserved. Many of them have original furnishings, fixtures, stamped tin ceilings and polished, mirrored back bars. Most of the streets are still dirt. The bordellos have been turned into hotels, shops, galleries and restaurants.

Silverton is at the end of the Million Dollar Highway which started 23 miles north in Ouray (see Ouray description). It is also the terminus of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Guage Railroad. Durango-Silverton RailwayThe historic railroad has been in continuous operation for over 122 years, carrying passengers behind vintage steam locomotives thru the backcountry wilderness of the San Juan Mountains. You can ride the train in either direction or both ways. We took the bus from Durango to Silverton (about 1-1/2 hours over the mountains) and rode the train back (about 4 hours). See Durango description for more information and pictures from the train trip.




In the hills just outside the town, Christ of the Mines Shrine looks out over Silverton. Christ of the Mines ShrineThe statue was dedicated in 1959 to the mining industry and all the men who worked underground.







To view more photos from this area click here: Silverton Photo Gallery








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