Hidden deep in the San Juan Mountains, Silverton Mountain is far from your average ski resort. There is only one double chair lift serving nothing but expert terrain. It’s real high mountain skiing, with a base of 10,400 feet and a lift-served summit of 12,300 feet.
The San Juans are some of the sheerest in the state. The steepest runs at most Colorado ski resorts are about 30°, however, this would be considered the easiest run at Silverton, as some slopes are 55°. Silverton Mountain is also notorious for getting epic amounts, more than 400 inches a year of it.
Silverton’s one chair lift serves only double blacks. There are plenty of bowls, chutes, cliffs, cornices, trees, and everything an extreme skier would look for. None of the trails are groomed, assuring a very natural ski experience. Once you reach the top of the chairlift, you can traverse and hike to more terrain. It’s up to you and your group how far you’ll hike.
The hike-to/helicopter served vertical is 1100 feet greater than lift-served. Only terrain that Silverton deems safe will be open to ride. Most of the runs are down avalanche chutes, so expert ski patrol is constantly working to minimize avalanche risk. Both guided and unguided skiing is offered depending on the time of year.
Unguided skiing is available during the early and late seasons, while the majority is for guided tours only. Unguided days run around $50 while guided days are around $100. This is the only ski resort in Colorado that requires every skier/rider to bring an avalanche beacon, probe, shovel, and CO hiking pass. Backpacks are available for rent and include all the required back-country equipment.
Downtown Silverton is a short fifteen-minute drive from the slopes. It’s an old gold rush town with wide streets and friendly locals. Since Silverton Mountain is only open on weekends, the town can feel pretty isolated during the weekdays. The historic, main street is lined with restaurants, saloons, shops, and lodging.
Kendall Mountain Recreation Area is located in town and offers a tiny hill for beginner skiing and riding. Nearby Ouray is a scenic thirty-minute drive north. It’s a fun place to stay for those exploring the Southwest. It’s known as the “Little Switzerland of America” and is full of winter attractions, like hot springs and ice climbing. Durango lies an hour south of Silverton.
Address: 6226 Highway 110 North, Silverton, CO
Season: December – April
Lift Hours: Days and hours vary throughout the season
- Elevation Peak: 13,487’ (4101 m)
- Lift-served: 12,300′
- Base: 10,400’ (3162 m)
- Lift-served Vertical: 1,900’
- Hike-To & Helicopter Vertical: 3,087’
- Skiable Area: 1,819 acres, 22,000+acres heli & hike to
- Average Snowfall: 400”+
Trail Map: Silverton Mountain (jpg)
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