A town at the crossroads of CO-9, CO-6, and I-70, Silverthorne is a popular stop for people heading in all directions in the Rocky Mountains. There’s no real walkable, downtown, but there is plenty of commercialization, as well as natural and manmade things to do.
Dining, lodging, and shopping can be found almost anywhere in town. However, since Silverthorne is usually just a town vacationers pass through when they go to popular resorts nearby, they don’t really take the time to breathe the city in. However, this unique Summit County town has a lot to offer.
Recently, Silverthorne has created the Fourth Street Crossing project, a pedestrian-friendly downtown area where people can shop, drink, and appreciate the town’s historical sites. It’s Silverthorne’s new “Main Street”. This new district will appeal to those who are vacationing around the city and entice you to stay.
Before Summit County became a popular year round go-to place for vacationers in Colorado, it used to be a mining region back in the Gold Rush era. The town was named after Judge Marshall Silverthorne who was an influential person in Breckenridge during those days. He was the first person who came to town as its prospector and officially formalized the territory of the city (including the Blue River) in 1881.
Judge Silverthorne was optimistic about his patent claim, but he found out that even though the land had gold, it’s not abundant enough to build an entire industry on. Eventually, he just handed out the land to his children, and he died in 1887.
The town didn’t really catch up until it was bought by Clayton Hill and developed the property. It was only then when people started coming in to build houses and stores. Because of its location, Silverthorne became a camp for the workers of the Dillon, and it eventually was laid out along Interstate 70.
Now, Silverthorne is one of the three robust towns in Colorado that sits close to major ski areas as well as the Rocky Mountains. The town is filled with different family-friendly adventures that you can enjoy throughout the year.
Here are a few of the main attractions you should check out while in Silverthorne:
Blue River – During summer, Blue River rafting trips depart daily down the class III Blue River. The Blue River, which continues north out of the Dillon Dam, is also a gold medal trout river making it a spectacular place to fly fish. It goes through Green Mountain Reservoir before emptying into the Colorado River at Kremmling.
Blue River offers a thrilling whitewater challenge early in the rafting season. It runs through Silverthorne, offering views of Summit’s big mountains. It’s also a notorious river for blue-ribbon fly-fishing, and not as known for whitewater rafting.
Outlets at Silverthorne – Affordable place to pick up designer gear for less. It’s located just one block to the north of I-25 on U.S. 9. Do your discount shopping here year round. Perhaps you need a ski jacket for the slopes or board shorts for the Dillon Reservoir beach.
Silverthorne Performing Arts Center – Home to the Lake Dillon Theatre Company, this performing arts venue features year-round performances.
Ski Areas – In winter, people flock to town, due to the number of close ski resorts. From Silverthorne, you can be at seven ski areas within an hours drive: Arapahoe Basin, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Loveland, and Vail. You could probably throw in Ski Cooper as well, it’s just over an hour, depending on how you drive.
- To the north of US 9 are numerous campgrounds. Blue River Campground is shortly after town. Further up before Kremmling is the Green Mountain Reservoir. It’s ideal camping if you’re looking for water recreation.
- Lake Dillon has many sites surrounding the reservoir.
- Read about the camping near Silverthorne and Summit County.
- Blue River runs from Breckenridge to the Green Mountain Reservoir. Fishing is permitted anywhere that’s not private property. Watch for signs. It’s mostly artificial lure and fly fishing only.
- Lake Dillon and the Green Mountain Reservoir are nearby lake fishing permitting boats.
Hotels and lodging:
- Read about the best hotels in Silverthorne.
Because of Summit County’s large size, and the fact that everyone almost always passes through Silverthorne at one point, the town boasts a variety of dining options. You can find fast food options, fast casual, fine dining, and everything in between.
Bars and Restaurants:
- Historic Mint Steakhouse – Generations of Summit County locals have been wetting their whistles at this iconic saloon.
- Sunshine Cafe – soul food offerings like their popular stick-to-your-ribs breakfast and coffee
- Carniciera La Perla – debatably the best dining at Silverthorne; located at a grocery store along Blue River Parkway
- Cultivate – boutique eatery serving locally sourced food
Feb – Colorado Pond Hockey Tournament – Three day pond hockey tournament on Lake Dillon in February.
Jul – Silverthorne Fine Art Festival – More than 80 fine artists across 13 categories display and sell their work at this free event at Silverthorne Recreation Center, held in mid July.
Activities near Silverthorne
- Arapaho National Forest
- Blue River
- Eagles Nest Wilderness
- Green Mountain Reservoir (23mi)
- Lake Dillon
- Lower Cataract Lake (25mi)
- Surprise Lake (25mi)
- Upper Cataract Lake (30mi)
- Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness
- White River National Forest
- Copper Mountain West Lake (10mi)
- Keystone Dercum Square (7mi)
- Keystone Lake (6mi)
- Vail Square (30mi)
- Arapahoe Basin Ski Area (13mi)
- Beaver Creek Ski Resort (42mi)
- Breckenridge Ski Resort (15mi)
- Copper Mountain Ski Resort (10mi)
- Keystone Ski Resort (7mi)
- Loveland Ski Area (10mi)
- Ski Cooper Ski Resort (41mi)
- Vail Ski Resort (32mi)
State Wildlife Areas:
- Blue River SWA (16mi)
- Avon (39mi)
- Breckenridge (14mi)
- Copper Mountain (10mi)
- Dillon (1mi)
- Frisco (4mi)
- Georgetown (23mi)
- Heeney (23mi)
- Idaho Springs (35mi)
- Keystone (8mi)
- Vail (30mi)
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