Photo: Hikers waits for train

A hiker waits for the Durango-Silverton narrow-gauge train in Silverton.

Photograph by Tyler Stableford, Aurora Photos

Pop. 531
GPS: 37°48'N 107°39'W

Silverton is an old mining town parked in Southwest Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, alongside the Animas River. Mining ended only a decade ago, and the town has held on to its Victorian charm: 19th-century red-brick buildings, white picket fences, log cabins, and an old train station make up the compact downtown grid.


The best way into town is a ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a historic, coal-fired, steam-powered train that runs straight through the San Juans (adult tickets from $79; Silverton is a gateway to epic hiking on some of the major fourteeners—Elous, Sunlight, and Windom—and mountain biking in the San Juans. Take the lift up Silverton Mountain, fat-tires in tow, for thrilling—and advanced level—downhills, or head there in the winter for challenging backcountry skiing and boarding (lift tickets from $49;


Power up for a long day in the mountains with an eggs-and-hash-browns breakfast at Brown Bear Café (+1 970 387 5630).


The Wyman Hotel & Inn is a historic Victorian B&B with a convenient downtown location (doubles from $95;