There is just something about the mountains that just gets to me. I don’t know how to explain it, but being in the mountains, with all of the glorious scenery surrounding me – it just makes my heart happy. For me, you just can’t beat that feeling.
If you want some stunning mountain scenery, southwestern Colorado is a great place to visit. After leaving Durango, we headed towards Silverton, Colorado, via the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway. Beauty that will take your breath away – that is what is around just about every curve as you start out on this drive.
I was driving, so of course, I didn’t get any photos along the drive. We did stop, though, at Molas Pass, located at almost 11,000 feet. Molas Pass offers amazing panoramic views. From the lookout, you can see Molas Lake, the Animas River Gorge, and Snowden Peak.
Once continuing on the highway, you come to Silverton, Colorado. Once a thriving mining town, Silverton now survives on tourism. As you wander the streets of this old town, you can really get a sense of what it was like back in its mining prime.
Silverton is also the end point of the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. We just happen to be eating lunch right where the train came into town and dropped off its passengers.
While Silverton is quite small, there is actually a lot to do. Of course, you can wander the streets, where most of the buildings are still standing from when the town was an active mining town in the late 1800s and early 1900s. You can visit the Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour and see a real mine. (More on this later!) It is also an outdoor wonderland, where in the summer months you can ride atvs, raft, horseback ride, camp, fish, hike and so much more. Visit in the winter for skiing and snowboarding.
For even more adventure, continue on the Million Dollar Highway between Silverton and Ouray. It is the most breathtaking, yet terrifying drive you will ever take. Just trust me on this one. But it is so worth the white knuckle driving for the amazing views!