San Juan Mountains in Colorado lies the charming town of Silverton, a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. With its rich mining history and breathtaking natural beauty, Silverton offers a plethora of hiking trails that cater to all skill levels, from leisurely strolls to challenging treks. One of the most exhilarating ways to experience the splendor of this high country is by embarking on a journey along Silverton’s stunning trails. For those seeking an immersive alpine experience, the Ice Lakes Basin Trail stands as a crown jewel among Silverton’s hiking options. This trail, renowned for its vivid turquoise lakes and dramatic mountain vistas, leads adventurers through a pristine wilderness of towering peaks and lush meadows. The trek begins at the South Mineral Campground and ascends steadily, offering glimpses of cascading waterfalls and alpine wildflowers along the way.
As hikers traverse the rugged terrain, they are rewarded with breathtaking panoramas of the surrounding peaks and the shimmering waters of Ice Lake and Island Lake below. For a more moderate outing with equally captivating scenery, the Highland Mary Lakes Trail presents an ideal option. Located in the heart of the Weminuche Wilderness, this trail meanders through dense forests and open meadows, culminating in a series of crystal-clear alpine lakes nestled beneath towering cliffs. The journey to the Highland Mary Lakes is a feast for the senses, with the scent of pine mingling with the crisp mountain air and the sound of rushing streams providing a soothing soundtrack to the hike. Wildlife enthusiasts will delight in the opportunity to spot deer, elk, and perhaps even the elusive mountain goat along the way. For the ultimate adrenaline rush, adventurous souls can tackle the challenging terrain of the Handies Peak Trail.
Rising to an elevation of over 14,000 feet, Handies Peak offers panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and valleys, making it a favorite among peak baggers and seasoned mountaineers. The trail follows a steep but well-maintained path to the summit, where hikers are treated to a bird’s-eye view of the rugged San Juan landscape stretching out in all directions. The sense of accomplishment upon reaching the summit is matched only by the awe-inspiring beauty of the vistas that unfold before you. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or a novice explorer, Silverton’s trails offer something for everyone. From leisurely strolls through wildflower-filled meadows to exhilarating climbs to dizzying heights, the opportunities for adventure are endless things to do in Silverton. So lace up your boots, pack your sense of adventure, and prepare to be captivated by the stunning beauty of Silverton’s high country hikes. With each step, you will discover why this corner of Colorado is truly a hiker’s paradise.