Advanced Skiing at Silverton Mountain


Silverton Mountain boasts an impressive average annual snowfall of over 400 inches, exceeding the number of daily visitors to the ski area. This unique Colorado ski destination offers a truly unparalleled experience for advanced and expert skiers and snowboarders seeking untouched lines, thrilling terrain, and a genuine mountain adventure.


  • Unique guided and unguided skiing and snowboarding experiences in challenging, backcountry-style, skiable terrain.
  • Seasonal considerations and essential tips for planning your visit to Silverton Mountain.
  • Accommodation options in and around Silverton to suit various budgets and preferences.

Understanding Silverton Mountain’s Unique Appeal

The Terrain and Ski Experience

Silverton Mountain (Silverton Mountain Ski Resort) is known for its exclusive guided skiing experience, which is available throughout the winter season. Unlike traditional ski resorts, Silverton Mountain offers no groomers or clear-cut runs, instead focusing on providing an authentic and adventurous mountain experience.

The guided skiing at Silverton Mountain Ski Resort is similar to heliskiing and cat skiing, with small groups led by experienced guides who ensure safety and help skiers and riders explore the vast, challenging terrain. The mountain’s unique appeal lies in its untouched lines, deep powder, and the opportunity to push boundaries in a controlled, lift-accessed backcountry setting.

Seasonal Operations and Weather Conditions

The best time to visit Silverton Mountain for optimal skiing conditions depends on personal preferences and the type of experience desired. The early season (December-January) often brings abundant snowfall, allowing the ski area to open more terrain as conditions permit.

Mid-season (February-March) typically offers the most consistent average snowfall and the greatest variety of terrain options, with more runs becoming accessible as the season progresses. Late season (April-May) can provide excellent spring skiing conditions, with corn snow and longer days for those who enjoy earning their turns.

Weather patterns play a significant role in the skiing experience at Silverton Mountain. The area’s high elevation and unique geographical location contribute to its impressive snowfall totals but also make it susceptible to changing conditions and avalanche hazards. Skiers and riders should be prepared for variable weather and snow conditions and trust the judgment of their guides when it comes to terrain selection and safety decisions.

Planning Your Visit to Silverton Mountain

Getting There: Transportation Options

The nearest airports to Silverton Mountain are Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO), located approximately 1 hour from the town of Silverton, and Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ), situated about 1.75 hours away. Visitors can also fly into Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT), which is served by several major airlines.

Renting a 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended, especially during the winter months when driving over mountain passes may be necessary. For those without a car, shuttle services like Buckhorn Limousine provide transportation from Durango to Silverton.

Tickets and Ski Passes

Silverton Mountain operates on a guided-only basis from December through early March, with unguided skiing available later in the spring season. Guided skiing tickets include the lift ticket and cost $229 during the unguided season.

Unguided Season Passes are valid for unguided skiing only, but pass holders can purchase discounted $89 standby tickets during the guided-only season, subject to availability. It’s important to note that standby options are not guaranteed and require waiting until all full-priced guided and unguided skiers have been accommodated.

Accommodation Options Near Silverton Mountain

Staying in Silverton

The town of Silverton offers a variety of accommodation options, from historical inns and cozy bed & breakfasts to vacation rentals and private lodges. These options allow visitors to immerse themselves in the town’s rich mining history and enjoy a more intimate, small-town atmosphere.

Nearby Alternatives

For those seeking a wider range of accommodation options, nearby towns like Durango and Ouray provide additional lodging choices, including larger resorts and chain hotels. Camping and outdoor lodging experiences are also available in the surrounding areas for adventurous visitors who prefer a closer connection to nature.

Preparing for Your Ski Trip

Gear and Equipment

Silverton Mountain offers rental options for high-quality powder skis from brands like K, as well as Venture Snowboards crafted from sustainable materials. Visitors can reserve equipment online and have it fitted by rental professionals upon arrival at the mountain. It’s essential to bring your own boots, bindings, and hardware when renting snowboards.

Safety and Ski Etiquette

Given the challenging and variable terrain at Silverton Mountain, safety is of utmost importance. While avalanche safety courses and equipment are not mandatory, guides conduct thorough safety briefings to familiarize skiers and riders with the necessary precautions.

Proper ski etiquette is crucial when exploring the mountain’s backcountry-style terrain. Following the guide’s instructions, maintaining a safe distance from other skiers, and being aware of one’s surroundings are essential for ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

Beyond the Slopes: Exploring Silverton and Surroundings

Historical Attractions and Cultural Insights

Silverton’s rich mining history and heritage are evident throughout the town, with numerous historical attractions and cultural sites to explore. Visitors can take part in heritage tours, visit local museums, and immerse themselves in the area’s fascinating past.

Outdoor Activities Beyond Skiing

In addition to world-class skiing and snowboarding, the Silverton area offers a range of other outdoor activities for adventurous visitors. Snowshoeing and ice climbing are popular winter pursuits, while scenic drives and photography spots showcase the region’s stunning natural beauty year-round.

Dining and Apres-Ski in Silverton

Local Eateries and Dining Experiences

Silverton’s dining scene features a variety of local eateries offering hearty meals and regional cuisine, perfect for refueling after a day on the slopes. From cozy cafes to lively bars, there’s no shortage of options for apres-ski refreshments and socializing.

Special Events and Seasonal Festivities

Throughout the year, Silverton plays host to various special events and seasonal festivities that celebrate the town’s unique character and vibrant community. Winter carnivals and ski competitions bring excitement to the colder months, while summer festivals and outdoor concerts showcase the area’s lively spirit during the warmer season.


What is the best time of year to visit Silverton Mountain for skiing?

The best time to visit Silverton Mountain depends on personal preferences and the desired experience. The early season (December-January) often brings abundant snowfall, the mid-season (February-March) offers the most consistent conditions and terrain variety, and the late season (April-May) provides excellent spring skiing opportunities.

Can beginners ski at Silverton Mountain, or is it only for advanced skiers?

Silverton Mountain caters primarily to advanced and expert skiers and snowboarders due to its challenging, backcountry-style terrain. While beginners can participate in guided skiing, the mountain’s focus on steep, ungroomed runs and variable conditions may prove difficult for those with limited experience.

What are the accommodation options directly on Silverton Mountain?

There are no accommodation options directly on Silverton Mountain itself. Visitors can choose to stay in the nearby town of Silverton, which offers a range of lodging options including historical inns, bed & breakfasts, vacation rentals, and private lodges.

Are there any family-friendly activities in Silverton outside of skiing?

While Silverton is primarily known for its challenging skiing and snowboarding terrain, the town and surrounding area offer a variety of family-friendly activities. These include exploring the town’s rich mining history through heritage tours and museum visits, as well as enjoying scenic drives and outdoor pursuits like snowshoeing and ice climbing.

How does Silverton Mountain’s guided skiing experience differ from other ski resorts?

Silverton Mountain’s guided skiing experience is unique in that it offers lift-accessed, backcountry-style terrain in a controlled environment. Unlike traditional ski resorts, Silverton Mountain has no groomers or clear-cut runs; instead, it focuses on providing an authentic, adventurous mountain experience led by experienced guides. This approach allows skiers and riders to explore challenging, untouched terrain while prioritizing safety and expert guidance.


About the author

Shannon Persad

As a seasoned journalist and Colorado native, I bring a deep-rooted connection and comprehensive understanding of Colorado to my work at My appreciation for the state’s rich history, vibrant culture, and pressing environmental issues drives my commitment to exploring its evolving landscape—from the bustling urban centers to the tranquil mountain towns.