Some towns are like pristine surf spots or hidden powder stashes. You know you have no right to feel ownership of them, yet there’s a part of you that wants to keep them a secret. At the same time, there’s a drive to share something so extraordinary.
Silverton, Colorado, is one such place. Located 50 miles due north of Durango, Silverton is a small town with a big history and even bigger views. Once part of Ute Indian land, the Utes were unable to fend off the hordes of prospectors that came into the silver and gold rich territory in the late 1800’s. The boom and bust cycle synonymous with so much of the American West prevailed in Silverton until the last mine closed in the 1990’s and tourism took over as a reliable constant.
Today, Silverton has over 500 full-time residents, with artists, athletes and a funky cast of characters direct from that old television show, Northern Exposure. The winters are long, but chock full of snow. Silverton Mountain ski area put the town in the national spotlight about a decade ago for its black-run-only terrain. Summers and fall are gorgeous, with hiking, mountain biking, wildflower-seeking and relaxing above 9300-feet. When Durango and the nearest towns get too hot, Silverton is reliably comfortable.
Real estate – vacant land and small homes to remodel – in Silverton is of the most affordable in all of the Colorado Rockies. It’s about an hour drive from Durango, or an hour and half from either the Durango or Montrose airports — perfect for a weekend get-away or second home in the mountains.
Silverton is one of my personal favorites, so there’s a part of me that wants to keep it a hidden gem. But there’s also a part of me that wants to share its beauty with the world. I’m enthralled with its rich history of mining, of Native American exploration, of Victorian “virtues” going head-to-head with the lawless “vices” of the Old West, and of the renaissance of a town finding its footing in the realm of active tourism. To that end, I strive to honor that rich existence in my building work up in in Silverton. Much of my design work has been influenced by the history of the region, and our hope is that homes built by Black Canyon Builders in Silverton will stake a place in honoring the past and helping to shape the town’s future.