Block mountains

Your San Juan Mountains Silverton Basecamp since 1883

One of the most interesting towns to visit in the Rocky Mountains is Silverton. It is located remotely in the San Juan Mountains of the Great Rockies. It was a gold rush boom town in the second half of the 1800s, but declined soon after, with the last mine finally closing in 1992. Today it is listed as a National Historic District. The most eye-catching building in the city is the imposing Grand Imperial Hotel which dates back to 1883.

One of the best places to enjoy a scenic road trip is through the San Juan Mountains (and along the Million Dollar Highway). Silverton is a great up-and-coming Old West town to visit, but perhaps a more iconic Old West town is Tombstone, Arizona (located in the Sorona Desert near the Mexican border and the site of the notorious gunfight). OK Corral).

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The Grand Imperial Hotel – An authentic 1880s immersion

The Grand Imperial Hotel in Silverton was originally called the “Thomson Block” and was built by Mr. W.S. Thomson. It was completed in just under ten months and became the largest single structure south of Denver. It was considered the jewel in the crown of Silverston and was the pinnacle of luxury in the South West.

The Grand Hotel was not only used for accommodation; it was also used as office space for local officials, the local post office, the town bank, the bureau of mines, a General Stone, a medical office and the Silverston Standard newspaper – phew!

  • Restored: Provide an authentic 1880s experience

As the fortunes of the mine fell, so did the town and the hotel. The hotel was sold and renamed Imperial Hotel before settling on its current name – the Grand Imperial Hotel. It was purchased by the Harper family in 2015 (who also own the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad). They set out to restore it with the aim of providing full immersion in an authentic 1882 experience.

Related: Why Everyone Should Visit Virginia City Nevada’s Old Wild West Town

The Grand Hotel and the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway

One of the main attractions in the thriving old town is the Durango and Silverton narrow gauge railway. They still operate old steam engines that go up and down the mountains as they have since 1882.

Most of the experiences they offer are day trips to and from Silverton and other destinations. But they also offer their train and night package at the Grand Imperial Hotel.

With this package, one can unwind and relax with the experience of the 1880s by combining the train journey with the old hotel. It is intended to be a “back in time” experience and begins at the 1881 Durango depot, where you board an authentic historic locomotive. Seating options include Presidential, First Class, Deluxe and Standard class.

  • Pricing: Starting at $556.36 for two
  • Rooms: King or Single Queen Room
  • Stroll: 3.5 hours one way

The drive crosses the San Juan Mountains – the trip takes 3.5 hours through the valley. The train experience ends just two blocks from the Grand Imperial Hotel.

Related: California’s Eerie Ghost Town Looks Like an (Abandoned) Wild West Movie Set

Plan a stay at the Grand Imperial Hotel

The Grand Imperial Hotel offers a range of accommodation options. Most rooms have a 42-inch flat-screen TV and a walk-in shower. Some rooms are:

  • Family suite on the second floor: King bedroom and bedroom with two double beds
  • Premium King Room on the second floor: Also offers views of the San Juan Mountains
  • Queen bedroom on the second floor: A queen-size bed
  • Mini-suite on the third floor: A double bed and a double sofa bed in the living room
  • Double room on the third floor: Double bed and clawfoot tub


The Grand Imperial Hotel includes a department store, depot annex, cafe, restaurant and lounge.

  • Address: 1219 Greene Street, Silverton, CO 81433
  • Call: 970-387-5527
  • Prices: Range from $150 to $320 or more (plus additional fees)
  • Pets: Not allowed

Prices vary between approximately $150 and $320 per night. It should also be noted that there are significant additional charges on top of the base room rate. Additional fees include not only sales tax, but also historic preservation fees, lodging tax, and Silverton lodging tax. Additional charges add an additional $67 to the $320 per night charge for the family suite and $33 per night to the $150 for the standard single room.

  • Registration: 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Check: 11:00

Next time planning a trip to the San Juan Mountains, put the Grand Imperial Hotel on their to-do list!