With Silt being located in the heart of the Western Slope, there are numerous beautiful locations in and around town to explore!

HARVEY GAP RESERVOIR

Five miles north of Silt is Harvey Gap Reservoir, a 320 acre reservoir that provides calm waters for those looking to stand up paddle board, kayak, fish, swim, and boat. The boat ramp is located on the south side of the lake with motorized boats being restricted to 20 HP to minimize wakes and keep the water calm. Anglers catch catfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, perch, crappie, rainbow trout and northern pike out of Harvey Gap. There are also 30 picnic sites with tables and grills. There are no campsites, but visitors may camp nearby at Rifle Gap State Park or one of the many other campsites & BLM land in the area.

SILT ISLAND PARK

Silt is home to Silt Island Park, a 30-acre island park surrounded by the Colorado River on the south end of downtown.  It’s a great place hike, fish, run, walk your dog, and enjoy the rapids of the Colorado River.  The park also provides a boat ramp for those looking to put-in or take-out in town.

SILT RIVER PRESERVE

The Silt River Preserve is a 132-acre parcel of protected land that has been designated as a wildlife preserve, outdoor recreation area, and agricultural space.  It’s located south of the Colorado River on County Road 346, slightly less than a mile west of the junction of Dry Hollow Rd. & Mamm Creek Rd.  The Silt Island Preserves provides habitat for a wide range of animals including reptiles, rodents, migratory songbirds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, coyote, fox, bobcat beaver, badger, striped skunk, raccoon, jackrabbit, porcupine, weasels, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, garter snakes, bull snakes, western rattlesnakes, tiger salamanders, and more.  Animals at the Silt Island Preserve that are considered threatened or endangered are bald eagles, river otters, greater sandhill cranes, ferruginous hawks.  Big game species in the area include elk, mule deer, mountain lion, and black bear.   

WEST ELK TRAILHEAD

About 40 minutes north of Silt is The West Elk Trailhead, a year-round recreation destination that provides motorized and non-motorized trails on the southwest edge of the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. The area is ideal for those looking to snowshoe, cross country ski, and snowmobile in the winter months, and ride OHV’s in the summer months. The trailhead is located along Forest Road 245 (Buford-New Castle Road) approximately 7.5 miles north of the Forest boundary. The parking area has room for several dozen passenger vehicles and trailers.

The trailhead serves as the southern access point for Motorized Trail #2290, also known as the Buford-New Castle Parallel Trail. During the winter, the trailhead is one of the access points to the Flat Tops snowmobile trail system, providing parking for snowmobilers who wish to follow the Buford-New Castle Road. The trailhead also provides parking for the West Elk non-motorized trail system, which is located immediately east of the parking area.

RIFLE FALLS STATE PARK

Rifle Falls State Park, located about 20 minutes from Downtown Silt, is one of the most unique and picturesque locations on the entire Western Slope. The park features three waterfalls, caves for spelunking opportunities, and ponds. There is also a mile-long family friendly hiking trail that takes about 15-30 minutes to walk around the waterfalls, with additional trails throughout the area. There are RV and tent campsites available for those who want to spend an extended period of time at Rifle Falls. This area is ideal for hikers, anglers, photographers, and anyone looking to fuel the soul with tranquility and mist.

RIFLE MOUNTAIN PARK

Rifle Mountain Park, located about 25 minutes from Silt, is a haven for rock climbers, featuring some of the best limestone sport and trad climbing available in the entire United States. The park is also ideal for spectators who want to watch the many climbers scattered throughout the canyon walls. There are winter ice caves in Rifle Mountain Park, hiking trails, and a creek that’s ideal for anglers looking to catch a rainbow or brookey.

RIFLE GAP RESERVOIR

Rifle Gap Reservoir State Park is located about 15 minutes northwest of Silt at 5775 Highway 325. The reservoir is approximately 350 acres and is one of the only lakes within an hour’s drive that allows boats with large motors. Rifle Gap is an ideal location for boating, fishing, ice fishing, water and jet skiing, windsurfing, paddle boarding, and swimming. The park includes 89 campsites that are open year round, as well as picnic areas and a swim beach. The park office is open daily from 7am – 8pm and a CO State Parks pass or day pass is required for entrance.

FLAT TOPS WILDERNESS AREA

The Flat Tops Wilderness Area is the third largest U.S. Wilderness Area in Colorado at 235,214 acres, with 38,870 acres in Routt National Forest and 196,344 acres in White River National Forest. It takes about 35 minutes to travel from Downtown Silt to the top of the Flat Tops, with the wilderness area providing a gamut of outdoor recreation opportunities like camping, fishing, OHV, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, roads for scenic drives, and wildlife viewing. There are numerous mountains, meadows, canyons and over 100 lakes on the Flat Tops – it is truly one of the most magnificent regions of the Rocky Mountains.

CAYTON TRAILHEAD / FOREST SERVICE CABIN

Located about 20 miles south of Silt is the Cayton Trailhead, which features the historic Cayton Ranger Station and provides access to Cayton Gulch Trail and Lake Fork Trail. The Cayton Ranger Station is named after James Grimshaw Cayton, who was one of the nation’s first forest rangers. The Ranger Station is the second oldest building of its kind in the United States, having been built in 1910. 

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