The Denver and Rio Grande Western made daily warm-weather trips up the mountain to the mining town of Silverton, 40 miles away.
Argentine Pass (13,000 ft.), near Gray's Peak, is one of the highest wagon roads of the world; just east of Silverton is Rio Grande Pass, about 12,400 ft.
Perhaps finer than these for their wide-horizoned outlooks and grand surroundings are the Alpine Tunnel under the continental divide of the Lower Sawatch chain, the scenery of the tortuous line along the southern boundary in the Conejos and San Juan mountains, which are crossed at Cumbres (10,003 ft.), and the magnificent scenery about Ouray and on the Silverton railway over the shoulder of Red Mountain (attaining 11,235 ft.).
The district about Silverton (product 1870-1900 about $35,000,000, principally silver and lead, and mostly after 1881) has also had a remarkable development; and Creede, in the years of its brief prosperity, was a phenomenal silver-field.
Austin, of Denver, Colorado, and both at Leadville and Silverton raw ores are successfully smelted with as low a fuel consumption as 3 of coke to zoo of charge.