Discover Where ‘Silverado’ Was Filmed: Best Time to Visit, Wildlife, and More!

Written by Nixza Gonzalez
Updated: September 11, 2023
© Zoomi365/
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Silverado (1995) is an award-winning American Western film starring Kevin Kline, Danny Glover, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner, and Linda Hunt. This exciting movie was released on July 10, 1985, and has a runtime of about 133 minutes. The scenery in this Western movie is stunning, so where was it filmed? Follow along to discover where Silverado was filmed and if you can visit the set!

What is Silverado About?

Silverado tells the story of 4 misfit cowboys including two brothers that arrive in the town of Silverado. There are many injustices and they band together to fight against the marshal. It’s a classic good vs email movie with lots of unique Western scenery.

Where is Santa Fe, New Mexico Located on a Map?

Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico, is neatly tucked away in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. This city is rather famous for its unique Pueblo-style architecture and vibrant creative arts scene. It was originally established as a Spanish colony way back in 1610.

Here it is on a map:

Discover Where Silverado Was Filmed

So, where was Silverado filmed? Silverado was filmed in Cerro Pelon Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico. At the time of filming, the ranch was named the Cook Ranch. It offers stunning views of many mountains including the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Sandia Mountains, Ortiz Mountains, and Jemez Mountains. The Silverado team created a film set on the 20,662-acre ranch.

Interestingly, the location manager told Bill Cook, the owner, they wanted to build two to three structures for a film. Bill Cook had no idea that the production was a lot larger. This Hollywood movie set had 38 storefronts, a church, and indoor filming locations. 

Silverado is not the only film shot in Cerro Pelon Ranch. This ranch grew in popularity quickly and was featured in movies like Wyatt Earp, Wild Wild West, Thor, Cowboys and Aliens, the Ridiculous 6, and 3:10 to Yuma. 

Can You Visit the Cerro Pelon Ranch?

Sadly, while you can visit Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Cerro Pelon Ranch is off-limits. Although you can’t set foot on the ranch, you can admire the amazing views of Santa Fe.

The best time to visit Santa Fe is September through November as the temperature begins to cool down. However, New Mexico’s busiest tourist season is between July through September. Some people also recommend visiting in late spring or early summer to beat the summer crowd.

Santa Fe is full of culture and outdoor activities. If you plan a visit to this beautiful southwestern city, don’t miss out on the Santa Fe Plaza, a historical landmark in downtown Santa Fe. You can also visit the New Mexico Museum, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe Botanical Garden, and the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture.

If you’re more interested in outdoor activities, you can hike the Atalaya Mountain Trail, Sun Mountain Trail, Dale Ball Trails, and La Tierra Trails.

Fall colors in Northern New Mexico, Santa Fe County.
The Cerro Pelon Ranch is in New Mexico.

©Kristy Viera/

Animals in New Mexico

New Mexico is a very biodiverse state. While visiting Santa Fe, or anywhere in the state you can run into diverse wildlife. Follow along to learn more about the animals in New Mexico, specifically the surrounding area where Silverado was filmed.

Black Bears

The first animal on our list is the black bear. Most people don’t picture black bears when they think of New Mexico, but there is a population of 6,000. Interestingly, the black bear is New Mexico’s state animal. Black bears are massive and can reach over 300 pounds. They have long claws and strength which they use to fight when threatened. Have you heard of Smokey Bear? Did you know this bear came from New Mexico? New Mexico firefighters rescued an orphaned black bear after a 17,000-acre fire in the Lincoln National Forest. This little bear became a symbol for fire prevention and lived the rest of its life in the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. However, the concept of Smokey Bear began in 1944 when the artist Albert Staehle painted a black bear pouring water on a fire.

Black Bear on road Mt Rainier, Washington
There are about 6,000 black bears in New Mexico.

© Lee

Desert Grassland Whiptail Lizards

Another animal on our list is the desert grassland whiptail lizard, one of the most unique animals in the world. All desert grassland whiptail lizards are females. These small and slender lizards are about 2 to 5.5 inches long. They are brown and olive with 6 to 7 distinct cream stripes running from their heads to their tails. Desert grassland whiptail lizards reproduce by parthenogenesis. This is because it’s an all-female species! Each lizard is a clone of their mother. Interestingly, some scientists have observed male-like behavior and pseudo-copulation in some populations.

The New Mexico whiptail lizard (Cnemidophorus neomexicanus)
All desert grassland whiptail lizards are females.

©Danita Delimont/

Greater Roadrunner

The next animal on our list is the chaparral bird, also known as the greater roadrunner. They are fast, long-legged birds native to the Southwestern United States and Mexico. Greater roadrunners are also sometimes called snake killers. Roadrunners are about 20 to 24 inches long and 9 to 12 inches tall. Greater roadrunners can fly but spend most of their time on the ground hunting for food. They are monogamous and mate for life.

What Do Roadrunners Eat?
Greater roadrunners are native to the Southwestern United States and Mexico.


Anna’s Hummingbird

Another bird on our list of animals near where Silverado was filmed is Anna’s hummingbird. These beautiful and stocky hummingbirds are colorful. Anna’s hummingbirds are found along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. These lovely birds are about 4 inches long and weigh as little as 0.1 ounces. Although not as common, these birds sometimes fly as far as Florida or New York. Anna’s hummingbirds are very vocal birds, especially during courtship. Male hummingbirds dive and sing for 10 seconds at a time to get the attention of females.

Anna's hummingbird
Anna’s hummingbirds live along the coast of the Pacific Ocean and are common in New Mexico.


Black-tailed Jackrabbits

Black-tailed jackrabbits are native to the western United States and Mexico. While you can find them throughout New Mexico, they are most common in the northern parts. Another name for the black-tailed jackrabbit is the American desert hare. They are best known for their large upright ears. Black-tailed jackrabbits weigh 3 to 6 pounds and are about 2 feet long. They live in different habitats and mainly consume shrubs and grasses. They live in the same habitat all year round. Black-tailed jackrabbits live in habitats with shrubs to hide from predators. These jackrabbits have many predators including hawks, owls, and eagles.

Amazing Desert Animals: Antelope Jackrabbit
Black-tailed jackrabbits are native to the western United States and Mexico and live in habitats with shrubs for cover.

©Vincent Pro Photo/

Kokanee Salmon

New Mexico is also home to fish species like the kokanee salmon, which is native to the western United States and Canada. You can find these fish in lakes in Oregon, California, Idaho, Alaska, and Washington. Kokanee salmons are bright pink. Other names for this fish include the silver trout, little redfish, and Kennerly’s trout. Kokanee salmon aren’t picky eaters and mainly eat zooplankton, shrimp, and aquatic insects. Interestingly, during spawning kokanee salmons go through many changes. Although not found in New Mexico, the black kokanee salmon subspecies are black and silver and found in Japan and British Colombia. While you can fish for kokanee salmon in New Mexico, they aren’t native.

Kokanee salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka)
Kokanee salmon change during spawning.

©U.S. Forest Service- Pacific Northwest Region / Flickr

Cactus Mice

Last but not least is the cactus mouse. Cactus mice are native to desert areas of western North America. They are tiny mice weighing between 0.63 and 1.41 ounces. Cactus mice have naked feet and grey, white, and brown fur. These small mice are mainly nocturnal. They eat seeds, flowers, mesquite beans, and insects. Cactus mice can be local. When afraid, they let out a high-pitched squeak. When you find cactus mice, it’s like there are also canyon mice, Californian mice, and western deer mice.

Cactus Mouse (Peromyscus Eremicus)
Cactus mice are small, weighing as little as under an ounce.

©Liz Weber/

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About the Author

I have been a professional content writer for 6 years now, with a large focus on nature, gardening, food, and animals. I graduated from college with an A.A, but I am still pursuing a Bachelors of Marketing degree. When I am not writing, you can find me in front of my TV with a blanket, snacks, and my fur babies.

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