Creede is one of the most picturesque towns in Southwest Colorado. The downtown strip is nestled at the foot of a stunning, narrow canyon. It looks like a Wild West town, which it definitely was. In its heyday, it was one of the craziest boom towns in Colorado.
Summer is the busy season, but the town does attract snowmobilers and others looking for a peaceful place to escape to in the winter. Public land surrounds Creede nearly everywhere, so camping and recreation are easy to find. There are several lakes and rivers nearby, in addition to hiking trails.
Most of the businesses remain open all year. Creede has many restaurants to choose from for such a small town. Try Tommyknocker Tavern for awesome BBQ and atmosphere, Kip’s Grill for tasty Mexican and the Best Little Dog House on South Main Street for quick burgers and brats.
A former mining town established in 1889, Creede, at times, exceeded 10,000 residents. Miner’s began settling the area in the 1870’s. The original town was directly at the base of canyon and Jimtown, was where downtown Creede is now. Today its permanent population is about 400.
At night there are no policemen to interfere with the vested right of each citizen to raise as much Cain as he sees fit… and 3/4’s of the population are of that kind that does see fit. – 1892 newspaper
Bachelor Historic Loop – An 17 mile alpine loop through Creede’s old mining camps. This is a must see if you’re in Creede and it’s just above town. The whole loop doesn’t take much more than an hour, depending on if you stop.
Silver Thread Scenic Byway – Seventy-five stunning miles from Lake City to South Fork. Discover waterfalls, mines and natural landmarks along it’s route.
- Primitive car camping spots exist on many of the hillsides above town. Several great spots exist near the Bachelor Loop. Head toward it from downtown and take right at Loop to old Creede. Follow this 2wd, dirt road and look for free spots.
- Palisades is a nice campground between Creede and South Fork. Take Hwy 149 south for 12 miles. The campgrounds sits just past Wagon Wheel Gap, beside the Rio Grande River. It’s usually open later in the season than some others.
- Marshall Park and Rio Grande campgrounds are toward the north on Hwy 149, less than 15 minutes.
- The Rio Grande passes by Creede with plenty of spots to cast a line.
- The headwaters of the Rio Grande and the Rio Grande Reservoir are just over an hour away. Take Hwy 149 north for 20 miles to Co Rd 520. Take left, and follow to lake.
- Road Canyon Reservoir Number 1 is a quicker option, on the way to Rio Grande Reservoir.
- Bachelor Loop in town has several established treks.
- Rio Grande National Forest
- Rio Grande Reservoir (31mi)
- Road Canyon Reservoir No 1 (24mi)