The seventeen-mile, Bachelor Historic Loop takes high into the hills above town, past Creede’s former mining district. Scattered around the stunning mountainsides are numerous old mines and ghost towns.
Imagine what life was like in Creede must have been like a hundred years ago. The Visitor Center has guide brochures that correspond to numbers on the Loop. There are sixteen official sites on the auto tour.
It’s a 2WD drive road, that’s open year-round, though, in winter it’s often snowed in. The start is the most technical part, with a steep climb. Low gears are best.
Camping on Bachelor Loop
Free primitive car camping is permitted around many parts of the Loop. Most are public lands. The closest sites to Creede are on Rd 502 at the start of the Loop, and up in the hills at the end of the loop.
Take Main Street north toward the canyon. The beginning of the Loop is marked by a few informational displays at the junction of West Willow and East Willow Creek. The tour begins on West Willow Creek Road up the hill.
If you take a scenic detour to the right on East Willow Creek Rd, you’ll hit North Creede, the original townsite of Creede. Jimtown was where downtown Creede is today.
If you continue all the way down this Rd 502, you’ll pass camping spots and a dead-end at the Phoenix Mill site, which has been restored and replanted. It’s about 15 minutes.
For more on Creede’s mining history, check out the Underground Mining Museum, situated at the start of the loop. The old Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Depot hosts the Creede Historic Museum.
Address: West Willow Creek Rd, Creede, CO 81130
Season: Year-round (May-October best)
Length: 17 miles
Road: 2WD, Low Gear, High Clearance