Set a dormant volcanic caldera surrounded by sheer cliffs and the spectacular San Juan Mountains, Creede is a small town in Colorado that boasts a warm and welcoming atmosphere and offers a wide variety of things to see and do. Featuring quaint 1890s storefronts, plenty of little shops to explore and restaurants to dine out at, Creede also has an array of attractions such as the Creede Historical Museum.
1.Creede Repertory Theatre
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Founded in 1966, the Creede Repertory Theatre is a professional theatre company that produces a range of high-quality productions and performances for the community of Creede. Tucked away in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, the award-winning company provides up to ten plays in rotating repertory each season, as well as hosts numerous musical events and concerts, and offers nationally recognized educational programming for students and drama-lovers of all ages. The theater’s main stage started life in the 1930s as a movie house and later the Creede Opera House, before being transformed into the Creede Repertory Theatre in 1966. Today, the theater seats 230 people and houses the main stage and box office, a costume shop and storage, the Helfin rehearsal hall, a gift shop, and several concessions.
124 Main Street, Creede, Colorado 81130, Phone: 719-658-2540
2.Bachelor Loop Historic Tour
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The Bachelor Loop Historic Tour is a 17-mile self-drive through the historic mining district above Creede, which explores old mining locations and abandoned ghost towns dating back to the late 1800s. The scenic drive has several routes which can be enjoyed in both a car and on a bike. The main route begins at the Creede & Mineral County Visitor Center and winds it's up through the canyon north of Creede climbing under the ragged cliff sides, following West Willow Creek, and ending in an ancient forest of Bristle Cone pine trees. The east route follows East Willow Creek and turns to the west on a steep climb that is only suitable for four-wheel drive vehicles. This route eventually converges again with the main road of the Bachelor Loop. The trail features several interpretive stops and points of interest along the way, which are indicated by large blocks of wood with pick and shovel logo shields that serve as route guides.
Creede, CO 81130
3.North Clear Creek Falls
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North Clear Creek Falls is a 100-foot waterfall with a spectacular vertical drop into Willow Canyon that is fed by the North Clear Creek, a tributary of the Rio Grande River. Located in the Rio Grande National Forest in Hinsdale County, the beautiful waterfall flows over a deck of Nelson Mountain tuff, which is solidified ash from a volcano that erupted about 27 million years ago in the San Juan Volcanic Field. North Clear Creek Falls has an observation point and overlook area which can be reached on a short half-mile trail from the Colorado State Highway 149 on a paved county road, and it features picnic tables and benches, and a working vault toilet. There is also a wheelchair-accessible trail to the top of a nearby bluff with spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes.
Forest Rd 510.3B, Creede, CO 81130
4.Last Chance Mine
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The Last Chance Mine was one of Creede’s most productive silver mines in the glory days of silver mining, running almost continuously from 1891 to 1947. Perched on a canyon wall high above West Willow Creek, the mine, which ended operations in early 1960s when mining ended completely, has undergone restoration and is a now an interesting museum that documents the history of the mine and the surrounding area, as well as the history of silver mining in Colorado during the early 1900s. The museum also has a large selection of rock specimens for sale and visitors can enjoy a guided tour with proprietor Jack Morris who share the abundant history of the area.
504 Last Chance Mine Rd, Creede, CO 81130, Phone: 719-238-7959
5.Creede Underground Mining Museum
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The Creede Underground Mining Museum is a museum and community center that are both located entirely underground. Construction of the museum began in 1990 when three Creede miners blasted out of solid rock cliff to create 600 feet of drift for the museum’s exhibition area, which now houses 22 displays documenting the history of the mine and the surrounding area, and real mining equipment. Visitors to the museum can enjoy guided tours of the facility led by retired miners who explain apparatus and methods of mining, as well as self-guided audio tours.
503 W Willow Ck Rd, Creede, CO 81130, Phone: 719-658-0811
6.Rare Things Gallery of Treasures
© Rare Things Gallery of Treasures
The Rare Things Gallery of Treasures is a treasure trove of antiques, decorative arts, designer jewelry, paintings, pottery, photography, stained glass, woodwork, and other wonderments of nature. Established by Jennifer Inge in 1974, the eclectic gallery is one of the finest retail galleries in the Southwest and the best place in Creed to shop for antique objects, vintage pieces, and unique gifts. Best known for her Inge Horsehair Jewelry Collection, Jennifer also has an eye for finding and collection exceptional objects, and unusual jewelry and one-of-a-kind collectibles can be seen all around her store.
106 S Main St, Creede, CO 81130, Phone: 719-658-2376
7.Wheeler Geologic Area
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The Wheeler Geologic Area is famous for its geologically significant layers of volcanic ash which originated result of eruptions from the La Garita Caldera approximately 25 million years ago. Named after Captain George M. Wheeler who surveyed the area for the US Army in 1874, the lies about 10 miles outside of Creede and forms part of the La Garita Wilderness in Mineral County’s La Garita Mountains. The area features many hiking and mountain trails and high mountain peaks which can be reached by an 8.4-mile hike on the East Bellows Trail or a 14-mile four-wheel drive road, offering spectacular views.
La Garita Wilderness, Mineral County
8.Silver Thread Scenic and Historic Byway
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Colorado's Silver Thread Scenic and Historic Byway stems from the prosperous mining days of the late 19th century when the narrow footpaths of the Ute Indians were widened by industrialists and merchants into roads for transporting ore, supplies, and people to the remote San Juans developing and growing with demand as motor vehicles became more popular. Today, the Silver Thread Scenic Byway winds through three towns including Lake City, Creede, and South Fork, and four counties and spans the entire length of Highway 149. The byway is renowned for its scenic beauty, varied and unique geology, rich history, and abundance of wildlife, with elk, deer, moose, and bighorn sheep are often seen along the highway. Points of interest along the Silver Thread Scenic and Historic Byway include the Blue Mesa Reservoir, High Bridge, the Alfred Packer Massacre Site, the Lake San Cristobal Overlook, the Slumgullion Earthflow, Windy Point Scenic Overlook, and the North Clear Creek Falls, among others.
Creede, CO 81130
9.Creede Historic Museum
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The Creede Historic Museum is dedicated to showcasing the history of the mining town of Creede with a variety of exhibits and displays of artifacts, objects, and memorabilia from the surrounding Mineral County. Located on the Main Street in Basham Park, the museum is based in an 1891-built one-story wood frame building that was once a depot for the Denver & Rio Grande line during Creede's silver mining boom days. Museum exhibits feature the town’s first hand-drawn fire wagon, an authentic a horse-drawn hearse, gambling devices, early pioneer utensils, and numerous photographs, newspapers and other memorabilia. A small store in the museum sells books, videos, historical photo postcards, and notebooks, and the Creede Historical Society's research library is nearby and is open year-round on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Basham Park, Main St, Creede, CO 81130, Phone: 719-658-2004
© Kip’s Grill
Kip's Grill is a family-friendly mountain taqueria that has been serving delicious homestyle cuisine in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere since 1996. The restaurant specializes in freshly made tacos with an array of fillings, homemade salsas, traditional Tex-Mex, and all-American burgers, along with appetizers, sides, fresh margaritas, and skinny cocktails. The restaurant hosts events and functions throughout the year ranging from live music to beer festivals, and also offers a catering menu for special occasions and celebrations. Kip's Grill is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
101 W 5th St, Creede, CO 81130, Phone: 719-658-0220
© Tommyknocker Tavern
The Tommyknocker Tavern is a friendly, inviting tavern-style restaurant featuring live music all summer and local events throughout the winter. Established in 1999 and a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike, the Tavern's restaurant serves excellent food in a casual setting with a spacious back patio for alfresco dining in the summer. The menu boasts hearty all-American fare such as burgers, barbecue, ribs, steaks, fresh salads, sandwiches, and sides, along with a large selection of locally and globally brewed beers, signature cocktails and casual wines. The Tommyknocker Tavern hosts over 50 live music shows during the summer months and an 'Open mic night' every Wednesday. The Tommyknocker Tavern is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
107 Wall St, Creede, CO 81130, Phone: 719-658-0138
12.The Antlers Rio Grande Riverside Restaurant
© The Antlers Rio Grande Riverside Restaurant
Based at the Antlers Rio Grande Lodge in the San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado, the Riverside Restaurant offers a fine dining experience against a backdrop of breathtaking mountain views. Set in the historic 1896 lodge, the restaurant boasts cozy indoor seating around a large stone fireplace or outdoor seating on the canopy-covered riverside deck with views over the river. The menu includes globally-inspired American and European cuisine with special daily creations prepared daily by Italian Chef Max Farinelli and is paired with a selection of fine wines from around the world, craft beers, and handcrafted cocktails. The Riverside Restaurant is open for evening dining and breakfast Tuesday through Sunday from Memorial Day weekend through September.
26222 CO-149, Creede, CO 81130, Phone: 719-658-2423
12 Best Things to Do in Creede, Colorado
- Creede Repertory Theatre, Photo: Courtesy of Enzo Russo - Fotolia.com
- Bachelor Loop Historic Tour, Photo: Courtesy of Bob - Fotolia.com
- North Clear Creek Falls, Photo: Courtesy of jsnewtonian - Fotolia.com
- Last Chance Mine, Photo: Courtesy of Bob - Fotolia.com
- Creede Underground Mining Museum, Photo: Courtesy of Artem Merzlenko - Fotolia.com
- Rare Things Gallery of Treasures, Photo: Rare Things Gallery of Treasures
- Wheeler Geologic Area, Photo: Courtesy of Tristan - Fotolia.com
- Silver Thread Scenic and Historic Byway, Photo: Courtesy of Bob - Fotolia.com
- Creede Historic Museum, Photo: Courtesy of gevans - Fotolia.com
- Kip’s Grill, Photo: Kip’s Grill
- Tommyknocker Tavern, Photo: Tommyknocker Tavern
- The Antlers Rio Grande Riverside Restaurant, Photo: The Antlers Rio Grande Riverside Restaurant
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Shelley - Fotolia.com