Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Creede, CO

  • Published 2022/08/02

Consider trying the best things to do in Creede, Colorado, when planning a trip to the Rockies.

Creede is a historic town in Mineral County, Colorado, and its county seat and most populated settlement.

Despite being less well-known than places like Crested Butte and Aspen, this old mining town has a lot to see and do.

Many of Creede’s attractions connect to the town’s mining history.

Creede is one of Colorado’s most picturesque environments, with towering cliffs, mountaintops, and a geological location that is one of a kind.

In addition, the region’s natural attractions are many and varied.

If you’re looking for something fun in this small mountain town, check out our list of the best things to do in Creede, Colorado.

Tour Last Chance Mine

Scenic view from  Last Chance Mine

Samantha Fletcher /

Creede’s silver mining history, Last Chance Mine, a fascinating aspect, started in 1891.

Jack Morris, Last Chance Mine’s current owner, bought this historical mine from a family who owned the property in 1998.

Because of Jack’s dedication to the mine’s preservation, it’s become a sought-after tourist attraction in Creede.

Undoubtedly, Last Chance Mine’s guided tours are the most popular part of the experience.

Landscape of Last Chance Mine

B Norris /

If you’d want to learn more about a real Colorado silver mine’s geology and workings, these excursions are for you!

There is no need to make a reservation in advance.

When you finish the tour of the mine and the famed Amethyst Vein, tourists should stop by the free museum to learn more about the mine’s history.

Explore the Town’s Mining History at Creede Underground Mining Museum

The mining sector cemented Creede’s identity after silver was discovered nearby in the late 1800s.

In 1990, three miners began working on an underground mining museum to commemorate this rich heritage.

Even though the museum’s location was never really mine, the methods utilized to build it are reminiscent of those employed in Creede’s legendary silver mining days.

Additionally, the Creede Underground Mining Museum displays original mine equipment and relics, as well as a variety of exhibits dedicated to the many aspects of silver mining, such as stoping, blasting, and blacksmithing.

To get the most out of your visit, join a museum tour given by a former miner.

In addition to the museum, a community center in the building is available for rent for special occasions like weddings and celebrations.

Don’t forget to grab a souvenir from the gift shop on your way out!

Enjoy the Views from Wheeler Geological Area

The volcanically created Wheeler Geological Area is ideal for anyone looking to escape the town and explore the great outdoors.

The only way to get to Wheeler Geological Area is to trek seven miles.

A rugged, 14-mile stretch of road leads into the region.

The odd, extraterrestrial-like rock patterns make the trek worthwhile despite the difficult entry spots.

The terrain is full of spires and massive rock towers, similar to Bryce Canyon National Park’s hoodoos in Utah.

They are among the most unique and intriguing terrains in the region since a process of erosion formed them.

Some rudimentary pathways wind among the formations, one leading to a stunning viewpoint with a 360-degree panorama of the surrounding region.

Because of the difficulty of getting to the park, visitors should budget for at least a day or an overnight hiking excursion to use the scattered camping sites.

Cruise the Silver Thread Scenic Byway

Picturesque view of the fall trees and mountains in Silver Thread Scenic Byway

Quillan /

The Silver Thread Scenic Byway, first designated as a Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway in 1990, traverses approximately 120 miles of some of Colorado’s most fascinating, historical, and picturesque landscapes.

Between Creede, South Fork, and Lake City lies this scenic byway that follows an old Indian trail across the San Juan Mountains.

It will take at least three hours to drive the entire byway, although it is possible to spend many days in this part of Colorado.

Snow covered Silver Thread Scenic Byway

Robert Waltman /

Lake San Cristobal is a must-see along the way.

The surrounding region’s views from the coast make this a must-see stop on the Silver Thread Byway, which lies outside of Lake City in the center of the Scenic Byway.

Don’t miss out on Lake City and South Fork, two small villages that offer unique access to the area’s wilderness and historic districts.

Learn More about the Town at Creede Historical Museum & Library

The Creede Historic Museum & Library is committed to exhibiting the history of the mining town of Creede and the surrounding Mineral County via various exhibitions and displays of relics, artifacts, and memorabilia.

A one-story wooden frame structure, built in 1891 as Denver and Rio Grande line’s depot during the town’s silver mining boom, houses the museum.

The town’s first fire truck drawn by hand, an actual horse-drawn funeral, gaming gadgets, utensils used by pioneers, and countless pictures, publications, and other artifacts are all on display at the museum.

The study library operated by Creede Historical Society is adjacent and open throughout the year every Tuesday and Wednesday.

A small store within the museum sells books, movies, historical photo postcards, and notebooks.

Catch a Performance by Creede Repertory Theatre

For over 50 years, Creede Repertory Theatre has provided the Creede community with various sophisticated theatrical plays.

The multi-awarded company delivers around ten productions in a rotating repertory every season.

Additionally, it holds various musical events, concerts, and nationally acclaimed education programs for aspiring performers and theater fans.

As a 1930-cinema theatre and then an opera house in the 1950s, the main hall of the Creede Repertory Theatre has seen several incarnations.

The Helfin rehearsal hall, a gift store, and many concessions are part of the theater, which has 230 seats.

Explore the Area on Wheels with Bachelor Loop Historic Driving Tour

Ruins of the mines at Bachelor Loop

Samantha Fletcher /

The Bachelor Circle Ancient Driving Tour, a loop that stretches 17 miles around the mining districts above Creede, is a terrific opportunity to explore the fascinating area from the comfort of a car.

Big wooden timbers identify interpretive stations on the loop with a pickaxe and shovel emblem carved into the surface.

Curvy road with golden aspens on the sides at Bachelor Loop Historic Driving Tour

B Norris /

Tourists may see ancient mines and buildings, stunning bristlecone pine woods, as well as breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains on the Bachelor Loop in Creede.

A minimum of one hour is required to complete the circle.

Old mine along the Bachelor Loop

B Norris /

However, this excursion may easily be extended to two or three hours if desired.

In excellent weather, tourists may usually travel the road in a two-wheel drive car, and cyclists are welcome on the whole journey.

Stroll along Historic Downtown Creede

Several historic structures in downtown Creede date back to the town’s origins as a silver mining town.

Creede’s historical museum offers guests a self-guided tour brochure that might help them learn more about this area of Colorado’s past.

It provides interesting facts about the area’s buildings, stores, and restaurants.

Historic Downtown Creede is a must-see attraction in this small historic region.

Stunning cliffs that rise approximately a thousand feet above the earth just outside the town complement Creede’s historic downtown area.

Tourists should also explore the region’s local eateries and art galleries in addition to the Pillars of Hercules.

See Quilt Exhibits by Silver Threads Quilt Guild

The Silver Threads Quilt Guild members come from a wide range of backgrounds and skill levels.

However, their shared interest in textiles, quilting, and sewing has brought them together.

Every two years, the Silver Threads Quilt Guild holds a quilt display in Creede, Colorado.

For two days, the Creede Underground Community Center hosts the yearly Silver Threads Quilt Show, attracting quilters from the country.

Check out our members’ work; you’ll be amazed at what you find!

The Treasure Trove of handcrafted things, the Quilters Cafe, and the Vendors are all available for your shopping pleasure.

To help those in need, Silver Threads Quilt Guild manufactures quilts, stockings, and bags and gives them to non-profit organizations.

Try Various Activities at Rio Grande National Forest

Rio Grande National Forest during autumn

Alpine Eagles /

One of Creede’s most prominent national forests is the Rio Grande National Forest, named after the Rio Grande River that flows through it.

There are 1.86 million acres in this forest, which includes some of Colorado’s most beautiful hiking routes and breathtaking sections of land.

A massive wildfire decimated most of the woods, but regrowth has returned, and it is now lush and green.

There are a variety of campgrounds to choose from, some of which provide bathrooms.

The Rio Grande National Forest is open to the public.

However, certain camping spots and other activities need a charge.

Visiting the forest is free.

However, there are lots of chances for dispersed free camping, and we can help you arrange for boondocking in your RV.

The Rio Grande Reservoir is a great place to go fishing in the afternoon while the rest of your family relaxes on the shore.

Dine and Enjoy the Vibe at Antlers Rio Grande Lodge and Riverside Restaurant

Fine food and spectacular mountain views await diners at Antlers Rio Grande Lodge and Riverside Restaurant.

The restaurant lies in the old 1896 lodge.

It features indoor and outdoor seating, with river views from the canopy-covered riverfront terrace.

Max Farinelli, an Italian Chef, prepares daily masterpieces inspired by global flavors and an international range of exquisite wines, artisan cocktails, and craft beers.

From Memorial Day weekend through September, the restaurant welcomes diners for dinner and breakfast.

Drink and Chill at Tommyknocker Tavern

A tavern-style eatery, the Tommyknocker Tavern has live music all summertime and local activities all year round.

Locals and visitors like the restaurant at the Tavern, which opened in 1999 and provided superb meals in a relaxed environment with a large rear terrace for summer al fresco eating.

Burgers, BBQ, steaks, fresh salads and sandwiches, an extensive range of locally and internationally brewed beers, distinctive cocktails, and casual wines are all on the menu at this restaurant.

Over 50 live music performances take place at the Tommyknocker Tavern during summer.

Tommyknocker Tavern is available to the public for lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Have a Picnic at North Clear Creek Falls

Fresh water rushing at North Clear Creek Falls

B Norris /

North Clear Creek Falls on Highway 149 is a stunning destination along the Silver Thread Scenic Byway.

It’s just a short distance off the road, making this waterfall a great place to stop for a rest break on the route to your destination.

North Clear Creek Falls is a popular tourist destination since it is so easily accessible and well-known.

Stream flowing from North Clear Creek Falls

Newtonian /

Avoid weekends and holidays if you want a more secluded experience.

Therefore, it’s preferable to come between June and September.

There are tables and chairs and an available vault toilet in the area, which is entirely wheelchair accessible.

Celebrate Southwestern Flavors During Creede Salsa Fiesta

On the weekend before Labor Day, Creede throws a celebration honoring the town’s unique take on traditional Southwest food: chile con carne.

People from all over the country visit Creede to attend the Salsa Fiesta, which has become a hot ticket item.

The most excellent aspect of this event is that you get to make all the decisions.

At least 15 stations dot the downtown area where local chefs and companies try crafting innovative salsa combinations that fit into four categories: green, red, fruit, and freestyle.

On Basham Park or along Main Street, a live band treats you as you waltz your way to the next bowl of chips.

You may purchase sampling tickets at the Visitor Center if you can withstand the heat.

Creede Salsa Fiesta takes place exclusively on Saturday.

Have a Family Day at Freemon’s Guest Ranch & General Store

Tourists and locals enjoy Freemon’s Guest Ranch’s ice cream and burgers.

If you want to spend the day exploring Rio Grande National Forest, this is the place to stop.

You will love its terrace, where you can eat its specialty ice cream and burgers and enjoy the mountain views.

However, Freemans is known for much more than just its gastronomic treat.

Fisherman’s gear, hunting and horseback riding guides, and horseback rides are available here.

May through October are the best months to rent a cabin.

Final Thoughts

Creede is a town worth a visit, whether you’re seeking a new spot to explore or a reminder of the past.

Most of the best things to do in Creede celebrate the mining legacy through a range of interactive educational activities in addition to serving as a no-frills starting point for adventurers.

Visitors looking for a unique destination for a weekend break or a week-long road trip through the West will find much to do in this quaint town.

© All rights reserved.