Trails galore interlace the countryside around Creede and throughout Mineral County. Public lands, which constitute 95% of the county, provide ample access to Forest Service trails, many of which carry multi-use designations (Descriptive brochures and maps of Forest Service trails and roads are available at the Creede Ranger Station on South Main Street).
The Continental Divide Trail and the Colorado Trail are two favorite high country hiking routes that pass through Mineral County. Regional Volksmarch trails are clearly marked. The Snow Country Explorers (719-658-2221) maintain a GIS mapped system of snowmobile trails for winter recreation. The Upper Rio Grande Nordic Ski Club (719-658-0106) also maintains a half dozen trails for cross-country skiing.
Mineral County has constructed a trail leading south from the Creede ballpark. This new trail affords a pleasant recreational environment for bikers, hikers, and joggers.
Length: 17 miles. Riding Time 1.5-3 hours.
We begin with the Bachelor Loop because many other rides are accessible from Bachelor road. There are several places of historical significance on this loop, and the Creede/Mineral County Chamber of Commerce has a flyer detailing these locations. The high point of this ride is the top of Bachelor Mountain at 10,000 feet. Many riders prefer riding this loop in a clockwise direction. This gets most of the climbing out of the way in the first four miles, making the remaining 8 miles generally fast and rolling. Be alert for tourist vehicles on this road, especially along the blind corners of West Willow Canyon. Portions of the canyon are quite steep and riders should use caution in these areas.
East Willow Loop
Length: 8 miles. Riding time 1-2 hours.
We recommend riding up East Willow Canyon, heading north from town and turning right at the “Y”. The first three miles make a gradual climb suitable for all levels of riders. After the final creek crossing, the road climbs up 5 switchbacks. Though the switchbacks are only 1.5 miles long, the climbing is demanding. The view of the La Garita Mountains from the crest of the climb is fantastic. In the fall this route provides some tremendous aspen colors. This loop finishes by descending to the Midwest Mine where the road meets with the top of West Willow Canyon. The descent back to town is steep and contains many blind corners.
Miners Creek Trail
Length: 7 miles. Riding time: 1-2hours.
Tail begins at Creedmont Boy Sout Camp at the end of Miners Creek Road #507 (9,000 feet). Trail ends at the unction with La Garita Stock Driveway Trail #787 in Upper Miners Creek Park. Be prepared to cross the creek several times in the first couple of miles. Most riders enjoy riding up the trail from the Boy Scout Camp a few miles and then turning around and returning the way they came. The more adventurous riders can ride this trail as a loop. Begin by riding up Bachelor Road to the Rat Creek/Willow Creek 4x4 road and taking the left fork after crossing Rat Creek. This is Trail #787 in Upper Miners Creek Park. Riding the trail in this direction gives a total ride of approximately 22 miles. Please see a USGS map of the Forest Service for more details.
Rat Creek/Willow Creek 4x4 Road
Length: 22 miles.
Climb Bachelor Road to Windy Gulch and take the Rat Creek/Willow Creek 4x4 road. Follow the Rat Creek drainage to the top of San Luis Pass. Breath-taking views from the Continental Divide area. Descend down West Willow back to town. This is a challenging ride. Riders should be prepared for cool weather conditions and should pack extra water and food. Many riders prefer to shorten the ride and drive a vehicle to Windy Gulch. This eliminates about 3.5 miles of climbing.
Middle Rat Creek Loop
Length: Approximately 7 miles. Riding time 1-2 hours.
Climb Bachelor Mountain and take the trun off to the left approximately 2 miles into the climb. This is a traverse across an open area. Very pleasant riding back to Rat Creek. Shortly before the road meets the creek, turn right and climb steeply over Windy Gulch. Heading down hill brings the rider back to Bachelor Road and soon back to town. The distance stated begins and ends in town.
East Willow to Phoenix Park or Wason Park, Farmers Creek Trail, North Clear Creek Falls to Bristol Head or Crystal Lake, Stoney Pass, Stage Station Flat area near Rio Grande Reservoir, Jarosa Mesa Primitive Road on Spring Creek Pass. Please see the U.S. Forest Service for more details on many of these and other trails.
For more information or maps on Biking in the Creede and Mineral County area, please contact the Creede and Mineral County Chamber of Commerce.