Creede Speed: A Preserved Old West Town Far From the Hurried Crowds

Tucked away in the remote and rugged San Juan Mountains, Creede fiercely defends her Old West heritage. Despite a mere 400 residents living here year-round, Creede has two museums, a well maintained historic driving tour, and many structures dating from the late 1800s. According to one local resident; “Creede actually is what Breckenridge and Vail are attempting to recreate.” With modern miners and old fashioned cowboys seen daily on Main Street, Creede residents have a close connection with their heritage. There are many areas in and around Creede where cell phones will not work and laptops are useless. But we like it that way. Creede locals tend to prefer old dogs, worn boots, and familiar faces. Come to Creede for a glimpse into small town, Old West life and preserve your own history through discovering ours.

Unlike other small mountain towns, Creede boasts two museums. Blasted out of the rock by three local miners in 1990, the Underground Mining Museum offers visitors an authentic example of the techniques and methods used to sink hard rock mines during the Silver Boom. Maintaining a constant cool temperature of 65 degrees, the Underground Mining Museum provides visitors an authentic experience. We recommend you call ahead and schedule a guided tour given by a retired, local Creede miner. The retired miners help the exhibits literally come alive with their personal stories of rock blasting, cave-ins and working a dangerous job in darkness, for hours on end.

After walking in the steps of miners, head South on Main Street and discover the Creede Historic Museum. Providing visitors with Creede social history and a research library filled with old photographs; the Creede Historic Museum also offers historic downtown walking tours once a week. Housed in the 1890 Train Depot, Creede was literally the “end of the line” for early train travelers. Take your time and have a chat with one of the many volunteers, or schedule a walking tour with the Museum Director, Ms. Mary Jean Wallace. Make sure you ask about the Creede Historic Museum mascot, Groomie. Officially named “Groom’s Mountain Lion,” Groomie is a taxidermied mountain lion that has been supervising museum activities for nearly 50 years.

If you are feeling truly adventurous, take a historic drive on the Bachelor Loop Tour on Forest Service Road 504/503. During the summer months, the graded gravel road is well maintained and accessible to vehicles without four-wheel-drive. During the 17 mile self-guided tour, visitors can stop and explore abandoned mining sites or simply enjoy the nearly constant scenic vistas. On the Bachelor Loop Tour, you will reach nearly 11,000 feet; see Nelson Mountain; the famous Humphrey Mill; and the Bachelor Town Site. Depending on how quickly (or slowly) you take your explorations; the tour can be completed in 1-2 hours. At the end of the Bachelor Loop Tour, make sure and stop at the Sunnyside Cemetery and historic Immaculate Conception Mission Church. With sites dating from the 1800s, the Cemetery and Mission Church are microcosms of Creede history.

The best way to take your well preserved tour of local Creede history is to invoke the often used, local phrase; “Creede speed.” Generally used to describe the relaxed pace at which most locals like to live; we hope that our visitors and friends will take their time to slowly uncover the many layers of culture and history that we have managed to maintain despite the constant quickening in the outside world.

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Creede & Mineral County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center

719-658-2374

office@creede.com

904 S. Main St., PO Box 580
Creede CO 81130

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