Mineral County is in southwestern Colorado, right along the Continental Divide. Our lowest elevation is around 8,500 feet, and we top out above 14,000 feet. We have abundant sunshine year 'round, keeping most winter days pleasant, while our altitude keeps summer heat at bay. Not many air conditioners up here! Our low humidity also tempers the experience of cold and heat, neither of which is as oppressive as one finds in more humid climates (like Texas, where 40 degrees can feel like our 10). A sunny, calm day at 35 degrees F will find many folks in just sweatshirts, or shirtsleeves if they're working or exercising outdoors. Winter nights are often cold, and below-zero temps not uncommon. Day/night temps regularly vary as much as 40 degrees. A really hot summer day for us will see temps in the 80s, but we usually top out in the 70s. Right after sunset you'll feel the cool of the evening.
Overall, this part of Colorado is arid to semi-arid, but the higher mountains get more moisture. Most of this is in the form of snow, and much of it falls in late winter and early spring. In late summer, brief localized afternoon showers are not uncommon. Autumn is almost always a splendid season, especially as the aspen leaves turn gold, usually beginning early in September. For many visitors, and locals, it's their favorite time of year.
Preparing for our Climate
We are located at a high altitude (8,500 – 14,000 feet). Visitors to the area may need a day or two of adjustment; usually just relaxing and increasing your fluid intake will help you acclimate to the altitude.
In all seasons, mountain terrain can make its own local weather, and changes can be rapid. Dress in layers, and make sure that you take along warm or protective clothing even on the nicest of days. Our weather is part of the adventure. Sunset brings an immediate drop in temperature that may require heavier clothing.
More about the Seasons
Spring is variable, as the elements decide when winter is over and summer can begin.
As the winter snow melts, spring snow falls. Streams and rivers swell, bringing a wealth of mountain water to Southwest Colorado. Some of this water is reserved for the green meadow grasses that will feed local wildlife and spur forward the growth of wildflowers, berries, and the distribution of seeds needed for next winter. The snowline recedes. Ridges change from white to dusky green, and so begins another year.
Mineral County has 275+ sunny days per year! Summer is bathed in warm sunshine and cool breezes with chilly nights. Average summer temperatures are 70-75 degrees during the day and drop to the 40s at night. Short afternoon rain showers can be expected from mid-June through mid-August.
Our cool, high country provides refuge from cares, crowds, and the hectic pace of city living. It is the beautiful mountains, forests and canyons that draw our crowd. Creede offers fishing, rafting, camping, and horseback riding. We have a number of shops and boutiques available for browsing, and there is plenty of opportunity to eat at a number of locally-owned restaurants. Nothing beats a cool Creede summer.
Fall is a combination of bright, sunny days and crisp, chilly nights.
Temperatures begin to drop and leaves are changing. Our Rocky Mountain setting provides a backdrop of beauty and grandeur that takes full advantage of every season. Warm, sunny days make it impossible to stay inside, and the first fires of the season are built as night falls. Hunting, fishing, and hiking are still in full force.
Winter can be cold with temperatures down to –20; however, an abundance of sunshine curbs the chill. Winter will surprise you with a 35 degree day that will have you shedding your coat, and some chilly nights that make the turtlenecks and parkas worth their while. The surrounding mountains receive heavy snowfall, but the snow is light (1-2 feet at a time) on the valley floor. Wolf Creek Pass usually has some of the heaviest snowfall in the state.
Winter is a season of enticing, sunny days and cold nights perfect for the warmth of a fire. Winter supports many outdoor activities, from snowmobiling on mountain trails to fishing for trout on frozen lakes and reservoirs. Our very low humidity makes winter an experience entirely unlike those at lower elevations and in more humid climates. While our evening temperatures in January and February often drop below zero, the common daytime rise to 30 or 40 degrees provides a friendly juxtaposition to the sharper cold of night.