The Bachelor Loop Historic Tour is a 17-mile drive, on your own, through the historic mining district above Creede. The tour takes you across mine locations from the 1890s and abandoned ghost towns that once rivaled Creede in size. The road weaves its way up through the canyon north of Creede climbing under the ragged cliff sides.
The main route follows West Willow Creek to top out with the aged forests of Bristle Cone pine trees. The east route, a road specified for four-wheel drive vehicles, is a slower travel that follows East Willow Creek for the majority of the terrain then turns to the west in a steep climb to converge again with the main road of the Bachelor Loop.
A number of interpretive stops and points of interest provide direction along the route. The entrance station is located at the Creede & Mineral County Visitor Center, and directs tourists north, through Creede, to a second kiosk at the junction of East & West Willow Creek. The tour ends just above Creede at stops #15 & 16 (Creede Cemetery and Bob Ford’s Grave site).
Interpretive stops are indicated by large wooden timbers on the ground, displaying tour stop numbers and a miner’s pick and shovel logo. Match these numbers to the map and the narrative that follows. Additional pick and shovel logo shields are located along the tour route to serve as route guides.
Purchase a Guide Book from the Creede Visitor Center
Driving the Loop
Allow at least one hour for the tour.
The loop road has some narrow stretches and steep grades that require caution; check on road conditions during inclement weather. (Two-wheel drive vehicles might consider completing the tour backwards, in order to descend the Black Pitch, instead of climb it.)
Several four-wheel drive roads lead off of the tour route into less accessible terrain.
Biking the Loop
The whole loop can be completed on a bike! We suggest driving the loop counter-clockwise (backward). This gets most of the climbing out of the way in the first four miles, making the remaining 8 miles generally fast and rolling. Takes 1½ - 3 hours. Elevation begins around 8850’ and tops out at over 10,000’.
Please Leave Our History Intact - Most of the property along the route is private property, including most historic mine sites. Please respect the posted signs and
do not trespass.
The old mine buildings are structurally unsound and dangerous to enter and the mining equipment unsafe to be around. The mine shafts and tunnels are extremely unsafe and are often filled with poisonous and/or explosive gases. Please be extremely careful while hiking in the general area and never allow children to run and play unsupervised.
Archeological and historic sites hold clues to America’s past. If disturbed, part of our heritage may be lost forever. Do not dig, remove, injure, or destroy any historic or prehistoric ruin or site so they will endure and can be passed on to future generations.
Please help protect our heritage by reporting anyone you may see destroying it to the Mineral County Sheriff (719-658-2600) or to the Forest Service (719-658-2556)