The Land & Climate

Mountains, Forests, Streams & Wildlife

Mineral County is primarily high-mountain country cut by a few prominent rivers and their valleys and canyons. A number of peaks are among Colorado's 'Fourteeners' - mountains topping the 14,000 foot mark. Creede itself is at an altitude of 8,852 feet (one caution: our altitude may take some getting used to, so figure on taking it easy the first couple days, drinking lots of fluids).

We host some of the headwaters of two major rivers of the southwest. The Rio Grande begins its 1,800 mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico on the east side of the Divide. On the other side the San Juan starts its course, flowing through New Mexico and Utah, as well as the Navajo (Dineh) Nation, Southern Ute Reservation, and other Native American holdings, to join the Colorado River near Lake Powell, and on to the Gulf of California. Together with numerous lakes, reservoirs and streams, this makes Mineral County an excellent fishing venue. Moose, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, bear, cougar, lynx, bobcat, beaver, and smaller mammals, waterfowl, birds and aquatic life are also abundant throughout the area.

Seagoseago lovelakeimgp3464

Headwaters of the Rio Grande and San Juan Rivers: Two mighty Southwest rivers rise in Mineral County’s San Juan Mountains. The Rio Grande, the third longest river in the U.S., is well known as the international border between Texas and Mexico. This great river begins high on the eastern slopes of the Continental Divide just west of Creede. Collecting water from many rivulets and smaller streams, including Willow Creek, which flows through downtown Creede, the Rio Grande gathers strength for its 1,800-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico. Tributaries of the San Juan River head on the Western Slope of the Continental Divide across from Spar City. This historic river dips into New Mexico, edges into Utah near the Four Corners, and joins the Colorado River just north of Lake Powell.

Mineral County is a vast recreation area with extraordinary public access. Roughly 900 square miles of mountains, forests, valleys, and canyons allow an incredible array of outdoor activities all year long. Ninety-five percent (95%) of the land area of Mineral County is publicly held, mostly in the Rio Grande and San Juan National Forests. There are also two wilderness areas, the La Garita and the Weminuche, and state wildlife areas as well.

Mineral County is bounded by two magnificent wilderness areas: The Weminuche Wilderness defines Mineral County’s high country west of Creede with elevations rising from an average of 10,000 feet to peaks reaching above 14,000 feet. Named for a band of Ute people who lived in the area through the 19th century, the Weminuche spans the Rio Grande and San Juan National Forests to form the largest wilderness area in Colorado. Fifty miles of the Continental Divide passes through the Weminuche Wilderness area. Individuals do not need permits to enter Wilderness Areas but should register at trailheads. Outfitters or anyone else leading a group for compensation, even for a non-profit group, must obtain a Forest Service permit.

This public land is administered by the National Forest Service and the BLM. The Rio Grande National Forest staffs an office in downtown Creede where maps, campground information, and a variety of guides may be obtained.

Rio Grande National Forest

Divide Ranger District - Creede Office
Open during summer months
304 South Main St. • PO Box 270
Creede, CO 81130
719 658-2556

B4Studio Creede Fall

Weather & Seasons

Local Weather Forecast

CDOT Road Conditions & Rio Grand National Forest Road Conditions

Rio Grande National Forest Fall Color Guide

Current Avalance Conditions from the Colorado Avalance Information Center (CACI)

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.

Spring in Creede

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.

Spring Adventures


Summer in Creede

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.

Summer Adventures


Fall in Creede

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.

Fall Adventures


Winter in Creede

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.

Winter Adventures

Knight Winter-at-Mason-Creek

CreedeVG 2024 Cover sm

Order or

Our Adventure Guide will help you plan your next trip to the Last Great Place!

Contact Us
Business Directory
Employment in Creede
Chamber of Commerce
Submit an Event
Media & Press

Creede & Mineral County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center


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

Visitor Center Hours:
Tue-Sat 9am - 4pm (lunch 1-2pm)
Area Information Located North of Door. Free WiFi is always on!

Stay Connected

Sign up for our Visit Creede Newsletter for year-round info about adventures and events!

Sign Up



©2024 Creede & Mineral County Chamber of Commerce. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of photos, logos or copy is prohibited without the expressed written permission of The Chamber & B4 Studio. Built by B4 Studio, LLC • Cookies, Terms & Conditions of Use, and Privacy PolicySitemap