Creede Travel Guide

Planning a trip to Creede, Colorado? Check out this comprehensive travel guide covering everything from places to visit, things to do, where to stay, what to buy, and more!

Introduction to Creede

Nestled in the heart of the San Juan Mountains in South Central Colorado, Creede is a picturesque town that offers a blend of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and outdoor adventures. With its rich mining history, colorful festivals, and stunning landscapes, Creede is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an authentic Colorado experience.

List of Places to Visit in Creede

Creede has a lot to offer to visitors, from historical landmarks to natural wonders. Here are some of the top attractions to include in your itinerary:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Creede Historical Museum: Learn about the town’s mining heritage and early settlers.
  • Last Chance Mine: Take a tour of a real working gold mine.
  • Captain Jason Dahl House: Visit the home of the hero pilot who lost his life on September 11th.

Natural Attractions of Creede: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Rio Grande National Forest: Explore the forest’s hiking and biking trails.
  • Wheeler Geologic Area: Admire the unique rock formations of this geological wonder.
  • Creede Repertory Theatre: Enjoy world-class theater productions amidst the stunning backdrop of the San Juan Mountains.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Creede

If you enjoy hiking or biking, Creede has something for you. Here are some of the best trails to explore:

  • Bachelor Loop Trail: A scenic 17-mile loop that offers a glimpse into Creede’s mining past.
  • Crystal Creek Trail: A challenging hike that leads to the stunning Crystal Lake.
  • Rito Blanco Trail: A moderate trail that passes through forests and meadows, offering breathtaking views of the Rio Grande Valley.

Best Things to Do in Creede: Activities and Tours

From rafting to hot-air ballooning, Creede offers a variety of activities and tours for all ages. Here are some must-try experiences:

  • Rio Grande Whitewater Rafting: Ride the rapids of the Rio Grande River.
  • Creede Hot Air Balloon Festival: Watch colorful balloons take off during this annual event.
  • Great Divide Motorcycle Tour: Cruise through the Rocky Mountains on a guided motorcycle tour.

Week-Long Itinerary for Creede

If you’re planning a week-long trip to Creede, here’s a suggested itinerary:

Day Activity
Day 1 Visit Creede Historical Museum, take a mine tour, and attend a performance at the Creede Repertory Theatre.
Day 2 Hike the Bachelor Loop Trail or explore the Wheeler Geologic Area.
Day 3 Go fishing or rafting on the Rio Grande River.
Day 4 Take a scenic drive through the San Juan Mountains.
Day 5 Relax at the local hot springs or go horseback riding.
Day 6 Attend the Creede Hot Air Balloon Festival or go on a guided motorcycle tour.
Day 7 Shop for souvenirs at local stores and enjoy some local cuisine at a Creede restaurant.

Food and Drink Scene of Creede

Creede boasts a diverse food and drink scene that reflects its western heritage and local produce. Here are some must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Rocky Mountain Oysters: This popular dish made from calf testicles is a true Western delicacy.
  • Bison Burgers: Taste the flavor of the West with a juicy buffalo burger.
  • Green Chili: Sample this spicy vegetable stew that’s a staple of Colorado cuisine.

Local Beverages

  • Spruce Beer: Try a unique and refreshing drink made from spruce tips.
  • South Fork Stout: Enjoy a locally brewed stout from the South Fork Brewery.
  • Margarita: Sip on a classic margarita while enjoying stunning mountain views at one of Creede’s restaurants.

Where to Stay in Creede: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Whether you’re looking for a cozy B&B or a rustic cabin, Creede has a variety of accommodation options to suit your needs. Here are some recommended places to stay:

  • Antlers Rio Grande Lodge: A family-friendly lodge that offers fishing and outdoor activities.
  • Creede Hotel & Restaurant: Historic hotel with a restaurant and bar.
  • Spruce Lodge: Rustic guesthouse with western charm.

What to Buy in Creede: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Take a piece of Creede home with you by picking up some local souvenirs or products. Here are some ideas for what to buy:

  • Silver and Turquoise Jewelry: Shop for authentic handmade Native American jewelry.
  • Creede Memorabilia: Bring home a piece of Creede’s rich mining history with a souvenir T-shirt or book.
  • Local Artwork: Browse galleries for unique paintings, pottery, and sculptures made by local artists.

Local Culture and Customs of Creede

Creede residents are known for their western hospitality and laid-back attitude. When visiting Creede, it’s important to respect local customs and traditions, such as:

  • Tipping: It’s customary to tip 15-20% in restaurants and for tour guides.
  • Dress Code: Dress in layers and wear comfortable shoes for outdoor activities.
  • Local Wildlife: Be aware of bears and other local wildlife while hiking or camping.

Best Time to Visit Creede

Creede has something to offer year-round, but the best time to visit depends on your interests. Here’s a breakdown of seasonal highlights:

  • Summer (June-August): Ideal for outdoor adventures and festivals.
  • Fall (September-November): Perfect for leaf-peeping and hunting season.
  • Winter (December-February): Great for skiing and snowboarding at nearby resorts.
  • Spring (March-May): A quieter time with mild weather and fewer crowds.

Do’s and Don’ts of Creede

To ensure a successful trip to Creede, here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:


  • Book accommodations and tours well in advance.
  • Dress in layers and bring sunscreen and insect repellent.
  • Respect local wildlife and natural habitats.


  • Ignore safety warnings and guidelines.
  • Litter or damage natural resources.
  • Rely on GPS when driving in remote areas.

Safety and Health

While Creede is generally a safe destination, it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure your safety and health.

Safety in Creede

  • Be aware of weather conditions and take appropriate safety measures.
  • Take precautions when hiking or biking, such as carrying bear spray and staying on designated trails.
  • Lock your vehicle and store valuables out of sight.

Health in Creede

  • Stay hydrated and carry plenty of water when hiking or participating in outdoor activities.
  • Use sunscreen and insect repellent to prevent sunburn and insect bites.
  • Bring any necessary medications and health supplies, as medical facilities are limited in the area.

Getting to Creede: Transportation Options and Logistics

Creede is a remote destination, but there are several transportation options available.

Airports Near Creede

The nearest major airport to Creede is Alamosa Regional Airport, which is approximately 82 miles away. Other nearby airports include:

  • Durango-La Plata County Airport (146 miles away)
  • Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport (120 miles away)

Bus Stations Near Creede

Greyhound bus lines serve nearby towns, such as Alamosa and Del Norte, that offer connecting bus services to Creede.

Other Options

Rental cars and private shuttles are available for travelers who prefer to drive to Creede. It’s recommended to rent a 4-wheel drive vehicle if you plan to drive in remote areas.

How to Get Around in Creede

While Creede is a small town, having a car or rental vehicle is recommended to explore the surrounding areas and attractions. Biking and walking are also good options for navigating the town.

Where to Go Next from Creede: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you have extra time in Creede, there are several nearby destinations worth visiting.

  • Great Sand Dunes National Monument: Hike on the tallest sand dunes in North America, located about two hours from Creede.
  • Pagosa Springs: Relax in the hot springs and explore the quaint local town, located about two hours from Creede.
  • Silverton: Take a scenic drive and explore this old mining town, located about three hours from Creede.


Creede, Colorado is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and outdoor adventures. Follow this comprehensive guide to plan a memorable vacation that captures the essence of this beautiful town in the Rocky Mountains.