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When planning a trip to Colorado and the Rocky Mountains, have you ever considered visiting Creede, Colorado? Though it is less well known than other mountain towns such as Crested Butte and Aspen, this historic mining town has plenty to see and do and will captivate all ages. We spend time here every summer and have become experts in the most fun things to do in Creede with kids.

Many of Creede’s attractions are related to the town’s mining heritage, but there are also plenty of outdoor sites to visit in the region. Being a small mountain community you will find daily friendly things to do in Creede and the nearby areas.

About Creede, Colorado

Creede, Colorado is located in Southwestern Colorado. It began as a mining camp in 1883 and was formally established as a mining town in May 1892. At its peak, this mining boomtown was home to 10,000 residents. 

Now a small mountain town, there are only 300 year-round residents.  But don’t let the small number of people fool you, there are still so many things to do in Creede.  

The town of Creede sits at over 8,880 feet elevation and covers 900 square miles, of which 95 percent is public land. With its mountainous location, it is convenient to many natural wonders and both summer and winter outdoor activities.

Creede, Colorado List of family-friendly things to do.

Creede/Mineral County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center

The Mineral County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center should be your first stop on your visit to Creede and the surrounding Mineral County.  The Visitors’ Center doubles as the local chamber of commerce, and it will provide all the information you need for a successful visit. It also offers an online Visitors Guide.

Like what we always say, we always start our trip by going to the town’s or the place’s visitor center.

Pro Tip: Pick up an interpretive booklet for the Bachelor Loop for $1

  • Website
  • Location: 904 S. Main Street, P.O. Box 580, Creede, Co 81130
  • Hours: Tues-Sat., 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Creede Repertory Theatre

This Creede Repertory Theatre is an annual summer event, now in its 38th year, and also includes touring shows. The theatre’s mission is to bring quality theatre “to rural and underserved communities.”  We have enjoyed this theater performance ourselves during one of our visits. 

It has been described as “the best place to see the lights off-Broadway.” Although the theatre’s offerings are geared to all ages. The family-friendly activities range from the Kid Show to day camps to the Young Audience Outreach Tour.

  • Website
  • Location: Main Stage Theatre, 124 North Main Street, Creede, Colorado 81130; Ruth Humphries Brown Theatre, 120 South Main Street, Creede, Colorado, 81130.
  • Hours: Hours vary, see website.
  • Cost: Varies, see website.

Bachelor Loop

View along the Bachelor Loop in Creede, Colorado
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Bachelor Loop

The Bachelor Loop is a seventeen-mile scenic drive through the historic mining district near Creede and begins at the Creede Visitors Center. It includes Multiple interpretive stops and points of interest along the route, and these stops are identified by signs with a pick and shovel logo. The loop mostly follows West Willow Creek.

This is also the scene of more than a few western movies. The latest, and most recognizable is the Lone Ranger filmed in 2012. We enjoy taking our time, having a picnic, and taking the day to drive along the loop.

Pro Tip: Stop by the Creede Chamber of Commerce and pick up an interpretive booklet for $1

  • Website
  • Location: Creede, Colorado 81130
  • Hours: 24/7. The weather may affect accessibility.
  • Costs: Free
  • Available discounts: Not applicable.

Last Chance Mine

A side view of the Last Chance Mine in Creede, Colorado
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Last Chance Mine

As you drive the Bachelor Loop, make sure to stop in at the Last Chance Mine. If you are a mining buff, the Last Chance Mine is a restored silver mine that first opened in 1891 as a mine and is now open to visits as a tourist site. It features guided underground tours and free museum admission. Its gift and jewelry shop offers jewelry with stones from mine.

The Last Chance Mine has onsite parking available, and there are rental cabins nearby if you want to make this site part of a longer stay.

  • Website
  • Location: 504 Last Chance Mine Rd, Creede, CO 81130
  • Hours: Memorial Day Weekend to mid-October 8 AM – 5 PM, tours 10 AM to 4:30 PM.
  • Admission: Free, Tours $10 adults, $5 children
  • Any discounts: Group rates for tours available up to 40

North Clear Creek Falls

The North Clear Creek Falls, which is over 100 feet high, is a well-known waterfall in Colorado. It is accessible by the Silver Thread Scenic Byway and requires no additional hiking to get to it. It features a fenced-in observation area that offers restrooms and picnic tables, and picnicking is welcome.

We recommend stopping by the overlook to take photos if your time permits.

  • Website
  • Location: Off-highway 149, Creede, Colorado 81130
  • Hours: 24/7, may be inaccessible in winter
  • Cost: Free
  • Discount: Not applicable

Creede Balloon Festival and Derby Race

If you like hot air balloons, check out the Creede Balloon Festival, which is an annual event over Labor Day Weekend, near Creede. Although the main event is the hot-air balloon launches, (15 launched each day of the festival), there are plenty of other activities including an ATV Derby and fireworks. The balloon launches take place early in the day—7 a.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so you will need to get up early to enjoy the spectacle.

Build up the activity to your kids the previous night so they will be excited to wake up early to catch the launches.

  • Website
  • Location: Creede, Colorado, 81130
  • Hours: Labor Day Weekend, check website for announcements.
  • Cost: Ticketed admission, details unavailable.
  • Any discounts: information unavailable.

Creede Historical Museum & Library

The railroad platform front of the Creede Museum in Creede, Colorado
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Creede Museum

This small-town historical society and museum is housed in the historic Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Depot, and it is part of the Creede museum trail. The museum’s admissions support the Creede Historical Society. The website features an online photo gallery that shows samples of the museum’s exhibits.

Locals love pointing tourists to this “little gem,” so they can take pride in being from Creede.

  • Website
  • Location: #9 Usfs Rd #503, Creede, CO 81130
  • Hours: 10 AM to 4 PM daily, Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, library open Tuesdays and Thursday, 1 PM to 4 PM
  • Cost: Donation
  • Any discounts: Information unavailable

Rio Grande National Forest

Fishing at the Rio Grande Reservoir in Creede, Colorado
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Rio Grande Reservoir

The Rio Grande National Forest, named for the Rio Grande River that runs through it, is a national forest located surrounding Creede. This forest covers 1.86 million acres and encompasses some of the most spectacular areas and hiking trails in Colorado.  A large portion of the forest was devastated by a huge wildfire but new growth has returned over the years and is very green. 

Multiple camping facilities are available and some include restrooms. Visiting the Rio Grande National Forest is free, although there are fees for some camping areas and other activities. However, there are plenty of opportunities for dispersed free camping and we can help you plan for boondocking in your RV.

If you are into fishing, we recommend the Rio Grande Reservoir in the afternoon while some of your family members relax by the shore.

  • Website
  • Location: 1803 W, Highway 160, Monte Vista, Colorado, 81146
  • Hours: The falls are open 24/7, year-round
  • Cost: Free
  • Any discounts: Annual Interagency passes for camping at varying rates. See website for details

South Creek Clear Falls

The South Clear Creek Falls is a waterfall located near Creede, which is a tributary of the Rio Grande river. Unlike the North Clear Creek falls, this one takes a short 900-foot hike to reach. If you are interested in camping near the falls, the Silver Thread Campground available nearby. The best time to visit is Spring-early Summer.

  • Website
  • Location: Route 149. Creede, Colorado, 81130
  • Hours: The falls are open 24/7 year-round, and the campground open year-round, except if snow blocks access.
  • Cost: Free
  • Any discounts: Not applicable

Creede Trading Company

The Creede Trading Company, also known as the Creede Trading Post, is a fudge shop that features eight different kinds of fudge. Although it is primarily known for its fudge, it also has many other goodies and gifts available. See the store’s Facebook page for updates.

  • Website
  • Location: 11 S Main St, Creede, CO 81130
  • Hours: Mon-Sat, 10 AM-5 PM, Sun 10 AM-4 PM
  • Cost: Free admission, fudge, and other merchandise for sale
  • Any discounts: merchandise discounts may be available

The Holy Moses

The Holy Moses is a beloved local gift shop located on Main Street, downtown Creede. It has a long history with the Creede community, and its wares include many decorative items and crafts. Although it has some toys available, it might be best suited for older kids.

  • Website
  • Location: 121 N Main St, Creede, CO 81130-1000
  • Hours: Tues-Sat, 9 AM to 4 PM
  • Cost: Free admission, merchandise for sale
  • Any discounts: check with the store for discounts on merchandise

Creede Underground Mining Museum

The Creede Underground Mining Museum was originally built as an underground fire station. It was not an actual historic mine, but is rich in the local history of silver mining. The museum features multiple displays, including actual mining equipment. Guided tours are conducted by retired miners, and audio tours are also available. In addition to the museum, the facility also houses a community center that is available for weddings, parties, and other events. The museum also includes a gift shop.

We promise this might be the most unique museum that

  • Website
  • Location: #9 Usfs Rd #503, Creede, CO 81130
  • Hours: May 28-September 19, open 7 days a week, Gift shop 9 AM -5 PM. Audio tours 9 AM – 4 PM, guided tours 10 AM -3 PM; September 20-May 3, Tues-Sat, 9:30 AM -3 PM, Audio tours 9:30 AM -2:30 PM, Guided tours not available.
  • Costs: $7 adults, $5 kids and seniors
  • Any discounts: kids and senior rates available, kids 5 and under free.

Mines and Memories

This eclectic Creede business is in many ways both a museum and general store. Its proprietor, Kenny Wylie full of information for visitors, and can tell you what a tommyknocker is (hint: they are mythical creatures who inhabit mines). And tommyknockers are just part of the eclectic merchandise this establishment offers. The store also has free Wi-Fi available.

  • Website
  • Location: 904 S. Main St., P.O. Box 580, Creede, CO 81130
  • Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9 PM -4 PM
  • Cost: Free admission, merchandise for sale
  • Any discounts: Information unavailable

Wheeler Geologic Area

Wheeler Geologic Area is a spectacular natural formation, built out of multiple layers of volcanic ash. Over time it has earned the nickname of the “City of Gnomes.” It was Colorado’s first national monument, designated in 1908, under the administration of President Theodore Roosevelt. It was named for George Wheeler, who first surveyed the area in 1874. The area features hiking trails, for which “strong legs” are required and are also suitable for horseback riding. There is also a 13-mile driving trail that is intended for 4 x 4 vehicles only.

I have to admit, after visiting Creede every year since childhood, this area remains on my bucket-list.

  • Website
  • Location: Wheeler Geographic Area, Colorado, 81130
  • Hours: The area is open 24/7 year-round, but access may be limited by weather in winter.
  • Cost: Free

Freemon’s Guest Ranch

This list could not be complete without our favorite burger and ice cream shop.  Their burgers and ice cream are such a delight to tourists and locals alike. This is THE PLACE to stop if you are headed out into Rio Grand National Forest for the day. We love their outside patio that lets us enjoy the mountain views while eating our favorite burgers.

Freemans is famous for more than its ice cream though. Fishing gear and guided hunting and horse riding are available here. Cabins can be rented from May to October.

  • Website
  • Location: 39284 Hwy 149 Creede, CO 81130
  • Hours: Call for hours. Horseback rides available from June to October; Cabins from May to November; and the store and restaurant from May to October
  • Cost: Call for further details at 719-658-2454

Weather

Creede, Colorado, and the surrounding area is a high-elevation mountain town. Summers are warm and dry, but not particularly hot. The average high 71 F. average low 8 F. Winters snowy and cold, so the best time to visit is late Spring-late Summer. September brings the spectacular autumn colors so that is a good time too.

Getting to Creede, Colorado

Creede, Colorado can be reached from the front range areas by driving along I-70, and then turning off onto U.S. 40 W. From there, take CO-96 W/State Hwy 96, CO-10 W and US-160 W, which will take you to W 5th St in Creede.

The nearest major city, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 3 hours and 55 minutes away. Flying is another option, though it will also require some driving. The nearest airport located in Alamosa, 70 miles away, followed by those in Gunnison and Durango. But these airports have car rental agencies, and bus and train service are also alternatives, depending on which city you are departing from.

15 Fun Things to Do in Creede, Colorado (13 are Free)
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15 Fun Things to Do in Creede, Colorado (13 are Free)

Final Thoughts about Things to Do in Creede

Creede, Colorado is a great place to visit if you are a mining buff or fan of the Old West. This small mining town offers plenty for every visitor. And if you prefer the great outdoors for your vacation, there are plenty of natural wonders to see in the surrounding area. If you have been to Creede or the surrounding area recently, what activity did you enjoy the most?

Are you planning a trip to Colorado? Many people dream of renting an RV and taking a Colorado road trip. We have so many resources for you!

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    Shauna Kocman founder of Family Travel Fever

    Hi, I’m Shauna – Welcome to Family Travel Fever.  We are a large family, that was bitten by the travel bug!  We travel with kids and extended family.  I take the kids by myself sometimes because I don’t mind flying or driving solo with my crew to discover the coolest places.

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