- Creede is a colorful and historic mining town located on the Silver Thread National Scenic Byway. Silver was discovered near Creede in 1889, and the rush to mine the high-quality ore began. Creede became a roaring boom town (population 10,000) full of miners and prospectors hoping to strike it rich, and entrepreneurs hoping to prosper. Like most silver-mining towns in Colorado, Creede's boom turned to bust in 1893, when the Sherman-Silver Purchase Act discontinued government buying of silver.
Copyright: H.D Shiles-USDA Forest Service
Wheeler Geologic Area - 10.89
The town of Creede (population 600) is an alpine gem surrounded by the Rio Grande National Forest. It lies on Highway 149, which is part of the Silver Thread Historic and Scenic Byway, at an elevation of 8,850 feet. Another historic and scenic drive beginning from Creede is the Bachelor Historic Loop Tour. Willow Creek leads through town on its way to meet the headwaters of the Rio Grande River. Creede has several restaurants, numerous craft and gift shops and is well-known for its repertory theater, which presents six different plays during each week from mid-June through August.
Recreation - Today, Creede depends upon summer tourism for its survival. In the winter months, Creede is quiet, with only local residents and backcountry ski enthusiasts on the streets. Many businesses close for the winter season.
When warmer weather arrives, there is an influx of summer residents. People who enjoy fishing, camping, hiking, backpacking, photography, scenic driving, horseback riding and four-wheel driving, arrive with the melting snow.
Climate - Mountainous terrain influences the climate visitors find in Creede. Elevations range from 7,500 feet to over 14,000 feet. In general, the climate at low elevations is cool and arid while the high country is cold and humid. Average precipitation varies from under 8 inches at the 8,000 foot level to over 50 inches in some alpine areas. Snowfall varies significantly in the Forest. North Cochetopa Pass commonly receives two feet of snow in a year when Wolf Creek receives six to eight feet.
Summer is short and frost may occur anytime in high elevations . Annual temperature extremes range from 90 degrees in summer to 30 degrees below zero in winter. Rapid weather changes, with temperature changes of 40 degrees in periods as short as four to six hours, occur frequently.
Creede is located on Colorado Highway 149 approximately 8 miles northwest from its junction with U.S. 160, in the southwestern corner of the state. It is sandwiched between two wilderness areas. The La Garita Wilderness, which encompasses the La Garita mountain range, lies northeast of Creede; and the Weminuche Wilderness, which crosses into the San Juan National Forest, lies south of Creede. Both of these wilderness areas contain segments of the Continental Divide.