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From the Rio Grande Reservoir, 30 miles away, to Creede, people raft and fish for the plentiful German brown trout along the Rio Grande headwaters. Colorado's upper Rio Grande from the Rio Grande Reservoir above Creede through Wagon Wheel Gap and South Fork to Del Norte is "a high-country angler's undiscovered paradise," according to American Angler, the magazine of fly fishing and fly tying. The Bachelor Historic Loop, a 17-mile ride through the unique silver mining district and two ghost towns, and the Silver Thread Scenic Byway, which runs from South Fork through Creede northwest to Lake City, are two ways to enjoy the backcountry without crowds. Along the Silver Thread Scenic and Historic Byway, State Highway 149, are some of the most majestic valleys in all of Colorado - the distances between mountain peaks appears vast and mesmerizing.


Trails galore interlace the countryside around Creede and throughout Mineral County. Public lands, which constitute 96% of the county, provide ample access to Forest Service trails, many of which carry multi-use designations (Descriptive brochures and maps of Forest Service trails and roads are available at the Creede Ranger Station on South Main Street).

The Continental Divide Trail and the Colorado Trail are two favorite high country hiking routes that pass through Mineral County. Regional Volksmarch trails are clearly marked.

Mineral County has constructed a trail leading south from the Creede ballpark. This new trail affords a pleasant recreational environment for bikers, hikers, and joggers.

Up and Over’

Up & Back or Up & Around (3mi); significant climb to top

The most well-known hike in the area can be hiked in either direction. The trailhead is across La Garita Street from gas station. Three quarters of a mile later and 800 feet up, you’ll reach the pinnacles that tower above Main Street. Find a rock and take a break while you look down on town and the valleys of the Creede Caldera. If you're hiking with younger kids, head back the way you came. Otherwise descend over the back, through pine trees and along the mountainside - there are a few steeper drop-offs that require attentive hiking. Keep right at two forks to come down into East Willow/North Creede. From there, stroll less than a mile downhill back to town.

Distance from Creede: Starts in Town.

South Clear Creek Falls @ Silver Thread Campground

#899 Down and Back; Restroom at trailhead

From the south end of the campground, an 1,100 foot hike (about .2 miles) is along a well-maintained trail and ends at a dramatic and beautiful waterfall! This is a perfect hike for young kids.

Directions from Creede (about 23 miles): Travel towards Lake City from Creede on Hwy 149 for approx 23 miles to the campground sign. Turn right at sign into campground. The turn-off is located approximately ½ way between Creede and Lake City, and just a ½ mile from the famous North Clear Creek Falls.

Hobbit Trail

Up and Back; moderate elevation gain

This hike is the favorite of many locals. This hike starts about a mile and a half north of town along the Bachelor Loop. The trail takes you to the top of Campbell Mountain and overlooks East Willow and a few old mining structures (including the Kentucky Belle mine!). Experienced hikers might opt to clamber down the last two hundred yards for a spectacular view of Creede.

Directions from Creede (2.6 miles): Drive north through town and up the Bachelor Loop Road (FDR #503) up the Black Pitch about 2.6 miles. There is ample parking and the trail head is located at stop #6 on the Bachelor Loop Tour. The trail starts on the east going into the trees.


Deep Creek Trail

#806 Up and Back; gradual climb up

This is a great day hike trail just outside of town. The trail follows Deep Creek up its canyon and alongside beaver ponds. Beautiful mountain views and wildflowers! At the trailhead, first note the grave of a young pioneer; the trail switchbacks for first 1/8 mile through trees, then becomes a slight incline through the meadow. The meadow then gives way to in-and-out shade as you hike up and along the creek. You will come to a foot bridge about an hour in to the hike. This is a great place to rest (and turn around if you have kids). Hike out is all downhill!

Directions from Creede (3 miles): Travel towards Lake City from Creede on Hwy 149 for approx ½ mile. Turn left off the highway onto Airport Road. Continue past the airport and across the river. You will intersect FDR #550 (Deep Creek Road). Turn right on Deep Creek Road and go up and around the corner; turn left onto the road and follow it up to the tree line.

Miner's Creek Trail

#803 - Up and Back; slight climb for first mile

Scenery, shade and solitude are available along this trail! Park near the cabin at the trail head at the end of Miner's Creek Road. The trail immediately crosses the creek and parallels it in the narrow canyon bottom. You'll likely get your shoes wet, and note that foot crossings can be dangerous during early summer runoff. After crossing the creek several times, the trail begins to climb out of the creek bottom and through some dense stands of aspen along the southwest facing slopes of Miners Creek. After climbing for about a mile, the trail will turn and cross Miners Creek Drainage. The trail will wander from the creek and traverse through some small open parks and scattered spruce/fir stands.

Directions from Creede (about 6 miles): Travel towards Lake City from Creede on Hwy 149 for approx 3 miles to FDR#507 (Miners Creek Rd). Go north for 3 miles to the end of the road.

Shallow Creek Trail

#897 - Up and Back; relatively flat for first 1.5 miles

The trail starts at the end of the parking area and camping sites. The trail begins as an old road and immediately crosses the creek. Continue walking west on the willow-lined and grass path to make numerous creek crossings (with foot-bridges). There are many great places to take your shoes off and play in the creek! At approx ¼ mile, a creek crossing enters into a boggy meadow with a beaver pond on the west side. Keep an eye out for Moose! The trail eventually leads to the north side of the canyon and stays on hilly and rocky terrain. You will pass a natural cottonwood stand before entering another creek crossing. At 1 mile, an aspen and spruce forest dominates. At the 1¼ mile the trail becomes narrow and rocky. If you've made it this far with young kids, now is a good time to turn back. The trail passes next to an old beaver dam before opening to a grassy valley. From here the trail heads north and then west to climb a steep ridge. The trail now passes through 2 beautiful aspen forests. At the 2 mile mark an intersecting trail comes in from the north. Stay on the trail heading west; start looking for the remains of two old miner’s cabins in the aspens. The trail passes a spring and ends at a last creek crossing right before entering the private property of a hilltop yurt.

Directions from Creede (about 5½ miles): Travel towards Lake City from Creede on Hwy 149 for approx 3 miles to FDR#507 (Miners Creek Road). Stay on the road for 1.4 miles and turn west on FDR #508 (Shallow Creek Road) for 1 mile to the dead end.

Middle Rat Creek Loop

Length: 7 miles
Riding time: 1-2 hours
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Located right off the Bachelor Loop, the Middle Rat Creek Loop is a relatively relaxed ride and offers an easy pace. Begin your trip by driving up the Bachelor Loop, then take the left turn located approximately 2 miles up. Shortly before the road meets Rat Creek, turn right and climb Windy Gulch. After Windy Gulch, the ride is easy and rolling back down to the Bachelor Loop.

Bachelor Loop

Length: 17 miles
Riding time: 1.5-3 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

The highest point of this beautiful ride is 10,000 feet at the top of Bachelor Mountain. The well maintained, graded gravel road provides multiple stopping points to enjoy the scenic landscape or inspect historical markers. Most riders prefer to travel the loop backwards. To travel this way, you will begin on the southside of town, adjacent to the baseball field, and end at Humphrey’s Mill. Traveling the Bachelor Loop backwards challenges riders with a steep climb for the first four miles, but allows the remaining 8 miles to be fast and rolling. Be observant and watch for large vehicles traveling on this road.

Rat Creek/Willow Creek 4x4 Road

Length: 22 miles
Riding time: 2.5-5 hours
Difficulty: Difficult

To get to the Rat Creek/Willow Creek 4 wheel-drive Road, you will travel to Windy Gulch (off of Bachelor Loop). Riders will follow the Rat Creek drainage to the top of San Luis Pass. A challenging ride, this road offers break-taking views of the Continental Divide. Riders should be prepared for cool weather conditions and pack food and water. Riders can choose to shorten the ride by driving a vehicle up Bachelor Loop to Windy Gulch. If you choose to do so, you will shorten your ride by 3.5 miles.

East Willow Loop

Length: 8 miles.
Riding time 1-2 hours.
We recommend riding up East Willow Canyon, heading north from town and turning right at the “Y”. The first three miles make a gradual climb suitable for all levels of riders. After the final creek crossing, the road climbs up 5 switchbacks. Though the switchbacks are only 1.5 miles long, the climbing is demanding. The view of the La Garita Mountains from the crest of the climb is fantastic. In the fall this route provides some tremendous aspen colors. This loop finishes by descending to the Midwest Mine where the road meets with the top of West Willow Canyon. The descent back to town is steep and contains many blind corners.

Miners Creek Trail

Length: 7 miles.
Riding time: 1-2hours.
Tail begins at Creedmont Boy Sout Camp at the end of Miners Creek Road #507 (9,000 feet). Trail ends at the unction with La Garita Stock Driveway Trail #787 in Upper Miners Creek Park. Be prepared to cross the creek several times in the first couple of miles. Most riders enjoy riding up the trail from the Boy Scout Camp a few miles and then turning around and returning the way they came. The more adventurous riders can ride this trail as a loop. Begin by riding up Bachelor Road to the Rat Creek/Willow Creek 4x4 road and taking the left fork after crossing Rat Creek. This is Trail #787 in Upper Miners Creek Park. Riding the trail in this direction gives a total ride of approximately 22 miles. Please see a USGS map of the Forest Service for more details.


Trout fishing is plentiful in this year round fishing Mecca. Splake, Rainbow, Snake River Cutthroat, and Brook trout can all be found in the creeks, rivers, and reservoirs surrounding Creede. Even though there is year round fishing, the best times have been said to be June through October.

Public Lake Fishing

Continental Reservoir - Motorized boats are allowed on the reservoir. Ice fishing is allowed but you can only access it via snowmobile, snowshoes, or skis in the winter months. Access this reservoir on Forest Service Road 513.

Rio Grande Reservoir - Motorized boats are allowed. Access to the reservoir is on Forest Service Road 520. The boat ramp is at the mid-point on the north side.

Brown Lakes - Two boat ramps allow motorized boats access to the water. Ice fishing is allowed in the winter months. Access the lakes on Forest Service Road 515.

Public River Fishing

Clear Creek - Begin fishing at the base of clear creek falls and continue downstream until the creek intersects with the rio grande river. you can access the creek in a car or rv via Highway 149.

Rio Grande River - The Rio Grand Reservoir feeds into the river. No motorized boats are allowed on this stretch of the river. Fish with artificial flies and lures only. All Rainbow Trout must be returned to the water immediately (catch and release). The river follows Highway 149 and there are various access points along the way.

Other mentionable bodies of water in the area:

  • Miners Creek

  • Willow Creek

  • Squaw Creek

  • Trout Lake

  • Mid Trout Creek

  • Middle Creek

  • Bellows Creek

  • Deep Creek

Rafting, Kayaking and Water Sports

Snowmobile trails in the Lake City/Creede Area provide all types of riding adventures; steep mountain passes, open meadows, and soothing groomed riding all make up this system in the Gunnison and Rio Grand National Forests. Spanning from Lake City to Creed crossing over the Continental Divide, the trails in this area total more than 200 miles!

Trails include:

  • Snow Mesa

  • Table Mountain

  • Bristol Head

There is no shortage of excitement or trails in this area. Riders at any experience level can find what they're looking for. Trails are maintained November through March and start at 8,500 feet, rising up to about 13,000 feet. Snow depths can vary in this area from 1-2 feet to 8 or more.

Six trailhead/parking areas:

  • Penniston

  • Slumgullion Pass

  • Continental

  • Homestake

  • Love Lake

  • Spring Creek Pass

The Penniston Trailhead is located 4 miles south of Lake City along Hwy 149 near Lake San Cristobal, Colorado's second largest naturally formed lake. Continue along the highway and you'll find the Slumgullion Pass Trailhead. Homestake Trailhead is just a few miles north of Creede on Road #504. The Love Lake Trail travels 10 miles south off Hwy 149, following Road #523. Continental Trailhead is halfway between Lake City and Creede.

Creede and Mineral County located adjacent to the headwaters of the Rio Grande offer excellent rafting and kayaking opportunities in unparalleled natural surroundings. From rugged mountain streams to gentle floats of the Rio Grande, the fourth longest river in North America, the rafting and kayaking options range from Class II-IV to suit everyone!


The Creede area is the perfect destination for Jeeping & ATV riders looking for a challenge.

Miles of trails located just off the Silver Thread scenic byway offer moderate to difficult riding for ATVers and off-roaders. Located in the nearly 2 million acres of Rio Grande National Forest, the trails pass through many of the area's old mining towns. Be sure to check out the ghost towns of Bachelor and Weaver.

Visitors can also catch a glimpse of San Luis Peak, one of Colorado's "fourteeners." And lucky riders may spot some of the elk and sheep that roam the area. When the riding is over, stop for the night in the towns of Creede and Wagon Wheel Gap for plenty of dining, shopping and lodging.

For complete Jeeping & ATV Information near Creede Contact:

Divide Ranger District Creede Office
Third & Creede Ave
Creede, Colorado 81130

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