Real Estate and Community Information
Creede is a small community with a big history and endless recreational opportunities. This southwestern Colorado town is tucked away in the San Juan Mountains, mid-way between Alamosa and Durango. The small-town feeling is enhanced by a quaint, six-block-long downtown, and the complete absence of street lights. It is framed by the "Pillars of Hercules," thousand-foot-high volcanic cliffs.
Residents include descendants of miners and ranchers that sought their fortunes here long ago. Today, athletes and artists alike are attracted to the lifestyle here. In 2010, Creede was voted the "Top Art Town in Colorado."
The earliest settlement at the base of the dramatic cliffs was known as Willow. In 1890, a large silver deposit was discovered at a mine owned by Nicolas C. Creede. The population swelled to an estimated 6,000 to 10,000 during the short-lived boom. Ironically, in 1892, most of the town burned to the ground, yet the community was incorporated eight days later. Although the silver rush was short-lived, mining continued in the area until 1985.
Today, the historic buildings downtown house quaint boutiques, art galleries and diverse eateries. The Creede Repertory Theatre (CRT) has the distinction of being named by USA Today as one of the top 10 places to see an off-broadway play. The theatre produces 7-10 plays every year, and it hosts a variety of concerts and other musical events as well. The Denver Post has recognized the 50-year-old CRT as one of the top five theater companies in the state. Aspiring and experienced actors vie for the opportunity to appear in the Summer productions.
The Creede Community Center may be one of the most unique facilities of its kind anywhere. A number of its rooms were blasted out of the mountain on the north side of town. It houses theater seating for 200 and a full commercial kitchen. The community center is right next to the Undergound Mining Museum, which offers tours of tunnels and rooms blasted into the Willow Creek Canyon cliffs more than a century ago. Experienced hard rock miners serve as guides that discuss underground silver mining techniques.
At Last Chance Mine, you can see a restored mine to get a feeling for the late 19th century mining experience. It's possible to search for amethyst, turquoise and other gemstones.
Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy rafting, kayaking, hunting, off-reading, camping and more in this mountain paradise. Exploring the back country via ATV or Jeep is always a thrill. In the early morning and evening hours, residents and visitors venture out to view bighorn sheep, mule deer, elk and moose. Bear, cougar, bobcat and lynx sightings are also possible.
From about November 1st to mid-April, spectacular skiing is nearby at the Wolf Creek Ski Area. The 1500-acre expanse lays claim to having the most snow in Colorado. Six lifts serve skiers and snowboarders alike.
From June to October, shore and float fishermen pursue rainbow and brown trout in the Rio Grande River. Some reach the 16 to 20-inch range. Parts of the river are stocked with rainbows. The Rio Grande Reservoir, at an elevation of 9,541 feet, produces trout that weigh as much as three pounds. Numerous other reservoirs and creeks serve up great trout fishing across the region.
The picturesque scenery around Creede includes a number of dramatic waterfalls. Perhaps the best known is North Creek Clear Falls, a few miles off of Highway 149 between Creede and Lake City. From the overlook, you'll instinctively grab your camera to capture the spectacle that peaks during Spring snowmelt.
The Silver Thread Scenic Byway is designated as a National Scenic Byway. It winds through deep canyons and over the Continental Divide at Spring Creek Pass. The Bachelor Historic Tour is a 17-mile driving tour that meanders through ghost towns and the Creede silver mining district. Four-wheel-drive roads branch off of the tour route at a number of places.
Festivals and special events fill the Creede calendar throughout the year. In Febraury, ice sculpting and curling are featured during Creede Cabin Fever Daze. Taste of Creede is scheduled for every Memorial Day weekend. The historic downtown is a perfect backdrop for the Independence Day parade. On Labor Day weekend, the Balloon Festival and Derby Race injects excitement into the community. Later in the month, there's the Cruisin the Canyon Car Show. The Creede Chocolate Festival is a part of Thanksgiving weekend.
Life in and around Creede is accentuated by the crisp mountain air and dramatic seasonal changes. Find out why others have chosen Creede as an ideal community to relocate to. To learn more about scenic and historic Creede, contact Chris Willhelm. Learn about the many residential real estate possibilities, including year-round residences and vacation homes.