Home > Scenery, Traveling > Creede, CO & Bachelor’s Loop

Creede, CO & Bachelor’s Loop


Creede, CO at one time was one of the biggest silver mines in the country. Creede was the last silver boom town in Colorado in the 19th century. The town leapt from a population of 600 in 1889 to more than 10,000 people in December 1891. The Commodore mine is now disappearing, but it has 5 different levels spread out over 200 underground miles.

Creede’s boom lasted until 1893, when the Silver Panic hit all of the silver mining towns in Colorado. The price of silver plummeted and most of the silver mines were closed. Creede never became a ghost town, although the boom was over and its population declined. After 1900, Creede stayed alive by relying increasingly on lead and zinc in the ores. Total production through 1966 was 58 million troy ounces (870 metric tons) of silver, 150 thousand ounces (4.7 metric tons) of gold, 112 thousand metric tons of lead, 34 thousand metric tons of zinc, and 2 million metric tons of copper.

During it’s heyday, the Colorado Capital (Denver) enacted major legal reform movement against gambling clubs and saloons. Numerous owners of major gambling houses in Denver relocated to Creede. Among them was the infamous confidence man “Soapy” Smith, soon the uncrowned king of the criminal underworld. Other famous people in Creede were Robert Ford (the man who killed outlaw Jesse James) and Bat Masterson.

After touring the Mining Museum (very well done, by the way), take a drive through Bachelor’s Loop. That is, if you don’t have a fear of heights. Also, best to have a 4 wheel drive vehicle. There are some very steep sections, some very narrow sections, and all gravel. But it is definitely worth the time because the views are just stupendous. And if you have a real 4 wheel drive vehicle you will find miles and miles of old roads and ghost towns.

The drive into Creede shows why it is a mining town

The drive into Creede shows why it is a mining town

Those were some tough and dangerous jobs!

Those were some tough and dangerous jobs!

Working at the face of the mine

Working at the face of the mine

Sometimes you had to go down to get ore....

Sometimes you had to go down to get ore….

And sometimes you could just follow the vein.

And sometimes you could just follow the vein.

Not a very roomy trip down (or up) to the different levels

Not a very roomy trip down (or up) to the different levels

The gravel road takes you up to the Commodore mine

The gravel road takes you up to the Commodore mine

One of the main Commodore mine structures

One of the main Commodore mine structures

The road is quite rough, steep, and narrow

The road is quite rough, steep, and narrow

A different mine complex perches on the steep hillside

A different mine complex perches on the steep hillside

At the top is a peaceful valley with the headwaters of the Rio Grande river

At the top is a peaceful valley with the headwaters of the Rio Grande river

Coming back down to Creede

Coming back down to Creede

Said to be the highest church in the USA

Said to be the highest church in the USA

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