Underrated Spot in Colorado: Creede

Creede, Colorado is one of the most beautiful towns in all of the United States and their claim to fame is the Creede Repertory Theater (CRT) that shows wonderful plays during the summer. They are in their 53rd season and if you haven't been there, go check them out. The CRT is literally one of my favorite places on Earth. That being said, Creede is also home to many photo opportunities and beautiful landscapes are as abundant as the trout in the Rio Grande River. While not nearly as well known as Crested Butte to the north or Ouray to the west, Creede's beauty is in the search.

The Town of Creede

Creede is a historic mining town and has a deep mining history, you can still go and see the remains of the mines that operated so many years ago. But the town itself also provides some interesting photo opportunities, with the aforementioned CRT being the main attraction in town you're sure to see a buzz of activity after a show on a summer night. On a clear night above Creede, you can see neighboring mountains in the San Juans with a shining pocket of lights of the town below. There is a new development called Creede America with distinct small houses on a hill above town, definitely worth checking out.

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North Clear Creek Falls

Outside of Creede heading west on Colorado highway 149, you'll find a waterfall called North Clear Creek Falls, it's almost 100ft. tall and is a popular roadside spot for many. I've been to this waterfall many, many times and there is always something new to photograph with North Clear Creek Falls. My recommendation is to arrive at sunrise or just before sunset.

 North Clear Creek Falls at sunset

North Clear Creek Falls at sunset

The Weminuche Wilderness

The Weminuche Wilderness is to the southwest of Creede and is the largest wilderness area in Colorado, with sprawling meadows and towering peaks, there are photo opportunities everywhere when you head into the Weminuche.

 Just outside of the Weminuche Wilderness boundary was this area of the Papoose Fire, which together with the West Fork Fire burned nearly 145,000 acres.

Just outside of the Weminuche Wilderness boundary was this area of the Papoose Fire, which together with the West Fork Fire burned nearly 145,000 acres.

The Rio Grande River

The Rio Grande River is special to me for many reasons, it's where my father took me fishing at our cabin on the banks of the river growing up and my family has deep ties to the management of Colorado's precious water. The Rio Grande is not a wild river, it serves mostly fisherman and farm owners, but with the sunset colors lighting up the sky there are few places more peaceful on a summer evening.

 The Rio Grande River

The Rio Grande River

 The Rio Grande River with, I kid you not, Beautiful Mountain in the background. Yes, we ran out of names for mountains here in Colorado.

The Rio Grande River with, I kid you not, Beautiful Mountain in the background. Yes, we ran out of names for mountains here in Colorado.

Windy Point on Slumgullion Pass

Finally, if you head toward Lake City you'll drive over Slumgullion Pass which is the highest and steepest pass open year-round in the state. There is a point on the pass called Windy Point which has a magnificent view of the mighty San Juan mountains including a few 14ers; Uncompahgre Peak, Wetterhorn Peak, Redcloud Peak, Handies Peak, and Sunshine Peak are all over 14,000 ft. in elevation and make up five of the states' fifty-four 14ers.

 Uncompahgre Peak is the sixth-highest peak in Colorado, standing 14,321 ft. above sea level.

Uncompahgre Peak is the sixth-highest peak in Colorado, standing 14,321 ft. above sea level.