In the classic western movies of the mid 1900s, there were a few legendary old west towns that were mentioned by both the villains and the heroes in nearly every film. Dodge City and Virginia City definitely are on the list of legendary old towns that were talked about in the old films. Some of the old towns that the western film stars mentioned by name were chosen just because the name of the town sounded like untamed evil, while other town names conjured up peaceful images of green meadows and wildflowers.

The name of the town Creede can be heard spoken in many of the classic westerns, especially when something outlaw was involved, simply because Creede just sounded like an evil outlaw kind of place! … “The sheriff and the posse are ridin’ up to Creede to bring the cattle rustlers in!” is a typical line in the old western movies and little else was usually mentioned about this town during the rest of the film.

The name Creede was heard so often in the old westerns that it is subconsciously embedded within the minds of western film fans, but relatively few have actually ever bothered to look for this place on a map or read anything about it. It is not till a western movie fan tours the Rio Grande National Forest in Colorado that the name Creede appears in real life and this can be enough to cause quite a bit of recollection to occur. When first seeing the city limit sign, it is all too easy to say something like, “Creede? … Isn’t this the place where the sheriff always went to round up the bad guys in the old western movies?” … Of course, the answer to this question absolutely is yes!

Creede began as a silver mining camp in the late 1860s and it was actually one of the first strikes in Colorado. The local mining was not profitable at first, but because this Rocky Mountain meadow region was so pleasant, it attracted plenty of homesteaders. It was not till the late 1800s that Creede became a big money boom town when the silver mining operations expanded. In essence, Creede was both the first and the last sliver mining boom town in Colorado!

There is a lot of old wild west heritage to be found in Creede, which includes the early days of the tough mountain men. The town of South Fork is right next door, so doing a haritage tour of these two towns will paint a good picture of how things really were back in the old days. Creede was a rough and tumble boom town, just like any other mining town, but Creede actually did have an extensive criminal element. Organized crime of every kind once ruled this old town, so when a mention of Creede drew an earnest look of concern in the classic western movies, there really was something to it!

In modern times, Creede has become a novelty destination in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Modern Creede has preserved plenty of its old west heritage, while becoming a prime time gateway to outdoor adventures. Many people tour Creede just for the opportunity to step back in time to the days of the old wild west, while others come to this place because so many outdoor adventures await to be discovered in the vast Rio Grande National Forest. Others venture to Creede to do some antique shopping and art gallery browsing on the weekends. In fact, the weekend warriors are the biggest draw in Creede, because this town has become a top destination for Rocky Mountain weekend motorbike rallies and car club cruises.

As far as outdoor adventures are concerned, it does not get any better than in Creede! The Rio Grand River runs through town, so Creede is a favorite spot for fly fishing ventures. The mountain biking and hiking trails are extensive in the mountains, while rock climbing is a favorite local activity too. During winter, Creede is a snowmobiler destination and during summer the ATV rentals can be seen lined up along the streets. Whitewater rafting on the Rio Grande is also a popular thing to do and there are many river rafting excursion companies in this neck of the woods.

Outdoor outfitters, angler shops and rentals of every kind can be found in Creede, so this old wild west town truly is a gateway to outdoor adventure. Most of the seasonal businesses close for the winter, because no ski runs are close by. Spring is when the doors open back up and this is when the long summer trout fly fishing season begins. By autumn, the only seasonal businesses that remain open are the ATV rentals and the hunting lodge cabins, because this is when the deer and elk rutting seasons take place and the hunting in these parts is definitely world class!

In the old western movies, Creede was an evil outlaw town that caused plenty of dreadful feelings when the name was mentioned, while in modern times, it is easy to get a smile on the face when planning a trip to this gateway town! The Rio Grande National Forest offers endless outdoor adventures in a picturesque Rocky Mountain setting and the old legendary town of Creede certainly caters to all who pass through!


Author: wildwestdestinations

I worked as a chef in remote resorts and National Parks, which provided the time to explore western travel destinations. I have a BA Degree in Culinary Management with high honors and currently I am working on a Masters Degree in Adult Education. My food and travel blog writing began as a means to generate income during college and now photo journalism has become my lifestyle.

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