Museums in the Area
Rio Grande County Museum & Cultural Center
Del Norte, Colorado. Exploring the history and culture of Rio Grande County and the Upper portion of the San Luis Valley can be experienced at the Rio Grande County Museum and Cultural Center. There are learning experiences for all ages. Native Americans and photos of “Rock Art”, fur trappers, Fremont’s Fourth Expedition, the settlers from New Mexico with the Mexican Land Grants and farmers, ranchers , loggers, merchants and the gold seekers who settled the area are all represented in exhibits and research.
The Museum Gift Shop offers a variety of books of local interest and some by local authors as well as showing art work of local artists. During the summer months, art shows by local artists are featured.
Summer Hours: 10am - 4pm Tues-Fri, 10am - 3pm
Saturday Admission $2. Free for Military
Creede Underground Mining Museum
One of Creede’s most popular attractions, the Underground Mining Museum, comprises a series of rooms and tunnels blasted into the cliff face of Willow Creek Canyon at the north edge of town. Visitors receive a first-hand taste of the miner’s subterranean experience through a series of demonstrations and exhibits in shafts bored specifically for that purpose. Exploring both early silver mining techniques and more recent technology, the Underground Mining Museum provides a fascinating insight into a very important part of western Americana. An exhibit hall with minerals and artifact displays provides a colorful prelude to tours guided by experienced hard rock miners. Self-guided CD tours are available anytime, and guided tours are available by appointment in summer.
Summer Hours (May 24-Sep 13) • 10am - 4pm Daily
Winter Hours (Sep 14-May 23) • 10am - 3pm Mon-Fri
www.undergroundminingmuseum.com • 719-658-0811
Creede Historical Museum & Library
Housed in the Old Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Depot in downtown Creede next to Basham Park, the museum reflects the efforts of an active and dedicated local historical society. Creede’s first hand-drawn fire wagon, early pioneer utensils, a horse-drawn hearse, gambling equipment and devices, a large photo collection, early newspapers, and troves of memorabilia and other artifacts comprise the Creede Historical Society’s collections. The museum and library archives provide casual visitors, historians, and genealogical researchers with opportunities to examine the daily lives of the homesteaders, prospectors, miners, entrepreneurs, lawmen and notorious characters who helped shape Creede/Mineral County’s colorful history.
The Creede Historical Library is located in a small cabin next to the museum. The Library provides research information, books and photos of Creede, Mineral County and Western Colorado. The Library’s photo collection contains thousands of photos. To help archive and maintain the photo collection, copies of individual photos are sold for personal or publication use.
Museum Hours: 10am - 4pm Mon-Sat • 1pm - 4pm Sunday
Open Memorial Day to Labor Day
Library Hours: Open Year-Round • Thurs, 1 pm-4pm or by appt.
www.creedehistoricalsociety.com • 719-658-2004
Visit www.museumtrail.org for info on 20+ other museums in the area
Other Historical Sites & Points of Interest in the Area
- Bachelor Loop & Ghost Town
- Freemont's Camp
- Pfeiffers Grave
- Summitville Abandoned Gold Mine
- Stone Quarry
- Old Spanish Trail
- Wagon Tracks (possibly from conostoga wagons crossing the San Luis Valley)
- Oldest Church in Colorado - Conejos
- Cumbres & Toltec Scenic & Historic Railroad
- Stations of the Cross - San Luis
- Jack Dempsy Museum - Mannasa
- Fort Garland
- Pikes Stockade - Sanford
While these are just a few of the historical sites in the area travelers may encounter numerous other abandoned homesteads, mining & logging camps in the surrounding mountains. In an area that can be traced back to the Ute indians, their is no guarantee what a traveler may find. One only has to keep an open mind, and eye in order to see the rich past, flourishing in the thriving communities of today.