Saturday, October 6, 2012

Bachelor Loop Scenic Drive

The Bachelor Loop near Creede Colorado is a 17-mile scenic drive through mining ruins and forested plateaus.  The most interesting part of the loop is at the north end of Creede and is filled with mining ruins clinging precipitously to the hillside.  Other than some great views of the Rio Grande Valley as you descend on the downward side there is not much happening in between.  The ruins are neat however but if you don't want to do the entire drive,  you could turn around after the steep drive up past them.

Commadore Mine on the Bachelor Loop near Creede Colorado is just one of the many scenic ruins in the area.
Commodore Mine
Trestle used to take ore cars out of the mine
Creede was established in the late 1800s because of the Amethyst Vein (running along West Willow Creek canyon), a 4-10 ft wide vein of silver ore that occasionally reached 100 feet in width. As with all such places in Colorado, such riches resulted in mines, towns, tent cities, and colorful characters such as the card shark Poker Alice and Calamity Jane.

Amethyst Mine
These ruins of the Last Chance Mine look like they could fall down the hillside at any time.
Lots of cars were stopped here at this open meadow, which is all that remains of Bachelor City
The Commodore mine doesn't look like might now, but it has 5 different levels spread out over 200 underground miles. Located at the southernmost extent of the Amethyst Vein, it was in production from 1891 all the way to 1976!

Looking east down into the Rio Grand Valley, with Creed far below 
Looking southwest 
Further down now.  Creed is more visible. 

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