Visit Clear Creek Safely
Clear Creek runs through the heart of Golden, offering scenic beauty, recreation, and a valuable natural resource all in one popular, sparkling package. Fishermen, kayakers, tubers, sunbathers, runners, bikers, skateboarders, walkers, gold-panners…almost everyone who lives in or visits Golden is drawn to the banks of this popular waterway and the Clear Creek Trail system that runs alongside it for one of the many recreational opportunities it affords. Clear Creek has also been the center of Golden’s commerce since the City was founded, providing a natural water source for Coors Brewery, and the center of many a gold miner’s hopes and dreams during the Gold Rush. Today, the Creek continues to be Golden’s central hub of activity.
Status of Clear Creek: GREEN
Clear Creek is at LEVEL GREEN indicating that is it open to all uses.
Caution should always be exercised when recreating in or near the Creek.
Creek Safety Status
Look for colored flags along Clear Creek that correspond to the safety levels on the Creek Warning Flags sign.
- Green Flag: Moderate Flows – Clear Creek is open to all uses. Please use regular caution in the creek
- Yellow Flag: Moderate to High Flow – Considered unsafe for children under 18. Clear Creek is open to all uses. Please exercise heightened caution while in the creek.
- Red Flag: High Flow – Clear Creek is closed for swimming and tubing. Only experienced kayakers and other vessels should be on the creek. Users should wear protective gear and be able to rescue themselves in the water. High caution should be used in the water.
- Double-Red Flag: Closure – Clear Creek is closed to all uses. This is a combination of high flows and other unsafe conditions, such as low temperature or debris in the water, that makes Clear Creek unsafe for all uses.
Although restrictions on Clear Creek have been lifted, flows are still moderate to high and indicate unsafe conditions. Extreme caution should be used when recreating in or near the creek.
- Restrictions on Clear Creek have been lifted.
- All single-chambered air inflated devices such as belly boats, inner tubes and single-chambered rafts, as well as body surfers and swimming are allowed on the creek.
- Although the risk has diminished, all users are encouraged to observe caution due to safety concerns surrounding swift moving water.
Creek Ambassadors – Clear Creek Ambassadors are City of Golden employees who are stationed along the creek during the weekends, and can provide information and direction to creek goers. You can find these helpful representatives by the beaches and the Billy Drew Bridge by looking for their flags and uniforms. The Clear Creek Ambassadors have information on how to access the creek, how to get to where you want to go in Golden, and how to make the most of your day in town!”
Share the path! Be cognizant of others around you - walking with a large group carrying tubes? Walk single file so others may enjoy the trail too.
Leave the alcohol and glass containers at home! Open containers of alcohol are strictly prohibited in our parks, and all along the Clear Creek trail and in the Creek. Leave your alcohol at home, and be sure to visit one of our great dining and drinking establishments when you're done recreating. See our dining options.
Dogs must be leashed at all times. Golden has a zero tolerance policy for dogs off leash. Please remember to keep dogs leashed and scoop the poop. Golden has two dog parks. You can enjoy the natural beauty of North Table Mountain at the Tony Grampsas park or let your dog run free at Homer’s Run dog park at Ulysses Sports Complex.
Please be considerate of the residents who live in the neighborhood around the creek. The neighborhood is resident permit parking only on the weekends, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Read signs carefully to know if you are parking in a restricted aread.
Plenty of free parking is available at the parking lot of 311 10th Street, at the site of the former Coors office building. This parking is perfect for visitors and users of the Clear Creek Corridor. Other parking is available in the parking garages located on Jackson Street, between 11th and 13th Streets.
Rules & Regulations
It’s simple – “Be good to the Creek and it will be good to you.”
- Pick up your trash and recycle
- Scoop the poop and keep dogs leashed
- Respect nature and sensitive areas
- Stay out of fenced-off areas
- Keep food, drink and structures out of creek
- Respect the planet, people and property
In addition to these rules of respectful and neighborly behavior along the creek, the City enforces three zero tolerance regulations, called “The Golden Rule.”
- NO dogs off leash
- NO smoking
- NO glass OR alcohol
Read more about the rules and regulations that apply to using any of our many beautiful parks on our Park Rules page.
To report trail maintenance or park issues contact the Golden Park department at ParksandRec@Cityofgolden.net
To report criminal, non-emergency issues please call 303-980-7300.