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Peaks to Plains Trail

This trail offers visitors a truly quintessential Colorado experience as it weaves through the opening of Clear Creek Canyon and along cascading Clear Creek, gaining in elevation all the while. Plan ahead to decide which segment you are most interested in as there are several trailhead and parking options. 

Gateway Segment & Tunnel 1 Trailhead and Parking

This paved 1.75-mile trail connects downtown Golden to Tunnel 1 along US Hwy 6 through Clear Creek Canyon Park. It runs along Clear Creek and currently has two trailheads, one at the entrance to the canyon (Gateway Segment) and the other near Tunnel 1. These trailheads feature more than 170 parking spaces, permanent restrooms, and shade structures. 

The parking area at the Gateway Segment has a bike repair station, a bike rack with metal frame crafted from the parts of cars retrieved from the canyon during construction, and a drinking fountain that includes a ground-level fountain for four-legged hiking companions.  

The trail is open from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset, with electronic gates at both parking facilities closing at those times to prohibit overnight parking. 

The popular pedestrian-only suspension bridge can be found near Tunnel 1 and connects hikers with the restored wooden flume of the Welch Ditch on the south side of the creek. There are also rock staircases along the trail providing water access. 

Recreational Activities Along the Trail

Mayhem Gulch and Big Easy Trailheads

At the Mayhem Gulch trailhead the paved 3-mile segment of trail gains 500 feet in elevation, has six river access points and three bridges across Clear Creek. The bridges have overlooks so that visitors can enjoy the view over the water. 

The Big Easy trailhead and recreation area has a restroom, 54 parking spaces, fishing platforms over the water, picnic pavilions, a geology garden, and a boardwalk in areas where vegetation needs to be protected. A new bridge also spans the creek, which connects to the Mayhem Gulch trailhead westward up the canyon.

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