Clear Creek

Caution:  Clear Creek is a natural feature and is not staffed with lifeguards, so use it at your own risk

Clear Creek is the historic heart of the Golden community. In 1859, gold was discovered in Clear Creek.  Prospectors knew that if they followed the stream up into the mountains, they would find larger gold deposits.  Golden soon became a staging place for prospectors to stock up on food and equipment before venturing into the mountains.

Today, Clear Creek remains a central element in the life of our town, providing us with both drinking water and recreation. Most community events take place near the Creek, and the Clear Creek Whitewater Park is a popular spot for kayaking and tubing.

Clear Creek Whitewater Park

The Clear Creek Whitewater Park is located at the north end of Golden’s Historic Downtown. Several years ago, the City “groomed” Clear Creek for a kayak slalom course. They rearranged the rocks and boulders on the stream bed to make chutes. Kayakers dominate the traffic in the spring and early summer months, when the water is high from mountain snowmelt. In late summer and fall, when the water level is lower and calmer, people bring inner tubes to float down the creek.

The kayak park extends for about a quarter of a mile and includes sections for various levels of experience. It offers fast eddies, surf waves, and wave drops. There are no fees for using the course, which is unsupervised.

Clear Creek Whitewater Park


Trout Unlimited has done significant work on Clear Creek in Golden, and refers to the area west of the Whitewater Park as “The Golden Mile.”  The Creek offers good trout habitat and is popular with local fly fishing fans.

Fishing in Clear Creek - Golden Colorado

Gold Panning

When panning for gold, select a spot where the water is shallow and make sure it’s flowing slowly enough that it won’t wash the water out of your pan.   Click here for an online tutorial on how to pan for gold!

Walking Along the Creek

The pathways along Clear Creek provide the most popular trail in the City.  The walk includes four parks, plus access to the Golden Visitors Center, the Golden Library, and the Golden Community Center.  It is half a block from the downtown shopping district, so food and drink are readily available.  Take the Clear Creek Walking Tour to fully appreciate all that this trail has to offer.