Peaks to Plains Trail
CLOSED: The dirt parking lot at the Gateway of Clear Creek Canyon Park off U.S. Hwy 6, near the intersection of Hwy 58, and Hwy 93, as well as the parking lot east of Tunnel 1 and the Oxbow area, will be closed until spring 2021 (weather dependent) for construction of the next segment of the Peaks to Plains Trail.
The Peaks to Plains Project Vision
The vision of the Peaks to Plains Trail is a 65-mile trail of statewide significance that will serve the 3 million residents of the Denver metro area. The goal is that the Peaks to Plains Trail will one day connect the South Platte Trail in Denver to the headwaters of Clear Creek at Loveland Pass. Once completed, it will connect four counties and seven cities, with a total elevation gain of more than 1 mile.
This legacy trail project will offer visitors a truly quintessential Colorado experience. That is why it was chosen as one of former Governor Hickenlooper’s 16 highest priority trail projects in the state as part of the Colorado the Beautiful Initiative.
The first portions of the Peaks to Plains Trail in Clear Creek Canyon Park opened in 2016 and 2017, offering four miles of 10-foot-wide paved surface right along Clear Creek. The next step will be continuing the trail east to Golden with the Clear Creek canyon Park - Gateway Segment.
Work continues through the winter on the recreation trails at the gateway of Clear Creek Canyon Park in preparation for opening this 1.75-mile segment of the Peaks to Plains trail this year.
Construction activities that continued through the snow and colder temperatures included building many Redi-block retaining walls and decorative rock walls alongside the trail, paving the Tunnel 1 Trailhead, building the suspension bridge in the oxbow of Tunnel 1, and forming and pouring the concrete barriers along US 6 near the Tunnel 1 Trailhead. Construction of the two restrooms by the Jeffco Open Space Buildings and Historic Sites Team has also continued over the past few months, and the Jefferson County Open Space Trails Team built a stone and timber staircase to connect this new trail with the historic Welch Ditch above.
As weather conditions improve this spring, there are a few weather-dependent construction activities that require higher temperatures and dryer conditions. Some of these work activities include finishing the concrete trail, asphalt paving, landscaping, and attaching the stone veneer to the front vertical face of the retaining walls. This work will continue as soon as weather conditions allow.
In addition to building nearly two miles of new trail, this project is adding three bridge crossings over Clear Creek, restoring a half mile of the historic Welch Ditch wooden flume, two new trailheads with parking for more than 160 cars, and widening US 6 to include turn lanes to access parking areas.
Construction of this segment of trail at the gateway of Clear Creek Canyon Park will be substantially complete in summer 2021.
Gateway Trail Project
- About 2,000 linear feet of concrete trail on the south side of Clear Creek and 500 linear feet on the north side
- About 33,000 square feet of prefabricated Redi-block walls and 3,600 square feet of rock walls
- About 19,400 cubic yards of dirt and material removed – equivalent to more than 1,600 dump trucks full
- Scour protection added along the rocks on the north side of Clear Creek beneath the Grant Terry bridge
- 163-foot-long prefabricated bridge structure for hikers and bikers and 69-foot-long suspension bridge for pedestrians only
Potential Impacts of Construction
In the interest of public safety, people are encouraged to stay out of construction zones and not park in restricted areas. Vehicles parked in restricted areas are subject to towing. Other impacts people might encounter this year include:
- Short-term traffic delays to get trucks in and out of the work zone
- Single lane closures along US 6 when needed to accommodate certain work activities
- Overnight full closures of US 6 as necessary to maintain public safety for critical work like setting bridges, etc.
Construction of the Clear Creek Canyon Park - Gateway Segment will be substantially complete in spring 2021. When done, this section of the trail will include:
- 1.75 miles of new multi-use trail
- Two new trailheads, each with restroom amenities, and parking for over 150 cars
- A new hiker-only suspension bridge on the south side of Tunnel 1
- Restoration and opening of the historic Welch Ditch wooden flume trail
- Trail connections to the existing Grant Terry bridge
The Peaks to Plains Trail is already in place from Golden to the confluence of the South Platte River, as are many segments at the top of Clear Creek Canyon and Loveland Pass. Clear Creek County Open Space and Jeffco Open Space have previously completed four of the 16 miles within the canyon.
View Video About the Gateway Segment of Clear Creek Canyon Park Project
View Gateway Segment of Clear Creek Canyon Park Project Map
View Gateway Segment of Clear Creek Canyon Park Project Fact Sheet
View Gateway Segment of Clear Creek Canyon Park Project Community Meeting Presentation
View Gateway Segment of Clear Creek Canyon Park Project Community Meeting Q&A
View Peaks to Plains Trail in Clear Creek Canyon Park Map
Learn More about the Peaks to Plains Trail
Through a partnership with Clear Creak County Open Space, the first segment of the Peaks to Plains trail in Clear Creek Canyon Park opened in summer 2016. This 3-mile segment of trail, two miles in Jefferson County and one in Clear Creek County, is a 10-foot-wide, stained concrete surface, with 500 feet in elevation gain, six new or improved river access points, the Mayhem Gulch trailhead, and three bridges across Clear Creek. The bridges have overlooks so that visitors can enjoy the view over the water. The trail is multi-use and welcomes a variety of recreational activities.
In fall 2017, the final three quarters of a mile of the first segment of trail opened, along with a developed recreation area and trailhead. 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.