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Posted on: July 1, 2019

Access restricted on Clear Creek

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Effective at 12 p.m. on Monday, July 1, 2019, Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader and the Golden Police Department will limit waterway activities on Clear Creek.  These temporary restrictions apply to Clear Creek in unincorporated Jefferson County, as well as those portions of Clear Creek within the City of Golden, including Vanover Park.

Water activities prohibited by the order include all single-chambered air inflated devices such as belly boats, inner tubes and single chambered rafts, as well as “body-surfers” and swimming. Kayaks, whitewater canoes and multi-chambered professionally guided rafts, river boards, and Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUPB) are exempt but are encouraged to observe extreme caution due to the safety concerns surrounding swift moving water and floating debris. All of the above authorized users and occupants must have the use of a Type I, Type III, or Type V Coast Guard-approved paddling life jacket and a water use designed helmet.


The reasoning for this decision is as follows:

• Clear Creek is a known Type IV water area, which increases public risk due to water temperature, blasted rock, undercut rocks, potential strainers, and other safety considerations.

• Water flows have consistently measured over 1200 cubic feet per second (CFS) and expected to rise as the heavy snowpack continues to melt in the coming weeks.

• Water height is also increasing and will continue to increase as the snowpack melts. 

• Expert opinion of the fire department for training and safety regulations indicates 800 CFS becomes more dangerous for most inexperienced swimmers.

Violators may be issued a summons for a class 2 petty offense, punishable by a fine of one hundred dollars. These restrictions will be strictly enforced in an effort to minimize the risk to those using the waterway.


These temporary water restrictions will remain in effect until water levels decrease.


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