Clear Creek Kayaking

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Clear Creek Canyon offers some wild kayaking in the upper creek but the majority of recreational boaters will enjoy the whitewater park right in the city of Golden.

Written by

James Dziezynski


14.2 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

18.2 miles


4 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

1 hours



Spring, Summer, and Fall

Dog Friendly


Fees Permits


Land Website

Clear Creek Kayaking



Clear Creek is located about 35 minutes from Boulder in Colorado. The lower portion of the creek runs through the city of Golden, where an 800-foot long white water park is open to the public and is perfect for intermediate paddlers. The upper portion of the creek is extreme -- the creek runs 14.2 miles and most of that terrain is class IV with significant sections of class V/V+ depending on the flow volume.

What Makes It Great

The fun whitewater course is right in Golden, so it can be part of a fun day not far from Boulder (or Denver). If you have the guts and experience to run the upper creek, you’ll certainly have earned your stripes for Colorado paddling.

The whitewater park is fun, modern and well developed. It is made for intermediate paddlers and beginners may be a bit intimidated by the obstacles and waves but that being said, the river is far from overwhelming. And it’s right in downtown Golden, surrounded by beautiful parks and restaurants. There are no fees to play in the whitewater park and parking is free. Advanced kayakers will relish the challenge of specific sections of the upper creek.

Advanced paddlers should be aware of the fast, cold water and turbulent currents. Mix in tough, boulder-riddled rock gardens and you have terrain suitable for expert paddlers only. But if you have the skills and want to attempt a river that runs fast and furious, give Clear Creek a run. For most paddlers, the whitewater park will be just fine!

Who is Going to Love It

Paddlers looking for a fun, easy-to-reach day in the whitewater park will love getting out to Golden to play. Expert paddlers will especially love the upper 8 miles of Clear Creek.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

For the whitewater park in Golden, there are several places to park for free. From the City of Golden website: Golden offers an abundant amount of all-day FREE parking for visitors including free, covered parking garages located in historic downtown Golden. Street parking is also free throughout the City, except for designated residential parking around the Colorado School of Mines campus and on 9th Street. Parking garages are located off Jackson Street between 11th and 13th. During the summer, visitors can also enjoy free parking off 11th Street next to the Clear Creek History Park in the dirt lot, or on the weekends in the CoorsTek parking lot off 10th Street. Look for signs to direct you to this overflow parking.

There are no fees to paddle Clear Creek. There are several putins depending on where you want to paddle. This page provides good details on running the upper river.


Clear Creek Kayaking

Golden, CO,
39.755543, -105.2211

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