Clear Creek Rt. 6 to GoldenLength of Trip: 15 miles
Gradient: 105ft/mile average, 160ft/mile max.
Difficulty: Class IV-V at 200-500 CFS
Class V-V+ above 800 CFS
High Water Flows: May-July
Flow: Call Watertalk @ 831-7135, Division 1, Station 22 for current river levels
Scenery: C This canyon has been mined and follows Hwy 6
Put-In: Across from gravel pit, on Hwy 6, just before the on ramp to I-70.
Take-Out: Anywhere along Hwy 6 upstream of Coors. The last takeout is under the Main Street bridge or the Golden Playpark.
Description: At the lower flows, this run is a technical run with lots of rocks and eddies. At higher flows, 600+, there are larger waves, holes and faster water. This is a great play river, from eddy hopping to surfing waves, and at high water 800cfs and up, the velocity of the water is so fast that this run becomes a true hair run. Just past the put-in, there is a rock/tree sieve that may not be runnable, upstream of the first bridge. The next major rapid is upstream of tunnel 6, and on the outside bend of the tunnel. The river is continous with class II to IV rapids until you reach Black Rock, at 6.7 road miles. The entrance of Black Rock is marked by a large boulder dividing the river in half. Black Rock rapid is class V, and should be scouted. It got its name for the Square black rock next to Rt. 6. The next major rapid is at 8 road miles, just below tunnel 2. Scout/take-out just upstream of Hwy 6 bridge. The Narrows is a long class V rapid with two large holes, one which may hold a swimmer. This rapid has been changing from year to year, so scout every time. At 9.8 road miles, the rapid Quiche drops into a couple of large holes and then under a road bridge, class V. The next 3 miles is continous class IV+, that is a great after work run if you put-in just below quiche. The first tricky drop is difficult to spot from the road or the river. The drop is called Double Drop, and it involves catching a river left eddie, then paddling right up against an overhanging wall in order to avoid a large river left hole. A great ender spot is at the bottom of this rapid. The next heart throb is the Golf Course, which starts out with a distinct "S" turn, followed by a 6' slide into a 1/4 mile of continous holes and waves. The river eases up just a little as you reach the foot bridge above the dam. Right below the foot bridge, 12.8 road miles, is the gauging station and a dam. Portaging the dam is highly recommended. Below the dam, the river is class III, with branches and a diversion dam on river left, run right, until you reach Hwy 93. It is best to scout this river by vehicle before running.
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