Clear Creek - Golden Whitewater Park

Colorado-US  

Description

Miss getting aggro at your local California surf break?  Haven't seen a bikini since your spring break trip to Cancun?  Tube rides at Water World too long?  Only have an hour to get some kayak practice?  You've come to the right place because Golden has it all.  Any warm afternoon when the water's running you'll find Denver's best freestyle boaters hogging the playholes as you wait in line trying to figure out how to not instantly get flushed out of the hole.  If the water is moderate to low and the air temperature high, hordes of people will be floating down this stretch in everything from SUP boards to blow up alligators.  It's a scene, but if you go with the flow, you're bound to have a good time.

Although the entire stretch of the whitewater course is almost a mile, there's a surprising dearth of quality playholes here.  Unfortunately (or not, depending on who you are), the park designers have put more effort into making this a fun family friendly area than building quality play features.  The two notable holes by the parking lot are the "Grandstand" hole and "Bleacher" hole.  Grandstand hole is where you'll find the majority of the boaters and is the only really respectable feature left in the park.  At low flows you can do some spins. Once the flows get above 500 cfs you can link some ends and loops are available.  At 1000+ cfs the feature is downright high quality (but such high flows are rare!).  The Bleacher hole is the last feature in the upper park, but the surfing quality is limited at best.  Continuing downstream another half mile leads to the Library hole (adjacent to the public library) and another smaller feature below it.  The Library hole used to be a good low water feature, but unfortunately in 2011 the high water changed it such that it's low quality at any level. There's a nice pool below the drop for doing some flatwater training.

At 40cfs the park is essentially a pool session.  Above 100cfs the features have just enough power for some stern squirts and spins.  Above 500 cfs, beginners will start to feel a little intimiated.  I've seen flows all the way up to around 1400cfs.  At these higher flows, people should always be cautious as the water becomes significantly more powerful, but experienced boaters will have a great time.

Statistics

KSC
Class II+
Current Flow 86.2 CFS
10-23-2017 22:45


View River Forecast

Recommended Flow Minimum: 100.0
Average: 600.0
Maximum: 1500.0
Typical Season Begins: April
Ends: August
Recommended Use Kayaking: Yes
Rafting: Yes
Canoeing: Yes
SUP: Yes
Packrafting: No
Fishing: Yes
Primary Gauge CLEAR CREEK AT GOLDEN, CO
Length 0.75 Mile(s)
Gradient FPM
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Clear Creek Whitewater Park

10-10-2017 - Fall - 100 cfs

Photo By: (c) Dejan Smaic 2017

Subject: Dejan Smaic, GoPro