Clear Creek County Activities

Just 20 miles from Denver, Clear Creek County offers numerous outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy, from river rafting, fishing, hiking, biking, ziplining, skiing, and snowshoeing to ATVing, horseback riding, camping, and much more. Clear Creek County has something for everyone 365 days a year! Come and find out what we have to offer!

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Fishing

Clear Creek County offers more than 200 fishing locations for all abilities, regardless of age or experience and range from hidden gems to alpine lakes and streams. Visitors can ice fish in winter and dip their lines in the scenic Clear Creek River and host of lakes, ponds, and streams spring through fall. County waters are filled with a variety of Trout such as Cutthroat, Rainbow, Brown, and Brook varieties. Visit the fishing page for more detailed information.

Scenic Drives

Several scenic drives can be found in the county, two of which are considered scenic byways. The 28-mile Mt. Evans Scenic & Historic Byway boasts the highest paved road in the northern hemisphere and the 23-miles Guanella Pass Scenic & Historic Byway which follows an old wagon route that linked the mining towns of Georgetown and Grant. “Oh My Gawd” Road is a hair-raising drive between Idaho Springs and the gambling communities of Central City and Blackhawk. This scenic dirt road gets its name from its spectacular views as well as its narrow and curving lanes. FInd out more!

ATV Tours

Four-wheel drive trips in Clear Creek County venture into scenic places high in the Rockies, from abandoned gold mines to scenic outlooks, backcountry lakes, and paths deep in the forest and above tree line. There are many trails to choose from, offering something for every ability and thrill level. The high-country wilderness includes many abandoned mountain homesteads, historic ghost towns, and routes of old narrow gauge railroad right-of-ways. Find out more about ATV tours in Clear Creek County!

Hiking

Clear Creek County is home to hundreds of hiking trails and four 14ers (mountain peaks over 14,000-ft in elevation), including Mt. Bierstadt, Mt. Evans, Grays Peak and Torreys Peak. Many trails, formed by gold seekers of the 1800s as they hiked across the high passes of Clear Creek County, showcase the ghost towns, gold camps and mining relics abandoned many years ago, can still be seen along the trails. In addition, the Colorado Trail and Continental Divide Trail both run though the county.

Fishing

Clear Creek County offers more than 200 fishing locations for all abilities, regardless of age or experience and range from hidden gems to alpine lakes and streams. Visitors can ice fish in winter and dip their lines in the scenic Clear Creek River and host of lakes, ponds, and streams spring through fall. County waters are filled with a variety of Trout such as Cutthroat, Rainbow, Brown, and Brook varieties. Visit the fishing page for more detailed information.

Mountain Biking

With some of the best trails just a short drive from Denver there are lots of opportunities for great rides ranging from easy to difficult as well as family-friendly trails. Clear Creek County offers hundreds of on- and off-road bike trails, and a bike path that runs completely through the county (along the Frontage Road) from the Jefferson County border to border of Summit County, the Colorado Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. Much of the Arapaho National Forest and other public lands offer lots of single track trails. Mount Evans Scenic Byway is a popular a beautiful ride for road biking. It climbs over 7,000 feet in its 28-mile length, reaching an altitude of 14,130′ feet. In addition to scenic views of the Continental Divide, visitors can also see a variety of alpine plants and flowers and mountain goat and bighorn sheep herds.

In 2013, more trails will be added as part of the Greenbelt.  Visit the Trails page for a detailed map and descriptions of the trails.

Horseback Riding

For a relaxing, high-country experience, visitors can jump on the back of a well-trained horse and ride along mountain trails that once were walked and ridden by miners, trappers and Indians. In fact, some old mining grave yards and mines are only accessible by foot or horseback. Most horseback riding takes place during the spring through the fall, however for riders with their own horses, however for riders with their own horses, specific hiking or biking trails are marked for horse riding.  During the winter months, be prepared for slick or snowy trails.

Camping

Visitors can get away from the hustle and bustle and camp out in Clear Creek. The Ranger District offers eight developed campgrounds. All are accessed from the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, Guanella Pass Scenic Byway, I-70 and Colorado Highways 40, 103, and 119). Individual operating seasons vary, however season dates range from mid-May through mid-October.

Swimming


The Clear Creek Metropolitan Recreation District (CCMRD) operates a Recreation Center located at 1130 Idaho Street, in Idaho Springs and offers visitors the opportunity to purchase low-priced day-use passes to the pool and fitness center.  The 25-yard pool features six lanes with a one-meter diving board, wading pool, and hot tub.

Hot Springs


Indian Hot Springs offers visitors the chance to relax in a mineral swimming pool and geo-thermal caves. The hot mineral pool, fed with115 degree hot mineral water, lies under a translucent dome complete with flowering plants and live Banana and Palm Trees. Driven into the rocky mountainside between 1903 and 1911 for the purpose of creating one cave for men and another for women, the geo-thermal cave baths feature several huge, sunken, walk-in hot tubs filled with naturally hot mineral water at temperatures from 104 to 112 degrees. Open year-round.

Rock Climbing

A popular area for rock climbing is along the Chicago Lakes Trail and in Lower Canyon along Hwy 6. The trail leaves from Echo Lake, traveling downhill for the first mile. Here Chicago Creek is dammed to form the Idaho Springs Reservoir. The trail climbs upward the remaining three miles. Darting back into the trees, the first Chicago Lake sits at treeline. The trail to the second lake, located above treeline, is difficult to follow at times and is very steep. Both lakes offer excellent views of the surrounding mountains.

Kayaking


Visitors can try their hand at kayaking at the Lawson Whitewater Park. The kayak sports park sits just West of Lawson on Alvarado Road (County Road 306).  It features six kayak holes for all abilities to “playboat.”  The parking area holds up to 15 cars and has a restroom facility.

River Rafting

Experience the thrill of rafting the Clear Creek River, just 30 minutes away from Denver. Clear Creek offers more rapids per mile than most commercially rafted rivers in the state, and truly has something for everyone. Sections vary from perfect for families and first timers to extreme whitewater for the seasoned veteran. The river, which is nestled in an alpine valley offers spectacular views and the opportunity to spot a variety of Colorado wildlife.

Wildlife Viewing

See nature close up! Clear Creek County is home to a number of wildlife species such as bighorn sheep, bald eagles, mountain goats, mule deer, elk, marmot, Rosie Finch, Ptarmigan, and more.  The Georgetown Wildlife Viewing Station offers permanent viewing scopes and educational exhibits throughout the year. During weekends in November and December, trained volunteer guides from the Colorado Division of Wildlife help visitors locate sheep, and learn about wildlife. Other great wildlife viewing areas include the Mount Evans Scenic Byway , the Mount Evans Summit / Interpretive Site and a variety of campground areas.

Ziplining

Experience the thrill of soaring through the treetops with views of breathtaking mountains and the roaring rapids of the Clear Creek River. Clear Creek County is home to three new zipline adventure tours which take adventurers more than 3,000 feet through alpine trees and across the river, in some cases multiple times!

Hunting

Whether hunting with a rifle or bow visitors can search for big game such as elk, deer and small games such as turkey, Grouse and Ptarmigan.

Skiing & Snowboarding

During the winter, visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoe adventures, ATVing, and more.

Loveland Ski Area
Loveland Ski Area has been Denver’s local mountain for more than 70 years and offers visitors a classic ski experience that can’t be found at the mega-resorts. Just 53 miles west of Denver on I-70 and situated high atop the Continental Divide, the mountain receives about 400 inches of snow each winter, more than any resort in the Front Range or Summit County. Featuring 10 lifts and 92 trails, Loveland has something for every age and ability. For the intermediate/advanced skier or boarder, The Ridge off Chair 9 offers wide open bowls and powder packed chutes. For the beginners, Loveland Valley offers a separate learning area.

Snowshoeing

With more than 70 percent of the county covered by public lands and trails, Clear Creek County is the perfect place to snowshoe. Many of the county’s best summer hiking and mountain biking trails are transformed into shimmering frozen landscapes during the winter months. Visit the Trails page for a detailed map and trail descriptions.

Snowmobiling

Visitors scan explore the frozen high country of Clear Creek County via snowmobile.  Although snowmobiles are not allowed in wilderness areas, there are several areas that provide excellent snow conditions and terrain for snowmobiling. They include, Fall River Reservoir which offers a 3.2 mile one-way trail where snowmobilers will see Mt. Flora, Mt. Eva and James Peak on the Continental Divide and Jones Pass Trailhead (close to I-70 and Denver) which starts as an easy dirt road climb through trees up to the Continental Divide and provides amazing views of the valley. Visit the maps page for a detailed map and descriptions of some of the trails in Clear Creek County.