Tubing Clear Creek in the heat of summer is one of Golden, Colorado’s premier attractions. There are a number of man-made whitewater features to enjoy on a tube or kayak. One of the best places to park is along the west side of 10th Street next to Clear Creek. You can follow the well-marked trail to the west (upstream), and put in as far up Clear Creek as you’re willing to walk (or you can shuttle all the way up to Tunnel 1)!
We recently grabbed our tubes, life vests, and jumped in the river. We had the time of our lives. If you don’t have tubes of your own, you can rent them in town at Golden River Sports for about $20 a day. We parked at 10th and hiked about 2 miles upstream through some gorgeous stands of trees. Definitely wear sneakers or some type of water shoes so that you don’t shred your feet. River sports – including tubing – are inherently dangerous. Wear a personal floatation device. Also, don’t even think about bringing beer on your float. Alcohol regulations are heavily enforced.
Key information for tubing Clear Creek in Golden
Access: A bike path parallels the creek most of the way. You can get in and out anywhere along that path. You can start as high as the Tunnel 1 on Hwy 6 in Clear Creek Canyon, and you can float down to the end of the whitewater park in downtown Golden. The whitewater park is located in Lyons Park on 10th street.
Best times to float: 40-100cfs is a good stream flow to tube Clear Creek. 100-500cfs is the perfect level for tubing from Tunnel 1 to the whitewater park. 500cfs+ is generally too high to float in a tube and should be for kayaks and experienced river users.
Water Temperature: During May and June the water can be pretty cold. Late June through August is the best time to tube.
Other Tubing Tips: This can be a great activity for children if they know how to swim well. Don’t forget to bring a hat and sunscreen to protect you from Colorado’s intense sunshine.