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Jefferson County sends warning following two deaths in Clear Creek Canyon

On July 2, a person died while rafting. On July 5, a person died and three others were injured while tubing.

GOLDEN, Colo. — Jefferson County officials have posted signs at possible entry points along Clear Creek in Clear Creek Canyon just west of Golden, telling the public that you cannot enter the creek with a tube from that point. 

Tubing is not currently allowed for people entering from Clear Creek Canyon, but tubers can enter from Golden. 

The move comes after two deaths occurred in a stretch of the canyon in the span of four days. 

Both incidents occurred around, or near the area of Tunnel 1 in the canyon, officials said Wednesday. 

On July 2, a rafter died while trying to recreate in the creek. 

On July 5, a person died and three others were injured while tubing in Clear Creek.

“Our thoughts are with the families of the deceased over the past four days," said Kasey Beal, the deputy chief for the Golden Fire Department.

Credit: Luis de Leon
Clear Creek in the Clear Creek Canyon.

Specifically, Jefferson County officials said tubing west of Grant Terry Bridge is unsafe. 

“This creek is not safe to be on a tube west of Grant Terry Bridge. We can’t say it more plainly, than that," said Mary Ann Bonnell with Jefferson County Open Space

Bonnell explained that over the holiday weekend, they turned away around 50 people heading in the wrong direction with inner tubes.

“The structure of the river becomes more dangerous as you head west," Bonnell said. 

Credit: Taylor Schuss
Kasey Beal, Deputy Chief for the Golden Fire Department.

It's considered a civil infraction and a $100 fine for violating posted signs, Bonnell explained. 

Meanwhile, Clear Creek in general has been under a "yellow flag" status, meaning it's considered unsafe for people under 18 years old to be recreating. 

“This canyon is deceiving – it is beautiful, it is wonderful. It is a place to find solitude. But it can also lull you into a false sense of security," said Bonnell.

RELATED: Man dies after falling out of raft

RELATED: Colorado man dies after 70-foot fall while rappelling in Utah


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