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Golden implements flag system to represent safety levels on Clear Creek

The flags -- green, yellow, red, and double red -- tell recreators which activities are allowed on the popular waterway.

GOLDEN, Colo. — Tubers, kayakers and other recreators will notice some brightly-colored flags next time they head out on Clear Creek through Golden, and they're not just there for decoration.

The flags are part of a recently-implemented system to let people know how safe they can expect the popular waterway to be, or whether the creek is open to activity at all.

According to visitgolden.com, the flags represent four different safety levels:


  • Green flag: Moderate Flows – Clear Creek is open to all uses. Please use regular caution in the creek
  • Yellow flag: Moderate to High Flow – Considered unsafe for children under 18. Clear Creek is open to all uses. Please exercise heightened caution while in the creek.
  • Red flag: High Flow – Clear Creek is closed for swimming and tubing. Only experienced kayakers and other vessels should be on the creek. Users should wear protective gear and be able to rescue themselves in the water. High caution should be used in the water.
  • Double-Red flag: Closure – Clear Creek is closed to all uses. This is a combination of high flows and other unsafe conditions, such as low temperature or debris in the water, that makes Clear Creek unsafe for all uses.

Clear Creek is currently under a yellow flag. Restrictions on recreation where the creek passes through Golden were recently lifted after being in place for 10 days due to fast-moving water.

RELATED: Water activity is once again allowed on Clear Creek in Golden

RELATED: Fort Collins restricts Poudre River access to 'reduce unsafe activities'

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