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Swimming, tubing banned in Clear Creek due to increased snowmelt

The restrictions apply in unincorporated Jefferson County and within Golden city limits.

GOLDEN, Colo. — Swimming and tubing have been temporarily banned in Clear Creek due to fast-moving water and the increased snowmelt expected in the coming weeks, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

Golden Police and the sheriff's office announced that the restrictions would take effect Monday, July 1 and would remain in place until further notice. They apply to Clear Creek in unincorporated Jefferson County and the portions within Golden city limits.

The following water activities are prohibited:

  • All single-chambered air inflated devices such as belly boats, inner tubes and single chambered rafts, as well as “body-surfers”
  • Swimming

RELATED: Tubing ban enacted due to dangerous conditions on Saint Vrain River

The following activities ARE allowed but extreme caution is recommended:

  • Kayaks
  • Whitewater canoes
  • Multi-chambered professionally guided rafts
  • River boards
  • Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUPB) 

Anyone participating in those activities is required to use of a Type I, Type III, or Type V Coast Guard-approved life jacket and a helmet designed for water use.

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Golden police and the sheriff's office outlined the following reasons for the restrictions.

  • Clear Creek is a known Type IV water area, which increases public risk due to water temperature, blasted rock, undercut rocks, potential strainers, and other safety considerations.
  • Water flows have consistently measured over 1200 cubic feet per second (CFS) and are expected to rise as the heavy snowpack continues to melt in the coming weeks.
  • Water height is also increasing and will continue to increase as the snowpack melts. 
  • Expert opinion of the fire department for training and safety regulations indicates 800 CFS becomes more dangerous for most inexperienced swimmers. 

The restrictions will be strictly enforced in an effort to minimize the risk to those using the waterway, the sheriff's office said. Violators could be fined up to $100. 

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