Clear Creek - 06. Rigor Mortis (MM 267.2) to Golden

Clear Creek, Colorado, US


06. Rigor Mortis (MM 267.2) to Golden (Lower Clear Creek)

Usual Difficulty IV (for normal flows)
Length 5.5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 85 fpm

Goal Posts

Goal Posts
Photo of Craig Irwin by Kati Irwin taken 05/28/06 @ 620

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-06719505 250 - 1000 cfs IV 00h23m 32.8 cfs (too low)

River Description

This is the most popular run on Clear Creek with its close proximity to Golden.

Keep in mind the riverbed is all blasted rock and is very unkind to upside down or swimming boaters. Sharp angled rock lines this route.

To get there: The put-in is below Rigor Mortis on Hwy 6 at mile 267.2. To get to the takeout take the Washington Street exit on Hwy 6, head south and then turn right on 10th street. The Play Park in Golden is near a large parking lot on the left after passing the baseball fields.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2013-09-21 18:56:05


Stream team editor

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Rigor Mortis5.3Putin Photo
1.5Elbow FallsIVPlayspot Photo
4.0Screamin' 1/4 Mile RapidIVPlayspot Photo
5.0Diversion Dam5.0Access Portage Hazard Photo
6.0Clear Creek Whitewater ParkIIITakeout Playspot Photo

Rapid Descriptions

Rigor Mortis (Class 5.3)

the put-in...

the put-in...
Photo by Brian Mattingly taken 06/11/05 @ ???

Rigor Mortis lies above the bridge at MileMarker 267.2. Use the pullout downstream from the bridge and put in here.

Elbow Falls (Class IV, Mile 1.5)

Elbow Falls

Elbow Falls
Photo of Hobson and Irwin by Craig Irwin taken 05/28/06 @ 620

Elbow Falls: fast lead-in water to two holes that makeup the rapid. Choose between getting friendly with the rock wall on the right or the large hydraulic on the left. Good cartwheel hole at the bottom.

Screamin' 1/4 Mile Rapid (Class IV, Mile 4.0)

Screaming 1/4 mile rapid

Screaming 1/4 mile rapid
Photo of Craig Irwin and Jarrod Hobson by Kati Irwin taken 05/28/06 @ 620

The creek will bend hard from river right to left and create a nice eddy for view downstream into the rapid. Screaming 1/4 mile rapid begins with two lateral holes, followed by the two rocks forming "Goal Posts". Follow the main flow and hang on for the ride!

Diversion Dam (Class 5.0, Mile 5.0)


Photo of Risa Shimoda by Thomas O'Keefe taken 05/22/10 @ 340 cfs

Sharp rocks in a nasty man-made drop. Unfortunately the portage is a pain in the butt. You can take out just upstream, but the best surf waves and the play park are just downstream...

Clear Creek Whitewater Park (Class III, Mile 6.0)

Golden Play Park

Golden Play Park
Photo of Wash St. Hole by B. Faike taken 07/15/03 @ 1000 cfs

A good man-made play park. As you leave the canyon be heads up for wood when the creek splits around an island (after tunnel one), make sure to take the right channel or you will enter a diversion and end up in a Coors can. When the smell of barley and hops permeates your sinuses, you know you are in Golden.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
July 30 2014 (1598 days ago)
Benjamin PetriDetails
The currently suggested flow range (500-1000) is bogus. In kayaks, the minimum scrape down flow is
about 200. At 300, you're pleasantly floating and no longer hitting rocks. Cripp's hole in the
screaming quarter mile becomes more of a factor as flows get over 600-700 or so, but washes above
1500 or so. Flows above 1000 increase the difficulty to more of a IV+.
September 17 2003 (5566 days ago)
Christof StorkDetails

For the entire run, take all islands to the right.

A nice class II run is from Tunnel 1 down.

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