Old West . New Adventure Idaho Springs • Empire • Georgetown • Silver Plume
Plan your trip today!
Mines, Museums, Walking Tours, and Scenic Drives
Journey back in time aboard a narrow gauge railroad built in 1884
Dining, Shopping, and Lodging Information
Official Visitors Guide
Fishing • Camping • 14ers • Rafting • Ziplining
A Yo u r
A wa i t s e r u t n ! e v
Clear Creek County
Clear Creek County Tourism Bureau, 2014 - www.ClearCreekCounty.org
Contents 8 All Aboard! 12 Shopping 14 Places to Stay 16 Mines, Museums, and Walking Tours 18 Services 20 Rafting Clear Creek 24 More Things to do 26 Fishing Clear Creek 29 Hunting in Clear Creek County 30 Meals, Snacks, and more 32 Scenic Drives 35 Tips 36 Off-Highway Vehicle Trails 38 Fitness and 14ers 40 Hiking and Biking Trails
Step back in time and take a journey into our authentic western mining and railroad heritage! Clear Creek County includes the historic communities of Idaho Springs, Empire, Georgetown, and Silver Plume. For admirers of the past, our historic towns are an architectural paradise. Our community wasn’t created by a “tourist” destination developer - our heritage is real! Stroll down the dirt Main Street of Silver Plume and feel an age gone by come to life. Clear Creek County is made up of 75% public lands, offering an unparalleled amount of out-door recreational opportunities. Choose from activities including backcountry hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, rafting, ziplining, biking, hunting, and fishing. Or, maybe you would prefer to cruise along our Scenic Byways? One thing is certain; the adventure begins the moment you arrive! Don’t waste another minute, make your plans and take a journey with us. Clear Creek County has an adventure to offer every age and interest. From museums to mining tours, narrow gauge steam train to hot mineral springs, let the memories begin today! The Clear Creek County Tourism Board of Directors would like to recognize and thank the Colorado Tourism Office for support in helping finance our 2014 Official Visitors Guide to Clear Creek County. Also a special thank you to all County business owners, Georgetown and Idaho Springs Historical Societies, the Clear Creek Ranger District, the Colorado Vacation Directory, Cassandra Patton, Dan Adler, Dan Ebert, Don Allan, Dustin Schaefer, Gary A. Haines, Jason Powers, Mark Graybill, Melana Harder, Patti Hestekin, Ricardo Baca, Robert Grevious, Suzen Raymond, and Tim Mauck for their articles, contributions, and photographs! Designed and produced by Cassandra Patton, Director, Clear Creek County Tourism Bureau.
VisitClearCreek | www.ClearCreekCounty.org
Idaho Springs Made rich by gold, still rich with history, Idaho Springs is your first stop in the mountains on your Colorado adventure. Only 20 miles west of Denver, the Victorian community of Idaho Springs will take you back nearly 150 years to the flourishing hub of Colorado’s gold country where fortune seekers from all over the world were lured by the promise of riches. In January of 1859, prospector George Jackson struck gold at the confluence of Vasquez and Chicago Creeks, and triggered the Colorado Gold Rush! Prior to Jackson’s discovery, Idaho Springs was the ancient meeting grounds for the Mountain Ute and Arapahoe tribes. The healing waters of the hot springs were sacred to both, and “Idaho” (Idahoe) is said to be an ancient Arapahoe word meaning “Gem of the Mountains.” Remnants of the Spanish Conquistadors presence may also be found in the nearby hills and valleys. There’s still history to discover, beauty to explore, and memories to take home. Start your journey at the Idaho Springs Heritage Museum and Visitor Center, where the friendly staff can help plan your itinerary and lodging. Whether you’re looking for a private cabin, a funky 1950s motel, a backcountry campground, or a beautifully restored Victorian bed and breakfast, Idaho Springs has the accommodations for you. If you’re looking for beautiful scenery in town, view Bridal Veil Falls as it plunges behind the historic waterwheel built in the 1890s by gold miner Charlie Taylor. Charlie was quite a character and attributed his longevity to the fact that he never bathed or kissed women! The falls are located on the south side of I-70. The path begins near the restored narrow gauge train No. 60 at City Hall Park. Take a walking tour through the past as you stroll down Miner Street through the National Historic District, which was built by Cornish miners. Read the historic markers on the buildings and discover where Buffalo Bill Cody had his last drink, where U.S. Grant stayed, and much more. Then, drive up Colorado Boulevard to see the stately Victorian homes and old miner bungalows. Stop in at any of the fine restaurants for Colorado cuisine or at the Tommyknocker Brewery for a locally crafted ale. If you’d like a piece of Colorado to take home, the merchants would be delighted to help you. Idaho Springs is also the perfect starting point
Facts for your outdoor adventure. Whether you’re interested in hiking, biking, rafting, camping, or just exploring, our hundreds of miles of trails, and beautiful mountain vistas await you. Stop in at the Clear Creek Ranger District - National Forest Visitor Center for free trail maps and information.
• Founded in 1859 • 7,526 ft in Elevation
Information Heritage Museum and Visitor Center (303) 567-4382 2060 Miner Street P.O. Box 1318 Idaho Springs, CO 80452 www.VisitIdahoSpringsColorado.com Clear Creek Ranger District National Forest Visitor Center (303) 567-3000 101 Chicago Creek Road P.O. Box 3307 Idaho Springs, CO 80452 www.fs.fed.us
Our community is surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountains and City Hall spectacular vistas can be (303) 567-4421 found at every turn. Take a 1711 Miner Street day trip along the highest P.O. Box 907 paved highway in the Idaho Springs, CO 80452 Northern Hemisphere, www.idahospringsco.com Mt. Evans Scenic Byway, and experience it for yourself. Breathtaking wilderness areas are rivaled only by the thrill of reaching Mt. Evans’ 14,265-foot summit. On the way up be sure to watch for wildlife including mountain goats, elk, deer, pikas, marmots, and bighorn sheep. Or take a drive up “Oh My Gawd” Road, which gets its name from its narrow, curving lanes and scenic views. This road is located on the north side of town with incredible views of Mt. Evans and the Continental Divide. Idaho Springs is the perfect center point for your Colorado vacation and is a “must-see” where history and adventure meet!
Facts • Dumont is 7,933 ft in Elevation • Lawson is 8,107 ft in Elevation • Downieville is 8,031 ft in Elevation
Dumont - Lawson - Downieville Dumont, Lawson, and Downieville are three small unincorporated communities located along the I-70 corridor between Idaho Springs and Empire. Today these communities are home to a few businesses and offer access to trail systems for outdoor enthusiasts! Lawson is home to our Whitewater Park, which offers several in stream structures and the original Lawson Hole. The Lawson Whitewater Park is used for a rafting put in and is great for recreational kayaking, fishing, and splashing fun!
The park includes over 400 feet of trails, terracing, and public access points. There is parking, public restrooms, and a changing area. Just Remember - The park closes one hour after sunset and reopens one hour after sunrise. No fires, camping, or overnight parking allowed. No cutting or removing of trees. Dogs must be on leash and please clean up after your dog. Please dispose of trash properly, as this is bear and mountain lion habitat. Users assume all liability for risks associated with park activities. Helmets and personal flotation devices are recommended. Conditions can change quickly, so know your abilities and your limits. Stay in the area of the park as obstructions to navigation exist downstream. There is no lifeguard on duty. Getting Here - From Denver, take I-70 west to exit 234 onto County Road 308. At the stop sign, continue west on County Road 308 to Alvarado Road where you will take a left. Cross over the bridge, travel about 400 feet, and the Whitewater Park is on the right. (Note: Lawson Whitewater Park is just about one mile off the interstate.)
Facts • Founded in the 1860s • 8,615 ft in Elevation
Information Town Hall
Empire Empire is one of Clear Creek County’s hidden gems. Located just off I-70 on US Highway 40 in a sunny star-shaped valley traversed by Clear Creek, making it an ideal location and a great base for mountain adventures, refreshing tranquility, or a mix of both. Surrounded by stately evergreens and towering mountains, try your hand at angling for the elusive trout in numerous lakes, or explore the backcountry on 4-wheel-drive roads. Whether you want to experience the thrill of snowshoeing in a pristine valley, shopping for stained glass artwork and antiques, soaking in a claw-foot bathtub in a Victorian bed and breakfast, or enjoying a delicious ice cream cone, Empire is the
(303) 569-2978 30 E Park Avenue P.O. Box 100 Empire, CO 80438
perfect destination. Come spend some time strolling down historic Park Avenue, where you can enjoy unique shopping and dining opportunities. Empire began as a gold mining camp in the 1860s and was called Valley City until 1882, when it was incorporated as the Town of Empire. The Mountain Utes were the first to enjoy this “Valley of Big Timber” where their ceremonial camping grounds existed. Take a tour through Minton Park and the Miners’ Cemetery, where the elaborate headstones are some of the best preserved in the area. Although the Utes and gold miners are gone, Empire has retained its charm. Come see for yourself and spend some time with us.
The Peck House After more than 30 years, Empire’s historic Peck House Hotel and Restaurant closed in April 2014, as owners Sally and Gary St. Clair chose to retire.
: w o n k u o y id D he t f o e m o h Empire is fe a C k c o R d r original Ha Est. 1934
Facts • Founded in 1859 • 8,530 ft in Elevation
Information Gateway Visitor Center (303) 569-2405 1491 Argentine Street Georgetown, CO 80444 www.Georgetown-Colorado.org Community Center and Visitor Information (303) 569-2888 613 6th Street Georgetown, CO 80444 www.town.georgetown.co.us City Hall (303) 569-2555 404 6th Street P.O. Box 426 Georgetown, CO 80444 www.town.georgetown.co.us
Georgetown Since its beginning as a mining camp in 1859, Georgetown has attracted those who have sought something very special. First it was the magic of gold and silver ore, now it’s the beauty and ambiance of this picturesque town surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. Whether your visit is for the day or the week, the friendly staff at the Gateway Visitor Center and the Community Center will be delighted to help you. Georgetown and Silver Plume are National Historic Landmark Districts. In Georgetown you will experience an incredible blend of past and present, where the difference is almost imperceptible. You may feel it as you stroll the side walks, or visit the meticulously restored buildings filled with exciting shops and restaurants. Enjoy an ice cream cone with your family on historic 6th Street, or find a souvenir that will remind you of your trip year after year! To truly step back in time, take a trip on the Georgetown Loop Railroad® as it makes its way up the mountain to the historic community of Silver Plume. This incredible narrow gauge steam train traverses Clear
Creek and circles over itself at the picturesque Devil’s Gate Bridge while pumping out the rhythmic steam “I think I can, I think I can.” Also, be sure to visit the Hamill House, Hotel de Paris, Georgetown Firefighting Museum, or the Georgetown Energy Museum, to see how the Victorian community thrived at the height of the mining era. Georgetown is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, where you can enjoy mountain biking, hiking, fishing, 4-wheeling, starry summer nights, and exploring to your heart’s content. Georgetown is part of the Silver Heritage Area, which spans the Continental Divide at Loveland Ski Area to Empire Junction and you can get lost in the solitude of our mountains and valleys. Three of Clear Creek County’s 14,000-foot peaks are located just outside of Georgetown and climbing to the summit is a wonderful way to take in the grandeur of the area. 14,060-foot Mt. Bierstadt is located just off the Guanella Pass Scenic Byway. Get out and explore Guanella’s numerous hiking trails. There’s truly nothing quite like a “Colorado Rocky Mountain High.”
Silver Plume To stroll down the dirt main street of Silver Plume is like taking a step back in time. The small Victorian houses you pass by were homes to Colorado’s earliest silver miners during the 1870s. Imagine dirt streets filled with braying mules, bustling shops, and saloons, as Italian and Cornish immigrants return home from the mines that tower above town. Today less than 200 residents make this their year round home, but during the peak of its population, between 1885 to 1905, more than 2,000 people lived in this community. The history of the Rocky Mountain West lives in Silver Plume. From the silver mines, which gave Silver Plume its name, to the small downtown Main Street shops, Silver Plume is full of picturesque buildings and attractions that
create an exciting atmosphere of history and adventure. While in Silver Plume be sure to visit the George Rowe Museum, which was the schoolhouse and the center of activity in the community’s past. The museum is open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Take a self guided walking tour of the Clifford Griffin Monument located just above Silver Plume honoring the owner of the SevenThirty Mine. Or perhaps you would like to visit with the merchants for afternoon tea, shop for antiques or try the local Apothecary and bread bar famously known for their specialty bitters! Oh, and don’t forget to take a ride on the historic Georgetown Loop Railroad at the Silver Plume Depot.
Facts • Founded in 1880 • 9,101 ft in Elevation
Information Town Hall (303)569-2363 710 Main Street P.O. Drawer F Silver Plume, CO 80476 www.SilverPlumeCO.com
All Aboard! The Georgetown Loop Railroad® was one of Colorado’s first visitor attractions. Completed in 1884, this spectacular stretch of three-foot narrow gauge railroad was considered an engineering marvel for its time. In 1959, the centennial year of the discovery of gold in Georgetown, the Colorado Historical Society (today’s History Colorado) created the Georgetown Loop Historic Mining & Railroad Park®. The Society, over time, negotiated a donation of mining claims and mills, and 978 acres of land. Rail line construction began in 1973, with track and ties donated by the Union Pacific Railroad.
1864: After the collapse of the gold-mining era, silver is discovered in the area and Georgetown booms again, bringing experienced miners from California and Nevada who realize previous mining attempts in the town and surrounding mountainside had been weak, leading to the formation of the Argentine Mining District.
Timeline: Georgetown Summer 1859: Following the great gold rush, the Griffith brothers from Kentucky (George and David) traveled to Central City. Finding the area overcrowded, they continued on following the south fork of Clear Creek toward the gold discoveries at present Idaho Springs. Within two days, on June 17, George Griffith hits pay dirt. The news travels quickly and a small and growing settlement begins, known as “George’s Town.”
October 1871: Representatives from Georgetown meet with officials of the Colorado Central Railroad to discuss a better way to transport the millions of dollars of ore coming out of the region.
In 1973, the Colorado Historical Society began restoring the railroad as part of its 978-acre Georgetown Loop Historic Mining & Railroad Park®.
1866: By year’s end, Georgetown is growing faster than any other Colorado community. Small hotels are opening up for tourists but the town still lacks a railroad.
Timeline: The Railroad December 1872: The first railroad line up Clear Creek Canyon reaches Black Hawk. The construction, funded by bonds from Clear Creek and Gilpin Counties, was organized by William A.H. Loveland, a “fifty-niner” and proponent of the Colorado Central railroad.
1877: The railroad reaches Idaho Springs in June, thanks to financier Jay Gould who controlled the Union Pacific (UP) and supplied the necessary funds to complete both the route to Idaho Springs and the later route to
Georgetown, completed in August 1877. The railroad makes access open for freight, ore, consumers and passengers to Georgetown. The Rocky Mountains are open for tourists.
1879: Georgetown becomes the “Silver Queen of Colorado” for only a short time that year when news of large silver strikes spread across the region from Leadville, one of the greatest strikes to date. Gould strives to have the Colorado Central be the first rail line to reach Leadville. The track to reach Leadville from Georgetown is an obstacle due to narrowing of the valley west of the city and an area where the average grade is over 6 percent (too steep for most trains). UP chief engineer, Jacob Blickensderfer, devises a system of curves and bridges, reducing the average grade to 3 percent. The plan includes three hair pin turns, four bridges and a 30-degree horseshoe curve from Georgetown to Silver Plume.
1884: The first trains arrive in Silver Plume. Another line, the Denver & Rio Grande (D&RG), is completed into Leadville from the south. Gould’s interest in pushing the Georgetown line over the mountains wanes. The Georgetown, Breckenridge and Leadville Railroad line ends permanently a few miles past Silver Plume.
1880s and into the early 1900s: The community and the Georgetown Loop become a tourist center for those who venture west to encounter the wild ruggedness and romance. Tourism in the West develops around railroad excursions. With seven trains a day running out of Denver
at the height of its popularity, the Georgetown Loop is Colorado’s scenic “must see” and a deal at only $3 round-trip. Guidebooks, pamphlets and postcards help send the images of the steep canyons and mountain peaks accessible by train across the nation. Early 1900s: The advent of the automobile brings mountain tourists to Colorado, but dramatically reduces excursion train trip revenues for the railroad. The Georgetown Loop runs two trains a day from May through September only.
1938: The last of the trains run from Denver to Silver Plume. The line from Idaho Springs to Silver Plume is abandoned and the Georgetown Loop dismantled, ending a colorful era in railroad history. 1940s: The demand for manpower on the battlefields and in supply production during World War II prompts the final closing of Georgetown’s gold and silver mines, compounding railroad losses. 1941: The final miles of track from Golden to Idaho Springs are closed.
1959: The centennial celebration of the discovery of gold in Georgetown and the surrounding areas is formed under the leadership of James Grafton Rogers, chair of the Colorado Historical Society’s board of directors. Almost 100 acres of mining claims and mills are donated, including the Lebanon-Everett mines. The Society begins a program of land acquisition and lease with >> Article Continued Page 10
>> Article Continued from page 9
plans to eventually reconstruct the entire length of the Georgetown Loop.
1969: Work begins on opening the Lebanon mine tunnel. The tunnel is cleared its full length and wired for lighting. Excavation outside uncovers the sites of four mine buildings apparent in historic photographs, including a blacksmith shop, a miners’ change room or “dry,” a mine manager’s office and a tool shed. 1973: Construction of the rail line begins after the Union Pacific donates the track and ties for the reconstruction of the Georgetown Loop. Rolling stock is gathered and bridges set in place. 1975: The first operating season of the new Georgetown Loop operates on a small portion of completed track. 1977: The line slowly lengthens from Silver Plume and tracks reach the upper end of Devil’s Gate. 1978: The historic buildings at the Lebanon mine are reconstructed and opened to the public and visitors. The Lebanon Mill is stabilized and rebuilt through the Society’s work with historians, archaeologists and a preservation architect.
1982: A $1 million grant from the Boettcher Foundation, in honor of E. Warren Willard, a former partner of Boettcher & Company and a board member of the Colorado Historical Society (today’s History Colorado), finances the final segment of the railroad’s reconstruction, the Devil’s Gate High Bridge.
August 1, 1984: Governor Richard D. Lamm dedicates the Devil’s Gate High Bridge, and the entire reconstruction of the Georgetown Loop is complete and open for visitors along the entire route.
A replica of the High Bridge was completed in 1984 in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its original construction.
August 19, 1985: The Colorado Historical Society turns its attention to increasing visitor facilities and historical interpretation along the route. In August 1985, the Morrison Valley Center, now known as the Devil’s Gate Station, is dedicated. The station currently includes boarding and ticketing areas, a gift store, visitor facilities, and parking. 1985: The historic Silver Plume Depot is restored.
1986: An engine house is completed to service locomotives. The Colorado Historical Society also completes a series of interpretive markers throughout the park ranging from historic events to the park’s geology and natural history. This interpretation is made possible with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which also sponsors the publication of a book, The Georgetown Loop: A Capsule History and Guide. 1987 to present: Additional visitor amenities have been added, including hiking trails and restrooms, and new loading platforms. At the Silver Plume Depot, a new car building interprets and displays rolling stock and other railroad-related exhibits.
Timeline: The Lebanon Silver Mine 1869: Work begins at the Lebanon mine and the Lebanon Mining Company is incorporated in 1871. 1881: The mining company finally strikes the Hise Lode 1,100 feet from the portal. Profitable veins are found and the company enjoys an excellent reputation as a solid producer.
1880s: In 1885, the Lebanon is one of only 50 mines in the Georgetown area still producing silver ore. The tunnel reaches its greatest length of 1,200 feet in 1886, but drastic silver price declines end further work. By the end of the decade, the mine is silent.
Special Events... Mother’s Day Weekend Bring your Mom and have a great day at the Georgetown Loop Railroad. All mothers riding the train this weekend will be given a red rose and a hand decorated box of chocolates in recognition of the special place that they hold in all of our hearts.
Train & Gold Mining Days Trains will depart approximately every 17 minutes for the 2 weekends of the Gold Mining Days activities. Guests may stay as long as they want up until the last train departure of the day for their respective parking area. Guests can experience operating a long tom, sluice, and pan for real gold. There will be demonstrations on how the old timers packed their burros, how a blacksmith made everyday metal items, and how to pan for gold. Every guest will receive a bag of sand containing about 1.5 grains of gold that they can pan out in panning ponds. Abbreviated tours of the Lebanon mine will be available.
Father’s Day Weekend Dad needs his special day also! Join us on Saturday, Father’s Day eve, for a special Steak and Lobster train. The train departs at 6:30pm from our Silver Plume Depot at exit 226 on I-70. Show up early and toast our fathers both current and times past. July 4th Cowboy BBQ Evening Train The 4th of July Celebration Train is more fun and better than ever. Combine our great cowboy BBQ with an evening of fun and live music. What a way to celebrate the holiday! Fireworks from the high bridge dependent on weather. Tickets go fast, so please reserve early!
Ales on Rails Trains These evening trains are offered throughout the summer and fall months, and are a fun and casual way to enjoy the Rocky Mountains. Dine on a traditional meal of bratwurst, sauerkraut, and potatoes or specialty dinners with matching Colorado micro brew beers.
Pumpkin Festival Trains This ever popular event is back with a new location for your enjoyment on the first two weekends of October. These excursions are a great favorite of children, their parents, and grandparents. A hay bale maze or hay ride, (weather dependent) is set up at the Lebanon Silver Mine, where we also have a bouncy castle, games, treasure hunt, face painting, and wonderful characters to entertain the little ones.
Oktoberfest Trains The Oktoberfest Trains are offered on the last two weekends of October and the first weekend of November. These excursions operate in our enclosed heated coaches. We have a free Colorado micro brew beer tasting for all adult riders, (root beer for the younger ones) and a free bratwurst or hot dog for all riders. Come enjoy the crisp fall days as you ride on the Georgetown Loop. Big Horn Sheep Festival Train Join us the second Saturday in November as the Colorado Division of Wildlife boards the train to talk about our famous Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep. The Big Horns are headed down valley for warmer environments for the winter. A special viewing area is setup just North of the town of Georgetown next to the lake.
Santa’s North Pole Adventure Santa returns in mid-November to pass out more presents and treats. Join Santa and his helpers aboard decorated, enclosed, heated coaches on weekends starting the weekend before Thanksgiving, through Dec 14th, and then daily through Dec 24th. After the holiday, from Dec 26th though the 4th of Jan, except Jan 1st, Santa comes back on vacation, and will be passing out goodies to the little ones.
Holiday Lights Trains Offered on Friday and Saturday evenings in late November and through December, this ride allows you to relax from your shopping endeavors and join us for a beautiful synchronized holiday music and light show. Winding through the beautiful snow covered Rocky Mountains in our enclosed heated coaches is a unique wintertime experience.
Special Dinner Trains These special trains are offered on Friday and Saturday evenings from mid-June through mid-October. Served high above Clear Creek in our first-class parlor cars, some of our dinners feature Steak and Lobster, Rib-eye steak, and Rocky Mountain Trout. Vegetarian and child meals are available on certain trains. Come join us for a truly magical evening.
Wine Tasting Trains Our wine trains are returning after rave reviews. We have found many new and exciting wines from vineyards across the world to share with you. These will be matched with a selection of delicious accompaniments or dining selections to please your palate. Enjoy this while sitting in our enclosed coaches atop the Devil’s Gate High Bridge above Clear Creek.
Discover a truly unique shopping experience in our historic mining communities of Idaho Springs, Empire, Downieville, Dumont, Lawson, Georgetown, and Silver Plume. Come explore, and you will be sure to find that one of a kind gift or souvenir to create a lasting memory of your vacation in Clear Creek County. Whether you are in Idaho Springs Empire, Georgetown, or the surrounding area — all of the restaurants offer a delicious assortment of wonderful food, and when you are through eating, stroll through the beautiful shops and art galleries! There is truly something here for everyone!
Idaho Springs • A Culture of Speed 1538 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.acultureofspeed.com (954) 632-2211 • Artisan’s Jewelry Colorado Mountain Gems 1447 Miner Street, Idaho Springs (303) 567-2789 • Canyon Trading 1527 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.canyontradingco.com (303) 567-4116 • Clear Creek Outdoors 1524 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.clearcreekflyfishing.com (303) 567-1500
• Clear Creek Supply Company 2448 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs (303) 567-2693
• Echo Lake Lodge Gift Shop 13264 Chicago Creek Road, Idaho Springs www.echolakelodgeco.com (303) 567-2138 • Fall River Botanicals 1535 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.fallriverbotanicals.com (303) 567-0152 • Georgetown Valley Candy Company 1501 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.shopgvcc.com (720) 242-9524
• Grow in Peace 1241 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.growinpeace.com (303) 567-GROW • Hidden Treasures 1612 Miner Street, Idaho Springs (303) 870-5228 • Honey Pie Thrift Shop 1800 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs (303) 567-2671 • Idaho Springs Treasures Pawn and Loan 1520 Miner Street, Idaho Springs (303) 567-2039 • Jewelry by Antonio 1506 Miner Street Idaho Springs www.jewelrybyantonio.com (303) 216-0708
• Mountain Tool and Feed I-70 and Central City Parkway, Idaho Springs www.mountaintoolandfeed.com (303) 567-0122 • Sawtooth Gallery 1634 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.sawtoothgallery.com (303) 567-2143 • Ski Country Antiques 114 Homestead Road at I-70 and Floyd Hill, Idaho Springs www.skicountryantiques.com (303) 670-8726 • The Emporium 1620 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.theirishemporium.com (303) 567-1151 • The Knife Shop 1609 Miner Street, Idaho Springs (303) 567-2760
• Kind Mountain Collective 1535 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.kindmountaincollective.com (720) 514-9278
• The Majestic Gallery 1636 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.themajesticgallery.com (303) 567-9303
• Margie’s Place Gift Store 1534 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.margiesplace.com (303-567-9383)
• The Soap Shop 1542 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.sudsorama.com (303) 567-0428
• Miner Decadence 1536 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.minerdecadence.com (303) 567-1704
• The Wild Grape 1435 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.wild-grape.com (303) 567-4670
• Mountain and Road Bicycles 1514 Miner Street, Idaho Springs (303) 567-4666
• Tibet Jewel 1434 Miner Street, Idaho Springs (720) 412-6383
• Breeze/Max 999a County Road 308, Downieville www.skirentals.com (303)629-0111 • Empire Sports 1041a County Road 308, Downieville www.ski-empiresports.com (303) 567-2996 • HARB Ski Systems 107 County Road 308, Downieville www.harbskisystems.com (303) 567-0679 • T.B.S. Board Shop 1041b County Road 308, Downieville (303) 567-9279
Empire • Altitude Sickness Board Shop 3 West Park Avenue, Empire www.altitudesicknessboardshop.com (720) 884-7929 • Annie’s Gold and Collectibles 183 East Park Avenue, Empire www.anniesgold.us (303) 569-2125 • East Park Avenue Antiques 6 East Park Avenue, Empire www.eastparkavenue.com (303) 569-3210 • Glenbrook Gallery 125 West Park Avenue, Empire www.theglenbrookgallery.com (303) 569-3000 • J.R. Clockmaker 42 East Park Avenue, Empire www.jrclockmaker.com (303) 919-6182
Georgetown • Antique Emporium 501 Rose Street, Georgetown (303) 569-2727 • Bierstadt Books and Beans 612 6th Street, Georgetown www.bierstadtbooks.com (303) 569-5036 • Black Diamond Ski and Cycles 1540 Argentine Street, Georgetown www.blackdiamondskiandcycles.com (303) 569-2283
• Buckskin Trading Company 506 6th Street, Georgetown www.buckskintradingcompany.com (303) 569-2050
• Rocky Mountain Miniatures 614 Rose Street, Georgetown www.mtnminiatures.com (303) 569-3100
• Colorado Mountain Art Gallery 406 6th Street, Georgetown www.coloradomountainartgallery.com (303) 569-2787
• Santa Fe Trail Jewelry 614 6th Street, Georgetown www.santafetrail.net (303) 569-0400
• End of The Line 503 6th Street, Georgetown www.georgetownloopgifts.com (303) 569-2058
• Shoppe International 608 6th St. Georgetown (303) 569-2495
• Georgetown Gallery of Fine Art 614 Sixth Street, Georgetown www.georgetowngalleryco.com (303) 569-2218 • Georgetown Rock Shop 501 6th Street, Georgetown www.georgetowncolorado.com (303) 569-2750 • Georgetown Valley Candy Company 500 6th Street, Georgetown www.shopgvcc.com (303) 569-2778 • Grizzly Creek Gallery, Inc. 512 6th Street, Georgetown www.grizzlycreekgallery.com (303) 569-0433 • Kneisel & Anderson Store 511 6th Street, Georgetown (303) 569-2650 • Mad Mike’s Outdoor Gear & Espresso Bar 1416 Argentine Street, Georgetown (303) 569-4010 • Nana’s Gifts and Treasures 610 7th Street, Georgetown (303) 569-2664 • Nirvana Collection 614 6th Street, Georgetown (303) 569-1011 • Ophelia’s Antiques 606 6th Street, Georgetown (303) 569-2336 • Parlor Car 612 6th Street, Georgetown (303) 569-2218 • Railroad Art by Scott 612 6th Street, Georgetown www.railroadart.com (303) 569-2600
• Stonehenge Gallery 504 6th Street, Georgetown www.stonehengecolorado.com (303) 569-2153 • The Shoe Merchant 507 Rose Street, Georgetown www.theshoemerchantonline.com (303) 569-5065 • The Trading Post 510 6th Street, Georgetown (303) 569-3375 • The Quilted Purl 600 Rose Street, Georgetown www.thequiltedpurl.com (303) 569-1115
Silver Plume • DRAM Apothecary Tasting Room and Bread Bar 1010 Main Street, Silver Plume www.dramapothecary.com (720) 608-0063 • Silver Plume Tea Room 940 Main Street, Silver Plume www.silverplumetearoom.com (303) 569-2368
Shopping. . .
Let Clear Creek County be your base for relaxation as you explore Colorado, and the majestic Rocky Mountains! Reserve your place of rest and then venture out to enjoy the variety of activities our county has to offer! Our lodging will make your home away from home a great place to rejuvenate for your next adventure. Choose from cozy cabins on the creek, quaint bed and breakfasts, along with traditional small motels and inns. We hope you enjoy your stay!
Idaho Springs • 6 & 40 Motel 2920 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs (303) 567-2691 • Argo Inn and Suites 2622 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs www.argoinnandsuites.com (303) 567-4473 • Blair Motel 345 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs (303) 431-0637 • Brooklyn Mining Co B&B 658 Pisgah Lake Road, Idaho Springs www.brooklynminingco.com (303) 601-2348 • Call of the Canyon Cabins 104 West Chicago Creek Road, Idaho Springs www.canyoncabins.com (303) 567-0170
• Columbine Inn 2545 Colorado Blvd., Idaho Springs www.columbineinn.info (303) 567 0948
• H & H Motor Lodge 2445 Colorado Blvd., Idaho Springs www.hhlodge.com (303)567-2838 • Idaho Springs Motel 2631 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs (303) 567-2242 • Indian Hot Springs 302 Soda Creek Road, Idaho Springs www.indianhotsprings.com (303) 989-6666
• J C Suites 2801 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs www.jcsuites.com (303) 567-9263 • Miner’s Pick B&B 1639 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs www.theminerspick.com (303) 567-4870
• Mt. Evans Trout Fishing & Cabins 4125 Highway 103, Idaho Springs www.mtevanstroutfishing.com (303) 567-4017
• Georgetown Mountain Inn 1100 Rose Street, Georgetown www.georgetownmountaininn.com (303) 569-3201
• Squaw Mountain Fire Lookout Highway 103 and Forest Road 192.1, Idaho Springs www.recreation.gov (303) 567-3000
• Historic St. James Vacation Rental 614 Rose Street, Georgetown (303) 569-3100
• The Silver Lake Lodge B&B 336 Crest Drive, Idaho Springs www.thesilverlakelodge.com (303) 567-9299 • Top’s Motel 2725 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs (303) 567-4177
Empire • Rocky Mountain Village Easter Seal Camp 2644 Alvarado Road, Empire www.easterseals.com (303) 569-2333 • Mad Creek B&B 167 West Park Avenue, Empire www.madcreekbnb.net (303) 569-2003
• Horstmann House B&B 400 9th Street, Georgetown www.horstmannhousebb.com (303) 569-3038 • Hotel Chateau Chamonix 1414 Argentine Street, Georgetown www.hotelchateauchamonix.com (303) 569-1109 • Saxon Mountain Vacation Home 350 Saxon Mtn Road, Georgetown (303) 674-8665 • Super 8 Georgetown 1600 Argentine Street, Georgetown www.super8.com (303) 569-3211
Silver Plume • The Historic Windsor Hotel 515 Woodward Street, Silver Plume (303) 569-2161
Places to Stay. . .
eek Gallery es - Grizzly Cr of Gary A. Hain Photo courtesy
Under the Stars... • Clear Lake* Campground Sites: 8 Elevation: 10,000 feet Vehicle Length: 15-25 feet Standard Site Fee: $13 nonreservable Location: 4 miles south of Georgetown on Guanella Pass Road Activities: Hiking, Fishing, Mountain Biking, Wildlife Viewing • Cold Springs* Campground Sites: 38 Elevation: 9,200 feet Vehicle Length: 32-50 feet Standard Site Fee: $16 Location: 5 miles north of Blackhawk on Highway 119 Activities: Scenic Driving • Columbine* Campground Sites: 47 Elevation: 9,200 feet Vehicle Length: 20-55 feet Standard Site Fee: $15 Location: 2.5 miles northwest of Central City on County Road 3 Activities: Mountain Biking, 4-Wheel Driving • Cottonwood RV Camp Campground Sites: 28 Elevation: 7,750 feet Vehicle Length: Large RV’s okay Standard Site Fee: $34-40 Location: 1485 Highway 103, Idaho Springs (303) 567-2617 www.cottonwoodrvcolorado.com
• Echo Lake* Campground Sites: 18 Elevation: 10,600 feet Vehicle Length: 20-55 feet Standard Site Fee: $15 Location: 14 miles south of Idaho Springs at the Highway 103 and Highway 5 junction Activities: Hiking, Scenic Driving, Fishing, Wildlife Viewing • Guanella Pass* Campground Sites: 18 Elevation: 10,900 feet Vehicle Length: 35-45 feet Standard Site Fee: $15 Location: 9 miles south of Georgetown on Guanella Pass Road Activities: Hiking, Wildlife Viewing, Scenic Driving
• Pickle Gulch* Campground Sites: 6, limit 30 people/site, walk-in tents only. Reservations required. Elevation: 9,200 feet. Standard Site Fee: $40 - $55 Location: 4 miles north of Blackhawk off Highway 119 • West Chicago Creek* Campground Sites: 16 Elevation: 9,600 feet Vehicle Length: 30-45 feet Standard Site Fee: $14 nonreservable location Location: 3 miles off Highway 103 on West Chicago Creek Road Activities: Hiking
• KOA Denver West/Central City Campground Sites: 60+ Elevation: 8,490 feet Vehicle Length: 80 feet Max Length Location: 605 Lake Gulch Road Central City (303) 582-3043 • Mizpah - Closed Indefinitely Campground Sites: 0
Photo courtes y of Dustin Sc haefer
* Reservations are not required, but encouraged: Visit www.recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777
Gold & Silver Mine Tours • Argo Gold Mill Mine Museum 2350 Riverside Drive, Idaho Springs www.historicargotours.com (303) 567-2421 In 1894 the longest mining tunnel in the world connected Idaho Springs and Central City. This historic selfguided mine and mill tour with gold panning is open daily and Winter Tours are subject to weather. Fee.
• Edgar Experimental Mine 365 Eighth Avenue, Idaho Springs (303) 567-2911 Open late May through August. Tours take one hour and go a half mile underground. This mine is run by the students and faculty of the Colorado School of Mines who try out traditional mining techniques as well as the latest advances in technology. By appointment only, please call ahead for tour. Fee.
• Georgetown Loop Railroad and Lebanon Silver Mine Tour 646 Loop Drive, Georgetown 825 Railroad Avenue, Silver Plume www.georgetownlooprr.com (888) 456-6777 All Aboard! Journey back in time with a ride on one of Colorado’s great historic rails. Whether it’s your first time or your 10th you’ll
be amazed at the wonder and excitement of traveling the Devil’s Gate High Bridge and riding the engineering marvel that is the Georgetown Loop! Lebanon Silver Mine tour is only accessible by train. Open May through January. Fee. • Phoenix Gold Mine 800 Trail Creek Road, Idaho Springs www.phoenixgoldmine.com (303) 567-0422 Explore this working gold mine with a third-generation hard rock miner. Great story telling and fun for the entire family. Try your hand at gold panning on Trail Creek. Fee.
Museum Tours • Bowman-White House Museum 901 Rose Street, Georgetown www.historicgeorgetown.org (303) 569-2840 Tours of this historic home are available through Historic Georgetown, Inc. Please call in advance. Fee. • George Rowe Museum 905 Main Street, Silver Plume (303) 569-2562 Located in a schoolhouse built in 1894 of Silver Plume brick. Open Memorial Day to Labor Day. Donations requested.
• Georgetown Energy Museum 399 Sixth Street, Georgetown (303) 569-3557 An educational tour of the history of energy and power at a working hydroelectric plant. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day, 11am to 5 pm, seven days a week. Group tours by appointment. Donations requested. • Georgetown’s Firefighting Museum at Hose House No. 2 5th Street, Georgetown www.historicgeorgetown.org (303) 569-2840 Exhibits include hose carts, a hand pulled hook and ladder wagon, memorabilia, and the tower with hose drying racks and a fire alarm system utilizing a telegraph device to activate the bell. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Fee. • Hamill House Museum 305 Argentine Street, Georgetown www.historicgeorgetown.org (303) 569-2840 Visit this beautifully restored 19th-century Victorian home and experience our new handson exhibit in the laundry house/ summer kitchen, which is now part of our regular tour. Fee.
• Hotel de Paris Museum 409 Sixth Street, Georgetown www.hoteldeparismuseum.org (303) 569-2311 Built by Frenchman Louis Dupuy in 1878 as an elegant hotel, this restored museum is run by the Colonial Dames. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Fee. • Heritage Museum and Visitor Center 2060 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.VisitIdahoSpringsColorado.com (303) 567-4382 A wonderful collection of mining artifacts and memorabilia from the Victorian era. Donations requested. • Underhill Museum 1416 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.historicidahosprings.com (303) 567-4709 A fascinating collection of mining artifacts and authentic living accommodations. Donations requested.
Brewery Tour • Tommyknocker Brewery Tour 1401 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.tommyknocker.com (303) 567-2688 Take a tour of our local microbrewery to learn how small batches of specialty beers are crafted. Ask your server to explain
the legend of the Tommyknocker and how these spirits were active in the mining history of the County.
Walking Tours • Art Galleries Spend an afternoon strolling through the multiple art galleries in Idaho Springs, Empire, and Georgetown. Each gallery features local Colorado artists with artwork ranging from photography, to oil on canvas, jewelry, wood work, sculpture, furniture, and more! - Glenbrook Gallery - Georgetown Gallery of Fine Art - Grizzly Creek Gallery - Sawtooth Gallery - Stonehenge Gallery - The Majestic Gallery • Historic Tour of Georgetown 1491 Argentine Street, Georgetown www.Georgetown-Colorado.org (303) 569-2405 Stop by the Gateway Visitor Center for a printed walking tour guide complete with photos, directions and information about the history of Georgetown and the Guanella Pass Scenic and Historic Byway. - Mines and Mills - Georgetown Loop Railroad - Homes - Commercial Buildings - Churches - Guanella Pass Scenic Byway
• Historic Tour of Idaho Springs 2060 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.historicidahosprings.com (303) 567-4382 Stop by the Heritage Museum and Visitor Center for a printed walking tour guide complete with photos, directions and information about the discovery of gold and the history behind many of the historical sites in Idaho Springs. - George A. Jackson Monument - Charlie Taylor Waterwheel - Steve Canyon Statue - Argo Mill and Mine - Newhouse Tunnel - Indian Hot Springs - Hose Houses - Churches - Historic buildings - Cemetery
Mines, Museums and Walking Tours. . .
Photo court esy of Gary A . Haines Grizzly Cr eek Gallery
Here you can find a local grocery store, laundromat, bank, post office location, Veterinary service, and more! Don’t forget to pamper yourself and schedule a day of relaxation at the spa!
Auto Repair • A-OK Auto Clinic, Inc. 1351 Idaho Street, Idaho Springs (303) 567-2466 • Bragg Automotive & Towing 1210 Argentine Street, Georgetown www.braggautomotive.com (303) 569-2451 • Ed’s Auto and Small Engine 105 27th Place, Idaho Springs (303) 550-2966 • Grumpy Dutchman Automotive & Towing 613 Water Street, Silver Plume www.grumpydutchman.com (303) 569-3330 • Silver City Automotive & Towing 243 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs (303) 567-0662
Banks • Evergreen National Bank 1546 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.enbcolorado.com (303) 569-9700 2390 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs www.enbcolorado.com (303) 567-2611
502 6th Street, Georgetown www.enbcolorado.com (303) 569-9700
• Mutual of Omaha Bank 1744 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.mutualofomahabank.com (303) 567-2696
A few ATM Locations • Idaho Springs - Evergreen National Bank, Mutual of Omaha Bank, Kum and Go, Safeway, Tommyknocker Brewery
• Dumont/ Downieville - Conoco • Empire - Subway • Georgetown - Evergreen National Bank, Cake, Lucha Cantina, Valero, Loveland Ski Area (in season)
Dentistry • David J. Drescher, DDS 1625 Miner Street, Idaho Springs (303) 567-4412 • George S. Douvas, DDS, PhD 102 Spruce Lane, Idaho Springs (303) 567-0840 • Thomas Losacco, DDS 801 6th Street, Georgetown (303) 569-3141
Emergency Services • Dial 911 • Clear Creek County EMS 411 West Chicago Creek Road, Idaho Springs (303) 567-2752 • Clear Creek County Sheriff 405 Argentine Street, Georgetown www.clearcreeksheriff.us (303) 679-2376 • Clear Creek Fire Authority 681 County Road 308, Dumont www.clearcreekfire.com (303) 567-4342
Grocery & Liquor Stores • Clear Creek Liquor 2325 Miner Street, Idaho Springs (303) 567-2525 • Georgetown Liquors 1406 Argentine Street, Georgetown (303) 569-3138 • Georgetown Market 1204 Argentine, Georgetown (303) 569-2464
• Kneisel & Anderson 511 6th Street, Georgetown (303) 569-2650 • Mountain Moonshine Liquors 2812 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs (303) 567-2438 • Safeway 2425 Miner Street, Idaho Springs (303) 567-4471 • Tomato Spirits & Supply 433 East Park Avenue, Empire (303) 569-2820
Hair Salons and Services • Betsy Hair 1530 Argentine Street, Georgetown (303) 569-3082 • Simply Hair 1800 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs (303) 567-1144 • Tall Grass Day Spa 997 Upper Bear Creek Road, Evergreen www.tallgrassspa.com (303) 670-4444 • The Barber Shop 1516 Miner Street, Idaho Springs (303) 567-4204 • U Salon and Spa 1438 Miner Street, Idaho Springs (303) 883-0724
Laundromats • B&J Laundromat 1347 Idaho Street, Idaho Springs (303) 567-9940 • Sons Suds & Duds 2801 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs www.jcsuites.com (303) 567-2746
• Idaho Springs Public Library 219 14th Avenue www2.youseemore.com/clearcreeklibrary (303) 567-2020 • John Tomay Memorial Library 605 6th Street, Georgetown www2.youseemore.com/clearcreeklibrary (303) 569-2620
Massage and Body • Celestial Mountain Massage 1630 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.idahospringsmassage.com (303) 589-2388 • Idaho Springs Chiropractic Center 1800 Colorado Boulevard, Suite 8 Idaho Springs www.idahospringschiropractic.com (303) 567-9211 • Indian Hot Springs Resort 302 Soda Creek Road, Idaho Springs www.indianhotsprings.com (303) 989-6666 • Relieving Touch Massage 2401 Colorado Boulevard, Suite D, Idaho Springs www.relievingtouchmassage.com (303) 475-5933 • Tall Grass Day Spa 997 Upper Bear Creek Road, Evergreen www.tallgrassspa.com (303) 670-4444 • U Salon and Spa 1438 Miner Street, Idaho Springs (303) 883-0724
Pharmacy • Safeway Pharmacy 2425 Miner Street, Idaho Springs (303) 567-2496
Services. . .
Post Offices • Dumont Post Office 307 County Road 308, Dumont (303) 567-4907 • Empire Post Office 215 West Park Avenue, Empire (303) 569-2908 • Georgetown Post Office 700 6th Street, Georgetown (303) 569-2771 • Idaho Springs Post Office 2420 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs (303) 567-2903 • Silver Plume Post Office 850 Main Street, Silver Plume (303) 569-3121
Recreation Center • Clear Creek Metro Rec District 1130 Idaho Street, Idaho Springs www.clearcreekrecreation.com (303) 567-4822
Transportation Services • Colorado Mountain Express www.coloradomountainexpress.com (720) 488-9191 • High Country Shuttle www.highcshuttle.com (720) 288-5456 • Mountains Taxi www.mountainstaxi.com (303) 333-8294 • Roadrunner Express www.denvercoloradoairportlimousine.com (720) 297-7369
Veterinary & Pet Services • Happy Tails and Whiskers 1640 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.happytailsandwhiskers.com (303) 567-1102
• Charlie’s Place Animal Shelter 500 West Dumont Road, Dumont www.charliesplaceshelter.org (303) 679-2477 • Clear Creek Veterinary Clinic 1209 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.ccvetc.com (303) 567-2895 • Mountain Tool and Feed I-70 and Central City Parkway, Idaho Springs www.mountaintoolandfeed.com (303) 567-0122
Yoga Studios • Sol Yoga 1106 Rose Street, Georgetown www.solcentered.weebly.com (303) 569-2431 • The Yoga Room 1424 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.theyogaroomis.com (303) 567-2439
Clear Creek County Government Offices (303) 679-2300 405 Argentine Street P.O. Box 2000 Georgetown, CO 80444 www.co.clear-creek.co.us School District RE-1 (303) 567-3850 320 Highway 103 P.O. Box 3399 Idaho Springs, CO 80452 www.ccsdre1.org
r C a e reek l C
Clear Creek is approximately 66 miles long, headwaters just northwest of Grays Peak and joining the South Platte near the junction of Interstate 76 and highway 224. The creek was famous as the location of the most intense early mining and provided the route of the Colorado Central Railroad. Clear Creek was originally named Cannonball Creek as early as 1820, called so by the French hunters of the expedition of Stephen H. Long. In the 1830s it became known as Vasquez Fork, also Vasquez River, after the fur trader Louis Vasquez who had his fort at the mouth of the river and trapped along it. It gained its present name from the gold rushers in 1859. Kayakers’ discovered Clear Creek in the early 1950s but when construction of I-70 started they left. In 1989 commercial rafting was started on Clear Creek. The first company failed, but in 1992 Clear Creek Rafting started the success we enjoy today. The rafting industry in 2012 had its best year ever contributing $7 million directly and almost $18 million in economic impact. 60,644 rafters in 2011 is up 16% and the largest year for Clear Creek and 2nd largest in state. The total state experienced a 1% decline in rafting in 2012. Fees are paid to Clear Creek County, Idaho Springs, and Jefferson County depending on the Put-In and Take-Out jurisdiction by the rafting company.
Clear Creek has an average gradient of 67 feet per mile, and over 100 feet per mile on the advanced sections of the river. That simply translates to more rapids per mile. This in conjunction with proximity to Denver makes Clear Creek very accessible. Clear Creek offers a prefect beginner— starting with class II rapids so everyone can practice and then goes to class III rapids. Intermediate traditionally starting in Dumont offers 5 class IV rapids surrounded by class III. Below Lawson Bridge there is one mile of continuous class IV rapids. The lower canyon (The Tributary at 244 down to 119) is class IV advanced water, but has no cell phone reception. Below 119 is Black Rock with Class V rapids and thrilling just to WATCH.
Our rafting season is dependent upon the amount of snow on this side of the Continental Divide. When the snow starts melting at Loveland Ski Area it takes approximately 24 hours to come down Clear Creek to Lawson. The water will ebb and flow with the temperatures. The melt stops if temperatures drop to freezing. The rafting melt starts when temperatures are warmer longer than they are freezing. White water rafting on Clear Creek is totally dependent on Mother Nature. Rain will augment the water especially when a large upstream rain storm sends that ‘chocolate milk’ rushing in. This year we are praying for more snow—and a very wet spring. When 2 week Peak (actually Engelmann Peak) losses it’s snow we traditionally have 2 weeks left.
Clear Creek offers more rapids per mile than most CO rivers
The National Water Information System operated by the US Geological Survey in conjunction with the City of Westminster provides rafting companies with ‘Water Talk’, giving us current water conditions by phone or web. The website: waterdata. usgs.gov/nwis/uv has current and past information on water levels. Water is measured in cubic feet per second.
In Colorado rafting outfitters are regulated by Colorado State Parks, who recently merged with Department of Wildlife. The Colorado River Outfitter License is a certification of outfitters, their rafts, equipment used, safety regulations, guide specifications, sanitation practices, and documentation of each trip on the river. Colorado State Park Rangers do impromptu inspections of rafts, first aid supplies, guides, and office procedures periodically during rafting season. The commercially rafted rivers require a permit for each river. River Permits are governed by State Parks, Forrest Services, Counties, Cities and BLM.
Suzen Raymond, Mile Hi Rafting & ATV Tours www.MileHiRafting.com
Beginner to Class III Ra pids!
Formerly known as Cannonball Creek Photo court esy of Mile Hi Rafting
Local Rafting Companies • A1 Wildwater (970) 224-3379 • AVA Idaho Springs (970) 423-7031 • Browns Canyon Rafting (719) 275-2890 • Clear Creek Rafting Co (303) 567-1000 • GeoTours Whitewater Trips (303) 756-6070 • Highside Adventure Tours (970) 945-6737 • Independent Whitewater (713) 539-7737 • KODI Rafting (970) 668-1548 • Liquid Descent (970) 372-2870 • Mile-Hi Rafting (303) 567-0717 • Performance Tours, Inc. (800) 328-7238 • Raft Masters (719) 275-6645 • The Adventure Company (719) 395-6494 • Timberline Tours (800) 831-1414
• Mad Adventures (877) 776-9962
_ To St. Marys (no outlet)
FALL R IVER
Lower Dumont Access
Weight Station Access
40 £ ¤
ª« 2 3 3
Hemorrhoid Rock - Class III Post Hemorrhoid Drops - Class III
FA RI V LL ER
ª« 2 3 4
Lumpy's - Class IV
«ª "#$! 2 3 5
Meat and Beef - Class IV
Slurpy - Class III
2 3 6
N Spring Gulch Sotar Magnet
Upper Dumont Access
Nomad - Class III-IV
Stairs - Class III
2 3 7
Phoenix Holes - Class IV
Fall River - Class III-IV
Lawson Tube Access Mile Hi Rafting Access
State State Land Land Board Board
2 3 8
Fish Ladder - Class III
ª« 2 3 9
Deliverance - Class IV
Outer Limits - Class IV
Lawson Whitewater Park
Chicago Creek Put In
Wild Wild West - Class II
Arapahoe/Roosevelt Arapahoe/Roosevelt National National Forest Forest
To Mt. Evans
103 V U
103 V U
For additional copies of this map please contact the Clear Creek County Mapping department at: email@example.com Or go online at: http://www.co.clear-creek.co.us/ DocumentCenter/Home/View/98
Rapids in ClearCreek Creek County Clear Rapids
U_ V 119
State State Land Land Board Board
Box - Class III
70 " $ # !
2 4 4
Lower Box Access
Castle Falls - Class III
Highway 40 Access
High Top - Class II Sneaker - Class III
Charlie Taylor Water Wheel (Scenic Point)
Whew! - Class III
« ª ª« 2 4 5
2 5 8
6 £ ¤
Ejector - Class III-IV River Left Double Knife Foot Access
ª« 2 4 6
2 6 0
ª« 2 5 9
40 £ ¤
Double Knife - Class IV-V
Terminator - Class IV
2 4 3
2 4 2
Subway - Class III
Corkscrew - Class IV
Twister - Class III
Dizzy Lizzy - Class III Argo - Class II-III
Speed Limit 55 - Class II
Power Line - Class II-III
Tricky Dick - Class III
Five Bridges - Class II
Clear Creek Rafting Access
2 4 1
Lower Beaver Falls - Class IV
The Lounge - Class II
Mountain Lion - Class III
2 4 0
Upper Beaver Falls - Class IV
ª« 2 4 7
Hells Corner - Class IV
Golden Golden Gate Gate Canyon Canyon State State Park Park
70 " ! $ #
ª« 2 4 8
Tunnel 6 Access
Horrendous Left Turn - Class III-IV
Beaver Beaver Brook Brook Open Open Space Space
County Line Access
State State Land Land Board Board
103 U V
103 U V 103 U V
103 U V
April, 2012 H:\Arcmap_projects\Emergency_services\ClearCreekRaftingMap.mxd
Clear Creek County is also where you can get your adventure on! From white water rafting, to hiking, bike trails, fishing, ziplining, ice racing, ski vacations, hot springs, scenic byways, 14,000-ft. peaks (14ers), to the highest paved road in the Northern Hemisphere - there is truly something for every level of adventure. And, because we’re so close to Denver, you don’t have to travel far to enjoy the mountains! Book your trip today!
ATV Tours • Mile Hi Rafting and ATV Tours 3627 Alvarado Road, Dumont www.milehirafting.com (303) 567-0717 Join us for an exciting adventure atop an ATV- All Terrain Vehicle or our new Polaris Ranger UTVUtility All Terrain Vehicle. Tours are available 7 days a week all year long, weather permitting - A little snow adds to the fun! • Rocky Mountain Quad Squad 2823 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs www.quadsquadatvtours.com (303) 408-2470 With the Quad Squad ATV Tours we take care of everything. Just show up with proper clothes for the weather and we will take care of the rest! We provide helmets, gloves, goggles, and water.
• Rocky Mountain Village, Easter Seal Camp 2644 Alvarado Road, Empire www.dgcoursereview.com www.easterseals.com (303) 569-2333 Excellent disc golf course for just $5 per person! The course is open to the public – with the exception of May 15th through August 15th when camp is underway.
Hot Springs • Indian Hot Springs 302 Soda Creek Road, Idaho Springs www.indianhotsprings.com (303) 989-6666 Soak your cares away in the hot mineral springs! Choose from the community indoor pool, geothermal cave baths once shared by the Ute and Arapahoe Indians, or private indoor and outdoor hot tubs. Spa packages, resort amenities and lodging facilities also available.
Horse Back Riding • A&A Historic Trails 608 Virginia Canyon Road, Idaho Springs www.aastables.com (303) 567-4808 Horseback riding enthusiasts can take long scenic trails through the mountains located outside of Idaho Springs. A&A offers rides through aspen meadows with views of the Continental Divide and Mt. Evans, as well as ride in/ride out trips to the Central City casinos and mines.
Ice Racing • Our Gang Ice Racing Georgetown Lake, Georgetown www.ourgangiceracing.com (303) 331-2886 Our Gang has been putting on ice racing events in Colorado for over 37 years. Our events are open to 4 wheel drive or AWD vehicles only.
Skiing & Snowboarding • Loveland Ski Area Exit 216 Interstate 70, Georgetown www.skiloveland.com (303) 571-5580 Loveland is Colorado’s true winter wonderland. Just 53 miles west of Denver Loveland boasts 1,800 acres of remarkable terrain, FREE snowcat skiing, an innovative lesson program and more snow than any Front Range or Summit County resort.
Ziplines • AVA Colorado Zipline Tours 431 Colorado Hwy 103, Idaho Springs www.coloradozipline.net (800) 370-0581 Our cliff-side zipline course is perched high above our outpost on a wooded mountainside with 6 zips of varying lengths and intensity taking you through paths of beautiful cliffs and trees with drops to satisfy even the adrenaline junkie. Conclude with a zip over Chicago Creek for a photo finish! • Colorado Adventure Center Zipline Adventures 2350 Riverside Drive, Idaho Springs www.raftingcolorado.com (877) ZIP-RAFT Experience the thrill of soaring through the treetops with breathtaking views. Climb sky high 65’ towers and tour more than 3,000 feet through alpine trees and across Clear Creek!
• A Culture of Speed 1538 Miner St, Idaho Springs www.acultureofspeed.com (954) 632-2211
• HARB Ski Systems 107 County Road 308, Dumont www.harbskisystems.com (303) 567-0679
• Black Diamond Ski and Cycles 1540 Argentine St, Georgetown
• Loveland Ski Area Sport Shop Exit 216 Interstate 70, Georgetown www.skiloveland.com (303) 571-5580
(303) 569-2283 • Breeze/Max 999a County Rd. 308, Downieville www.skirentals.com (303)629-0111 • Empire Sports 1041a County Road 308, Downieville www.ski-empiresports.com (303) 567-2996 • Exit 240 Ski & Bike Rental 1313 Idaho St, Idaho Springs (303) 567-2220 www.skirental240com
• Maison De Ski 2804 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs (303) 567-2044 www.maisondeski.com • Mountain and Road Bicycles 1514 Miner St, Idaho Springs (303) 567-4666 • T.B.S. Board Shop 1041b County Road 308, Downieville (303) 567-9279
St. Marys Glacier Saint Mary’s Glacier is a semi-permanent snowfield located in Idaho Springs, just nine miles above Exit 238 off I-70. The community is rich in history and the Glacier Hike is one of the top tourist destinations in Clear Creek County. Parking is limited for the St. Mary’s Glacier Hike, however there are two pay parking lots south and north of the trail head - $5 per day, per vehicle, cash only. Restrooms and trash facilities are located at both parking lots. No parking is allowed on Fall River Road or within the subdivisions. Leashed pets are always welcome! ATV’s and/or other motorized vehicles may not be unloaded anywhere in the Alice, St. Mary’s or Winterland communities. The lakes in the community are private, and illegal fishing is considered poaching and will be prosecuted as the lakes are patrolled regularly. There are no U.S. Forest Service campgrounds in the area. Camping is dispersed, primitive and first come first serve. Thank you in advance for respecting any fire bans that may be in effect and please remember to pack out your trash. www.stmarysglacier.com
More Things to do. . .
Fishing Clear Creek
d n e k e e W de Mayo
With the arrival of each season in Colorado comes a barrage of new outdoors opportunities. And just as we’ll score our first ski runs after the mountains get pummeled with snow each November and December, we’ll also hit the rivers for our first few casts as that snow starts to melt in April and May.
The cycle keeps life fresh in Colorado, and it makes sporting special. Put away the snowboard and snowshoes, and prep the fly rods and the camping equipment. And repeat. I made my first casts of 2014 on Cinco de Mayo weekend in Clear Creek Canyon, that winding stretch of road best known by blackjack dealers, the casino faithful and anglers who know the river’s deep pools and oxygenated riffles as good as any other stretch in Colorado. Considering Clear Creek Canyon is less than a half-hour from downtown Denver, it’s amazing the river wasn’t more crowded with fishermen than it was that sunny weekend.
Much of fly fishing is about the ritual of it all. I’m just a beginner, and yet I’ve had enough of these days to know the motions well.
Retrieve my waders and boots from that highest shelf in the closet. Grab my rods and gear from the basement. Double-check the fly boxes, and make sure I have enough lead in case the fish aren’t rising to my dry fly. Find my old fishing license, and make a plan to stop by Englewood’s excellent Outdoorsman’s Attic for a new one. A blanket and water for the dog. Chairs, picnic and beers for us. And my hat – my hemp-fiber Tilley – which is one of the few pieces of clothing I automatically associate with
relaxation. As soon as I tried on my hat, for the first time since last fishing season, I knew we were ready.
About 20 minutes after leaving the house my fiancée, our dog and I are turning out of Golden and onto Highway 6. Its early gentle curves are foreshadowing of more dramatic ones to come. The drivers behind us clearly have purpose, and we pull over at one of the many pull-offs to let them pass; Our pace is more leisurely, and we’re giving the water a loose read from the road, as best we can. We pull off on one well-maintained dirt patch, but the river there is running too fast and high with all that excitable early-season runoff, so we continue on. Less than three or four miles from Golden city limits we find something better: A dirt pull-off with plenty of room, a well-worn dirt path down to a modest beach, rocks for tables and no trees or bushes – good news for my lady’s sunbathing and my casting.
Less than 15 minutes after our arrival: She’s comfortable with a Modelo and her Kindle, and I’m bringing in my first catch of 2014: A valiant fighter that revealed himself to be an eight-inch brown trout. He was a beautiful little guy, but this wasn’t his first rodeo; Situated in his lip next to my fly was a swivel from a previous angler who almost brought him into the net.
I gently removed my fly from his boney lip and then took out the swivel, tucking it away for good luck in my bib. And then I gave him the farewell taught to me by my father, a sportsman who proudly practices only catch and release: “Thanks a lot, man. I hope to catch you again.” And with that he left my hands and back into the deep and surprisingly clear waters of Clear Creek.
>> Article Continued Page 28
Outfitters • Clear Creek Outdoors 1524 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.clearcreekflyfishing.com (303) 567-1500 • Mt. Evans Trout Fishing & Cabins 4125 Highway 103, Idaho Springs www.mtevanstroutfishing.com (303) 567-4017
Fishing Licenses • Clear Creek Outdoors 1524 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.clearcreekflyfishing.com (303) 567-1500 • Downieville Conoco 1039 County Road 308, Downieville (303) 567-4730
Photo cou rtesy
• Safeway 2425 Miner Street, Idaho Springs (303) 567-4471 of Don A llan and the Histori cal Societ y of Idah o Springs
>> Article Continued from page 26
A fisherman will tell you: “There’s a reason they call it fishing – and not catching.” We’ve all come up goose-eggs on immaculate stretches of gold-medal water. But that little guy was the welcome wagon, the proud ambassador of one of the finest rivers in the region telling me, “Hey, welcome back. And please leave the beach cleaner than you found it.” He made up for his limited size with a beautiful color that shimmered in the stark sunlight, inspiring a legitimate “Whoa” from my rarely impressed lady. For the next three or four hours I worked that stretch of river dutifully. The runoff from the snow melt was fierce, so it wasn’t really possible to reach the stunning, crystalline pools on the other side of the river. But there was plenty else to fish, and a few took notice to a hopper I tied on amid a gorgeous set of champagne riffles. I saw one of them coming after the hopper, even, but I didn’t set the hook fast enough.
Highway 6 directly follows this stretch of Clear Creek, but the traffic on the popular road isn’t as intrusive as you might think. When you’re down on the river, especially in the early months when it’s running high from runoff, you can’t even hear the fisherman 20 feet away asking what they’re biting on. Sure, you’ll hear the weekend warriors on their Harleys, but that’s about all the man made action rising above the sound of the river. You can find more secluded stretches of Clear Creek, but for a quick afternoon trip from the metro area why bother?
I’d worked the river downstream beyond a big curve where kayakers were having a rough time eddying out amid all of the whitewater when I recognized the sun’s position: It was almost time to go. I tied on one last fly for the day, a stonefly, and gave myself 10 last casts before walking up to the road and heading upstream to our day camp. Again, ritual takes over.
I carefully cast upstream, watching the fly’s natural float and recasting a bit further into the pool with each run. I always end my days on the river like this: “One more fly and 10 more casts.” Sometimes it actually works, but most of the time it’s simply a comedown, a TTFN (ta-ta for now) to help me transition back into the real world waiting for me on the shore.
As we quickly packed our camp and got the dog into the car, making plans for a happy hour and dinner that evening, we recounted the last few hours. My fiancée told me about our book club tome, which she’s loving (and considerably further with than I am). I told her about my quest to reach the pools on the other side as she laughed and told me she’s glad I didn’t venture into the deep and fast-moving center of the river. We followed the gentle curves of Clear Creek Canyon back out to the interstate and then home, where our cats curiously smelled my waders and nonverbally scolded us for not bringing home that little brown trout for them to snack on. Ricardo Baca, Denver Post firstname.lastname@example.org Ricardo Baca is a novice fly fisherman and a veteran journalist. He’s the founder of the music blog Reverb, co-founder of the music festival The UMS, founder of the culture site The Cannabist and a 12-year staffer at The Denver Post. www.denverpost.com
in Clear Creek County
Elevate your game and make Clear Creek County your next destination into the backcountry. With almost 75% of our land in public ownership we specialize in public access and vast areas to roam freely over the Arapaho/ Roosevelt National Forest, County Open Space lands and state wildlife areas open to hunting. If you choose not to pitch camp, then no worries, reaching our backcountry from the comfort of one of our historic mining towns is possible within minutes.
Before you book your adventure check out Colorado Parks and Wildlife for season dates, licenses and information other pertinent information at: cpw.state.co.us Big Game Hunting Clear Creek County is divided in two primary Game Management Units (GMUs) - Units 38 and 39 - offering unique opportunities for everyone to pursue six of North Americaâ€™s premier big game species â€“ elk, mule deer, mountain lion, bear, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep. Unit 39 includes vast areas of roadless pursuits south of I-70 and U.S. 40 with access into the secluded Mount Evans Wilderness. Unit 38 includes more off-highway vehicle-friendly trails that give you a shot at animals roaming North of Interstate I-70 and U.S. Highway 40.
Small Game Hunting The air may be thin in Clear Creek County, but not the endless opportunities to pursue small game species unique to our mountains. Come and enjoy an experience that will take you from the bottom of our foothills to mountaintops chasing turkey, rabbits, ptarmigan, squirrel, Dusky grouse, and coyotes. For information on small game licenses and dates - and other big game hunting opportunities in Clear Creek County - please refer to Colorado Parks and Wildlife at: cpw.state.co.us Tim Mauck, Clear Creek County Commissioner www.co.clear-creek.co.us
Elk Colorado has the largest herd of elk in North America, and Clear Creek County has the iconic western species right in our own backyard. Elk tags in Unit 39 typically must be applied for in the draw before April 1st in the year you desire to hunt. Unit 38 also offers tags through the draw, but also unlimited over-thecounter tags for second and third elk seasons.
Deer Both GMUs 38 and 39 offer opportunities to put you on the rugged Mule Deer Colorado is known for. Tags for both units are offered through the draw, but Unit 38 typically has leftover tags that may be obtained from Colorado Parks and Wildlife in August before the season begins.
Stop by many of the unique restaurants while you are on your Colorado vacation to camp, hike, bike, ski, snowboard, white water raft or any of the great outdoor sports Clear Creek County has to offer.
• Morning Gold Bakery Donuts and Coffee 1637 Miner Street, Idaho Springs (303) 905-7386 • Picci’s Pizzeria & Bakery 2731 Colorado Blvd., Idaho Springs www.piccispizzeria.com (303) 567-0345 • Smokin’ Yards BBQ 2736 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs (303) 567-9273 • Starbucks Coffee 2900 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs (303) 567-2578
Idaho Springs • Azteca Mexican Restaurant 1628 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.restaurantazteca.com (303) 567-2933 • Beau Jo’s Pizza 1517 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.beaujos.com (303) 567-4376 • Buffalo Restaurant and Bar 1617 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.buffalorestaurant.com (303) 567-2729
• Carl’s Jr. 2901 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs (303) 567-2255
• Cherry Blossom Asian Cuisine 2700 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs (303) 567-1166 • Echo Lake Lodge Restaurant 13264 Chicago Creek Road, Idaho Springs www.echolakelodgeco.com (303) 567-2138 • Flipper McGill’s Pinball Bar & Grill 1535 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.fmpinball.com (303) 885-0984
• Georgetown Valley Candy Company 1501 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.shopgvcc.com (720) 242-9524 • Hilldaddy’s Wildfire Restaurant 2910 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs www.hilldaddyswildfire.com (303) 567-2775 • Java Mountain Roasters 1510 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.jmrcoffee.com (303) 567-0304 • Jiggie’s Cafe 1743 Miner, Idaho Springs (303) 567-9942 • Main Street Restaurant 1518 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.mainstrestaurant.com (303) 567-2788 • Marion’s of the Rockies 2805 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs (303)567-2925 • McDonalds 2911 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs (303) 567-1410 • Miner Decadence 1536 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.minerdecadence.com (303) 567-1704
• Subway 2384 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs (303) 567-2429 • Sugar Plum 1845 Miner Street, Idaho Springs (303) 567-4470 • Sunshine Express of Colorado Mobile Truck & Cafe coming soon! 1856 Colorado Boulevard, Idaho Springs www.sunshineexpressco.com (720) 203-4878 • The Tributary at 244 Restaurant & Bar Exit 244 off I-70, East of Idaho Springs www.thetributary244.com (303) 567-2227 • Tommyknocker Brewery & Pub 1401 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.tommyknocker.com (303) 567-2688 • Two Brothers Deli & One Door Down 1424 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.twobrothersdeli.com (303) 567-2439 • Vintage Moose 123 16th Avenue, Idaho Springs www.vintagemoose.com (303) 567-2375 • West Winds Tavern 1633 Miner Street, Idaho Springs (303) 567-0982
• Starbucks Coffee 308 County Rd #308, Downieville (303) 567-4530
• Bierstadt Books and Beans 612 6th Street, Georgetown www.bierstadtbooks.com (303) 569-5036
• Mothers Saloon 601 14th Street, Georgetown (303) 569-2479
• Blue Sky Cafe 1510 Argentine Street, Georgetown (303) 719-0317
• Mountainbuzz Cafe & Pizzeria 1200 Argentine Street, Georgetown www.mountainbuzzcafe.com (303) 569-2020
• Cake 710 6th street, Georgetown www.georgetowncake.com (303) 569-5043
• Mountain Girl Bakery 405 6th Street, Georgetown www.mtngirlbakery.com (303) 569-1112
• Ed’s 1859 Cafe 410 6th Street, Georgetown (303) 569-5042
• Subway 1502 Argentine Street, Georgetown (303) 569-0140
• End of the Line Ice Cream Fountain 503 6th Street, Georgetown (303) 569-2058
• The Dusty Rose Tea Room 614 Rose Street, Georgetown www.dustyrosetearoom.com (303) 569-3100
• Euro Grill Restaurant 1025 Rose Street Georgetown www.eurogrillrestaurant.com (303) 569-2126
• The Happy Cooker 412 6th Street, Georgetown www.happycookerrestaurant.com (303) 569-3166
• Subway 83 East Park Avenue, Empire (303) 507-2731
• Georgetown Valley Candy Company 500 6th Street, Georgetown www.shopgvcc.com (303) 569-2778
• Troia’s Cafe & Marketplace 511 Rose Street, Georgetown (303) 569-5014
• 1860 Tavern & Restaurant 409 East Park Avenue, Empire (303) 569-3045
• Lillie’s Soft Serve 612 6th Street, Georgetown (303) 241-7421
• DRAM Apothecary Tasting Room and Bread Bar 1010 Main Street, Silver Plume www.dramapothecary.com (720) 608-0063
• Subway 1039 County Rd #308, Downieville (303) 567-4213
Empire • Empire Dairy King 181 East Park Avenue, Empire (303) 569-3103 • Hard Rock Cafe, The Original 18 East Park Avenue, Empire (303) 569-2618 • Jenny’s Restaurant 4 West Park Avenue, Empire www.jennysofempire.com (303) 569-2570 • Lewis Sweet Shop 208 East Park Avenue, Empire www.lewissweetshop.com (303) 569-2379
Georgetown • Alpine Restaurant 1106 Rose Street, Georgetown www.alpinerestaurantgeorgetown.com (303) 569-0200 • A Whistle Stop Cafe 1400 Argentine Street, Georgetown (303) 569-5053
• Lucha Cantina 606 6th Street, Georgetown www.luchacantina.com (303) 569-2300 • Mad Mike’s Outdoor Gear & Espresso Bar 1416 Argentine Street, Georgetown (303) 569-4010
• Silver Plume Tea Room 940 Main Street, Silver Plume www.silverplumetearoom.com (303) 569-2368
Meals, Snacks, and more. . .
• Mount Evans Scenic Byway
Open Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend – Weather Permitting. Take I-70 to Exit 240 and follow the signs to Highway 103 and Mount Evans. Drive South 14 miles and turn onto Highway 5, which will take you approximately 14 more miles to the Mount Evans Summit* (From Exit 240, it is about a 1 hour drive to the Summit)
Just before Highway 5 you will arrive at Echo Lake. Be sure to visit the Echo Lake Lodge Restaurant and Gift Shop for a bite to eat, or to pick up a few souvenirs. It is also the last stop for water and restrooms before reaching the Summit. While you are here, you will need to check-in at the Forest Service Station and pay the Mount Evans Summit fee of $10 per vehicle to proceed driving up the remaining 14 miles on the highest paved highway in North America!
On your drive up you will pass several mountain lakes, and wind through the gorgeous Alpine Meadows, an ancient Bristlecone Pine forest with miles of undisturbed tundra, amazing plant life, and plentiful wildlife. You may even see Mountain Goats, Marmots, and many more animals along the way – We only ask that you DO NOT FEED any wildlife on your adventure. Once you reach the Summit of Mount Evans, you will be at 14,265 feet with incredible views of the entire Front Range and the Continental Divide. Many of the flora and fauna life zones at the Summit are the same as those found at the Arctic Circle. * The Mount Evans Summit, or the upper section of the road way is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day weather permitting. The small fee charged for the upper section of the byway provides funding to help maintain this incredible road.
• Guanella Pass Scenic Byway
Open Memorial Day Weekend through mid-October – Weather Permitting. Take I-70 to Exit 228 in Georgetown and follow the signs to Historic Georgetown and to the Scenic Byway. 23 miles long, Guanella Pass Scenic Byway follows the original wagon-route that linked the mining towns of Georgetown Colorado and Grant Colorado on US Highway 285. Along the way you will experience clear mountain lakes, water falls, incredible flora and fauna, animals, and trail heads. The byway is a spectacular drive in the fall, as the aspens put on their autumn best and shower the byway with leaves of gold.
• Oh My Gawd Road - AKA Virginia Canyon Open Year Round Take I-70 to exit 241 in Idaho Springs. Follow Colorado Boulevard into town. At the fork in the road stay to the right and then take the second right onto Virginia Canyon Road. This is a breath-taking shortcut to nearby Central City, another historic gold rush town known as the “richest square mile on earth” - This scenic dirt road gets its name from its spectacular views as well as its narrow and curving lanes. The canyon is filled with old mining sites, and like the travelers of yesterday, many people drive the road in search of gold as they travel between Idaho Springs and the gambling communities of Central City and Blackhawk. Open Year Round.
FREE, non-illustrated road maps are available at the local Visitor Centers...
Scenic Drives. . .
in Clear Creek County
Tips. . . Mountain Lions and Bears • Stay inside before dusk and before dawn: Closely supervise children and pets whenever they play outdoors. • Noise: Make lots of noise if you come and go during the times mountain lions are most active - dusk and dawn. • If You Meet a Mountain Lion: Stay Calm. Stop, and slowly back away while facing the lion. Do all you can to appear larger - raise your arms, open your jacket, pick up your children to protect them so that they won’t panic and run. Speak firmly and if the lion behaves aggressively, throw stones, branches, or whatever you can get your hands on without crouching down or turning your back. If the lion attacks you FIGHT BACK. • Keep Your Camp Clean: Store your food and garbage properly at all times. Keep your tent and sleeping bag free of food smells. Tents should be placed 100 yards from cooking/eating area, and clothes worn while cooking should be stored away. Store garbage in your trunk and pack it out at the end of your stay. • Store Your Food and Toiletries Safely: All food coolers, and toiletries should be stored in your trunk, or suspended from a tree - at least 10 feet from the ground and 4 feet out from the trees. Don’t underestimate the ingenuity of a bear! • If You Meet a Black Bear: Stay Calm. Stop, and slowly back away while facing the bear and avoid eye contact. Do not make any sudden movements. Speak softly and try to show no fear. If the bear attacks you FIGHT BACK.
High Altitude Information What are the effects of High Altitude? At high altitude everyone is affected to some degree. The effects vary among individuals and vary widely. The main difference between high altitude and sea level are; decreased oxygen density, and decreased humidity or moisture content in the ambient air. A sudden change in environment from sea level to high altitude can produce the common symptoms of nausea, headache, insomnia, diarrhea, restlessness, nosebleed, shortness of breath, and “air-hunger.” Some people experience palpitations or fast heart, nasal congestion coughing, increased gassiness, fatigue beyond normal expectations, and intolerance to any exertion. If the high altitude symptoms progress, more shortness of breath and increased coughing and pulmonary edema (fluid accumulating in the lungs) may occur, requiring medical attention and possibly hospitalization.
Be sure to keep physical exertion to an absolute minimum the first day! Over-exertion before your body can adapt to the lower oxygen and dryness can result in more severe
Here are a few simple ways to blend into an animal’s surroundings. In return you’ll be treated to a wildlife show that makes your heart pound and senses hum. • Fade into the wood work - Wear natural colors, unscented lotions, remove glasses, and walk softly. • Let animals be themselves - Do not share your food, “save” baby animals, or throw objects. • Stick to the sidelines - Use binoculars or zoom lenses, and give nests a wide berth. • Come to your senses - Focus and expand your attention, stop, look, and listen. • Be easy to be with - Relax, make yourself as small and unassuming as possible. • Think like an animal - When does it feed, nap, bathe, and drink? Dusk and dawn are usually good bets.
and persistent symptoms. Take a nap when sleepy and get a good night’s sleep after activity. If you experience any of the symptoms that were mentioned, you may be experiencing an oxygen deficit, and a day of rest is highly recommended. If your symptoms do not improve with rest, or new symptoms develop, please call a doctor or Practitioner. If you are over 35 and are planning strenuous exercise in high altitude, have a history of heart circulatory, lung disease, respiratory infections, pneumonia, or if you are pregnant please seek advice from your doctor prior to traveling. Infants are extremely susceptible to altitude sickness, as are pets, and it is recommended that children less than 3 years old, pets, and women in their third trimester do not go above 10,000 feet.
Edited by the Clear Creek County Tourism Bureau, based upon the written text by Barry D. Mink, MD, for the Pitkin County Friends of Heart in association with the American Heart Association.
What can be done to adapt to High Altitude? The initial symptoms should disappear as your body adjusts to the lowered oxygen content and dryness. This may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on what you eat, drink, and do. Aside from the amount of fluids you need to drink, moderation is key to coping with altitude. Eat lightly, and avoid alcohol for the first 48 to 72 hours. Drink plenty of water, flavored water, and green teas. Avoid drinking too much soda or juice and steer clear of energy drinks and electrolyte based drinks. Also, remember to steam up your hotel room by running the shower before you go to sleep, to aid in breathing.
Wildlife Watching Tips
All vehicles must travel on designated Forest Roads (FR), which have a number designation to allow better navigation throughout the forest. Many of these roads are impassable from late autumn through early summer due to snow and a few may be gated off at times for wildlife and resource protection.
Topographical maps show the steepness of roads while the Forest Service maps identify public and private lands. All distances listed are one way unless otherwise stated.
Please visit the Clear Creek Ranger District to pick up a FREE Motor Vehicle Use (MVU) Map!
2 Miles 1 0 1
Interstate Highway Paved Road Improved Dirt Road Four-Wheel Drive Road
Ste ve n
A - Kingston Peak B - Yankee Hill C - Apex D - Barbour Forks E - Devilâ€™s Canyon F - Ute and Cascade Loop G - Trail Creek H - Sxon Mountain I - Leavenworth J - Jones Pass K - Bill Moore/N. Empire Loop L - Fall River Resevoir M - Loch Lomond
Mount Evans Wilderness Area
Off-Highway Vehicles Trail Route Black Hawk Information Map 119
Here are a few suggested off-highway trail routes within Clear Creek County. Since road conditions can change, directions and distances are provided but difficulty is not.
B. Yankee Hill (FR175) Distance: 10 Miles – Access: From I-70, take exit 238 onto Fall River Road. Follow the road 1.5 miles and turn right onto York Gulch Road. Follow York until it turns into FR 175 and go another 8 miles to Yankee Hill. Return via the same route or continue 2 more miles on FR 175 to Cumberland Gulch. This will also return you to Fall River Road. Note: There are many designated Forest Roads in this area to explore, however a large amount of land in the area is private, please refer to MVU map. C. Apex (Mining Community - Gilpin County) Distance: 7 Miles – Access: From I-70, take exit 244 onto US 6. Go through two tunnels and turn left at the stoplight onto Hwy 119. Follow the highway past Blackhawk’s casinos turning left at the second - light to Central City. Take this road, Hwy 279, straight through Central City to what is known as Cemetery Corner. At this 3-way intersection, veer right. Eventually you will intersect with Apex Road. Turn left and proceed 5 miles to the small town of Apex. The road continues and meets Rollins Pass Road. Highlights: Apex is an old mining town with rich history and old cemeteries. A few residents still live there with private property all around. High alpine willow trees struggle to grow in the bogs and alpine wildflowers grow in the meadows. D. Barbour Forks (FR 194) Distance: 1.7 Miles – Access: From I-70, take exit 240 and turn north into Idaho Springs. Follow Miner Street east to Soda Creek Road and turn right. Go under I-70 and past the Indian Springs Resort. Follow this road for about three miles to a large parking area. FR 194 starts at this point, climbing up the valley and through meadows. Note: This road is closed in mid December through June 15th for elk calving season. E. Devil’s Canyon (FR 246) Distance: 2.5 Miles – Access: From I-70, take exit 240 south on Hwy 103 for 10 miles. Just after Ponder Point Picnic ground, turn left at the sign for Devil’s Canyon. Highlights: There are a number of different trails with varying degrees of difficulty. At the top of several ridges, views of Mt. Evans, Devil’s Canyon, and Clear Creek can be seen. Note: This road is closed in mid December through June 15th for elk calving season. F. Ute and Cascade Loop Distance: 12 Miles – Access: From I-70, take exit 240 south on Hwy 103 about 5 miles. Turn right onto Ute Creek Road (Co. 118) and drive for 2.2 miles turning right at a large boulder onto FR 712.2A. Travel another 1.7 miles until you meet up with a large junction. Turn left onto FR 712.2 heading south and down the mountain. Look for and turn onto FR 712.2B at another junction, then take FR 710.1. When you get to Cascade Creek Road (Co. 116), turn left and it will take you back to Hwy 103. Turn left again to head towards I-70. Highlights: Along the way you will pass small mountain creeks with old mining establishments tucked away in the woods. G. Trail Creek (County 136) Distance: 10 Miles – Access: From I-70, take exit 240 and turn north into Idaho Springs. At the second stop sign, turn left onto Colorado Blvd. Take this road west out of town and under
I-70 onto Stanley Road. Take Stanley Road west to Trail Creek Road (Co. 136) and turn left. This road will intersect Spring Gulch Road (Co. 130) and FR 712. You can return to Hwy 103 via Spring Gulch or take FR 712 to Georgetown (see Saxon Mountain). Highlights: Freeland ghost town, Lamertine Mine H. Saxon Mountain via Georgetown Distance: 7 Miles – Access: From I-70, take exit 228 to Georgetown. Proceed straight ahead to Main Street. Turn left and drive about 1 mile to the Saxon Mountain Road. Follow this up a steep rocky road for 7 miles to reach the top of Saxon Mountain. This road will continue on to both Ute and Cascade Creek Roads. Highlights: On the way up this mountain face, there is a great view of Georgetown and surrounding mountains. I. Leavenworth (FR 248) Distance: 8 Miles – Access: From I-70, take exit 228 to Georgetown and follow the signs to Guanella Pass Road. Climb up Guanella Pass for about 2.5 miles. Look for a brown sign on a sharp left switchback that reads, “Waldorf.” This road is called Leavenworth or FR 248; it’s rocky and steep in the beginning but levels out as it follows the old Argentine Central Railroad. Highlights: The town of Waldorf was a mining and milling camp around the turn of the century. When ore stopped coming in, the town died. Above Waldorf is the Santiago Mine reached by forest roads heading north. These mines are privately owned, so please respect the owner’s property. J. Jones Pass (FR 144) Distance: 3.3 Miles – Access: From I-70, take exit 232 onto US 40 and proceed west past Empire. Turn left at the sign for Henderson mine just past the tiny town of Berthoud Falls. Just before entering the Henderson Mine’s guardhouse, veer right onto Jones Pass Road, FR 144. Take this road all the way up and over the pass. There is a gate where the road ends and a hiking trail begins. Highlights: This road goes over the Continental Divide with wildflowers and camping spots along the way. Note: Jones Pass is covered with snowdrifts nearly year round and has no outlet.
Off-Highway Vehicle Trails. . .
A. Kingston Peak (FR 353) Distance: 6 Miles – Access: From I-70, take exit 238 onto Fall River Road. Stay on Fall River until you get to the town of Alice. Turn left onto Alice Road. Continue straight, bearing right at the first fork in front of the old schoolhouse. Stay on this road for about 1 mile and turn right onto Harris Drive. From Harris, turn left onto Glory Hole Road, then the first right onto Nebraska, then left onto Hillsdale, and finally right onto Lincoln. Go up Lincoln to where Kingston Peak Road takes off to the left. This road continues all the way to Tolland on Rollins Pass Road in the Boulder Ranger District. This road takes you up and over flats near James Peak wilderness and above St. Mary’s Glacier.
K. Bill Moore / N. Empire Loop (FR 171.2,183) Distance: 5 Miles – Access: From I-70, take exit 232 onto US 40 and proceed west to Empire. At the center of town, turn right onto North Empire. This is the only paved road going north out of town. Drive along North Empire Creek, FR 171.1, to the top of the ridge and follow it to the north. Continue along the east side of the ridge on FR 171.2. Turn left at each of the three consecutive junctions until you are on FR 183. At the end of FR 183 is a parking area. Bill Moore Lake is located just about one hundred yards past the parking area, by foot. Highlights: Between Bill Moore Lake and the Continental Divide there are two more small lakes. L. Fall River Reservoir (FR 174) Distance: 5 Miles – Access: From I-70, take exit 238 onto Fall River Road. After 6.5 miles, turn left onto FR 174 just below the second switchback. Stay on this road for three miles to Fall River Reservoir. Highlights: Take a left at the sign for Chinn’s Lake to access two more beautiful lakes. The road ends near Chinn’s Lake but the other lakes are accessible by foot. The Continental Divide rises up behind the lakes. M. Loch Lohmond (FR 701) Distance: 2 Miles – Access: From I-70, take exit 238 onto Fall River Road. Stay on Fall River until you get to the town of Alice. Turn left onto Alice Road. Continue straight past the old schoolhouse. A quarter mile past the Glory Hole Mine, turn right at the sign for FR 701 and two miles further is the lake. Highlights: Above Loch Lohmond are 4 more small lakes that hikers may access. The Continental Divide Trail follows this road before heading north towards James Peak.
Fitness and 14ers! A basic fitness routine will greatly benefit you in your attempt to conquer your first 14er...
There are 53 fantastic 14ers in the beautiful state of Colorado, four of them (Mount Evans, Grays Peak, Torreys Peak, and Mount Bierstadt) reside in Clear Creek County and are the closest 14ers to the Denver Metro Area. 14ers are a great idea if you’re looking for good exercise, fresh air, great views, and if you’re lucky - wildlife viewing.
14ers range all the way from 3 miles to 26 miles round trip (Pikes Peak is 26 miles), and can take anywhere from 3 hours to 15 hours to complete, depending on your pace. 14ers are not to be taken lightly and a basic fitness routine will greatly benefit you in your attempt to conquer your first 14er.
We all know, or should know, that 14ers are above 14,000 feet, and oxygen is much thinner at that elevation - thus there is a huge cardio aspect involved in any attempt of a 14er. Having a strong aerobic capacity (cardio) is a good idea before you start your journey to conquer the summit.
Not only is aerobic endurance vital to an enjoyable hike, but muscular strength and endurance as well. Most mountains are full of boulders that need to be climbed, leaped, stepped over and jumped on, and like I said before, some trails can be as long as 26 miles, and take up to 15 hours to complete! Having these tools (strong aerobic capacity, muscular strength and endurance) are far more important than any equipment you can buy and are vital to an enjoyable injury free journey to your first of many Colorado summits!
Monday and Friday
Rob’s 14er Workout
While it might seem like a good idea to just pack up one morning and start the journey up one of these mountains without any type of preparation or physical training, you are greatly mistaken. While the task of completing a 14er can be done without training, I am under the firm belief that it is better to reach the top (summit) happy and full of life as opposed to grumpy and half dead! And that’s just to reach the summit! You still have to go back down!
Treadmill Workout: Walk fast for 2 minutes at each incline level up to 10% and then back down.
Example: 5 minute warm up, 2 minutes at 1%, 2 minutes at 2%, 2 minutes at 3%, 2 minutes at 4%, 2 minutes at 5% Tuesday and Saturday Weighted Squats - 4 sets of 20 Walking Lunges - 4 sets of 20 Leg Extensions - 4 sets of 20 Leg Curls - 4 sets of 20 Standing Calf Raises - 3 sets of 50
Robert Grevious www.precisiontraining.net Robert Grevious is a 14er enthusiast, a Nationally Certified Personal trainer, and the owner of Precision Personal Training.
Tips For every thousand feet of elevation that is gained the temperature will drop 5.5 degrees. Ultraviolet radiation increases about 26% at elevations between 5,000 feet and 14,000 feet. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen, water, compass, and GPS device! Purchase a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) card - $3 for one year or $12 for five years. For more information please visit www.colorado.gov • Clear Creek County Sheriff 405 Argentine Street, Georgetown www.clearcreeksheriff.us (303) 679-2376 • Clear Creek Ranger District National Forest Visitor Center 101 Chicago Creek Road, Idaho Springs www.fs.fed.us (303) 567-3000 • Clear Creek Outdoors 1524 Miner Street, Idaho Springs www.clearcreekflyfishing.com (303) 567-1500 • Echo Lake Lodge Gift Shop 13264 Chicago Creek Road, Idaho Springs www.echolakelodgeco.com (303) 567-2138
Our County provides uncrowded trails and spectacular mountain scenery. Due to the expansive mine network, Clear Creek County has hundreds of miles of railroad grade, stagecoach trails, and mining roads. This trail network sprawls across the county like a spider web. In fact, many of the great single-track trails in the county started as double track wagon trails. There are a great variety of trails throughout Clear Creek County, from beginner paved bike routes, moderate single track, challenging climbs, and a handful of trails that are truly insane. All trail lengths listed are one-way, unless otherwise listed.
Hiking and Snow Shoeing
Silver Dollar Lake Trail #79 • Elevation gain/loss: 1,000’ • Length: 1.5 miles - More Difficult • Access: Just south of Guanella Pass Campground and north of the Guanella Pass, a wide spot in the road can be found. You may park here or travel another 1/4 mile up a 4-wheel drive road to another parking area, where the trail head starts. • About: This is a short hike yet the thin air and occasional steepness may be challenging. The trail leads to two lakes above tree line. The first lake, Naylor Lake is private property, you may look but please do not trespass. The second lake is Silver Dollar Lake; open for public use.
Grays Peak and Torres Peak #54 • Elevation gain/loss: 3,070’ • Length: 5 miles - Most Difficult • Access: Take the Bakerville exit off I-70. Head south on Stevens Gulch Road four miles. This road is very bumpy and may be considered a 4-wheel drive road. (The road is impassable in the winter) • About: Hiking way above tree line, Grays and Torreys offer hikers the opportunity to conquer two 14ers in one day. Being the highest mountains on the Continental Divide, photos may be taken on both the east and west side of the Rocky Mountain Range. Even in the summer months, snow fields still exist at such a high elevation. Always be prepared for sudden weather changes and start hiking early in the morning to avoid afternoon lightning storms. Herman Gulch Trail #98 • Elevation gain/loss: 1,600’ • Length: 2.5 miles - More Difficult • Access: 3 miles west of Bakerville at exit 218 and I-70.
• About: Starting on an old sawmill road, this trail emerges out of the forest within a mile of traveling. The sub-alpine flowers add beauty to an otherwise rocky terrain. Towards the top, rock cairns (rock piles) lead the way to Herman Lake. Bard Creek Trail #83 • Elevation gain/loss: 600’ • Length: 10 miles - More Difficult • Access: Out of Empire, follow County Road 252 (S. Empire Pass Rd.) for about 2 miles. The road becomes very rough and you may need a 4- wheel drive vehicle to travel the remaining 3 miles of Forest Service Rd. 777 where the trail begins. • About: Following the mountain ridge north of Georgetown, views of the town as well as the Continental Divide are numerous. Traveling through fields of wildflowers, groves of aspen trees, and passing several abandoned mines, Bard Creek Trail offers countless photo opportunities. The last mile joins with the Watrous Gulch Trail and takes you to I- 70. Chief Mountain Trail #58 • Elevation gain/loss: 910’ • Length: 1 mile - More Difficult • Access: From Idaho Springs, take Highway 103 to mile marker 18. The trail head will be on the south side of the road, however it is NOT marked. • About: Passing through a spruce and fir forest, you soon reach tree line in just a short distance. Here, the alpine tundra begins. The last stretch of the trail offers an overlook of the Bear Creek Basin, including Mt. Evans, Mt. Goliath, Rogers Peak, and Roslin Peak. Maxwell Falls Trail #111 • Elevation gain/loss: 600’ • Length: 2 miles - Easiest • Access: Just south of Evergreen on Hwy 73, take Brook Forest Rd. for 3 miles. To access the upper trail head continue to Black Mountain Rd., turning left and driving another 1.25 miles. • About: One of the easiest trails in the district, Maxwell Falls is a very enjoyable hike. It follows Maxwell Creek and is open from early spring to late autumn. The waterfalls are at their best in the spring when the snow runoff is plentiful. Watrous Gulch #95 • Elevation gain/loss: 1,500’ • Length: 2 miles - Most Difficult • Access: 3 miles west of Bakerville at exit 218 and I-70. • About: Beginning in the trees, this trail climbs above tree line during the first mile. You pass through an area where timber was harvested along the Watrous Gulch Creek during the 20th century at the height of the mining days. Once above tree line, wildflowers surround the ground like a quilt on a king size bed.
Bakerville Loveland Trail (BLT ) • Elevation gain/loss: 800’ • Length: 4.5 miles - Easiest • Access: Take the Bakerville exit off I-70. The trail head is on the south side of I-70 to the right of a large parking area. • About: The trail parallels the interstate yet you never even notice the highway traffic. The sound of Clear Creek flowing along the trail drowns out the zooming of vehicles and the trees along the creek bank obstruct the view of civilization. The Bakerville Loveland Trail is paved and is excellent for hiking, bicycling, snow shoeing and cross-country skiing.
Biking Georgetown-Silver PlumeArgentine Pass: • Type of Trail: Unpaved bike path, NOT suitable for road bikes • Elevation gain/loss: 900’ • Length: 5 Miles - Easy • Access: I-70 to Bakerville exit, turn south, immediately ahead there is plenty of parking at the trail head by the old chimney. • About: The sounds of the Clear Creek flowing and the trees along the creek bank make this easily accessible ride feel like an escape from civilization. This trail connects US 6 from Loveland Pass to the I-70 frontage road that starts at the Bakerville exit. Nice family rides with minimal climbing on a forested trail. Leavenworth/Pavilion Point Argentine Railroad Grade Trail • Type of trail: Railroad bed/single track • Elevation gain/loss: 800’ • Length: 4 Miles - Easy to moderate • Access: I-70 to Silver Plume exit #226, go south under Interstate, make right going west onto dirt road running parallel to I-70, trail head and parking is a mile up on left side of the road. • About: In 1916 construction began on the beautiful summer resort called Pavilion Point. Little remains of the site, but many locals remember going to the site for dances years after the railroad ceased operations. This trail starts a half a mile from the railroad yard in Silver Plume and connects with the Waldorf Road. Very scenic, beautiful aspen groves. Silver Creek Wagon Trail • Type of Trail: Single track • Elevation gain/loss: 800’ • Length: 5 Miles - Moderate • Access: I-70 to Georgetown exit #228, Park in Downtown Georgetown, on your bike go south on 6th Street to its end at the Energy Museum, make a left then a right onto Biddle Street, at Main Street make a left heading east, take Main to Saxon Mountain Road, follow this to the last house and enter what appears to be a
Waldorf Road • Type of trail: railroad bed • Elevation gain/loss: 1,600’ • Length: 5 Miles - Easy to moderate • Access: I-70 to Georgetown exit # 228, follow signs for Guanella Pass RoadScenic Byway, drive up Guanella Pass, go past the first reservoir (Silverdale), at the 2nd hair pin turn is Waldorf Road on the right, turn onto Waldorf and park on either side, your bike tour starts here heading up Waldorf Road. • About: A good shuttle ride starts at the Waldorf mine and descends to the Leavenworth/Pavilion Point Trail. From the end of the railroad bed in Silver Plume, take the Silver Plume to Georgetown Express to the other vehicle. You will need a 4-Wheel drive vehicle to shuttle this route. Argentine Central Railroad Grade to Mt. McClellan • Type of trail: Railroad bed • Elevation gain/loss: 1,600’ • Length: 5 miles Aggressive, Experts Only • Access: I-70 to Georgetown exit #228, follow signs for the Guanella Pass Scenic Byway, drive up Guanella Pass and go past the first reservoir (Silverdale), at the 2nd hair pin Waldorf Road is on the right, turn onto Waldorf and drive to the end (you will need a 4-wheel drive vehicle), the trail begins at end of the road. • About: This ride starts at an altitude of approximately 12,000’. The first major silver strike in Colorado came in the fall of 1864 near the top of Mount McClellan. Numerous prospector holes are still visible in the delicate high-altitude tundra. This last section of the ACRG takes you to the summit of Mount McClellan.
Union Gap Pass • Type of Trail: Single track • Elevation gain/loss: 400’ • Length: 3 Miles - Moderate to Hard • Access: I-70 to Empire exit #232, follow Hwy 40 into Empire and park in town, on bike head to intersection of Hwy 40 and Main St., go south on Main St., past the ball fields, this road becomes Bard Creek Rd., follow signs for Union Gap Pass. • About: This trail was named Union Pass on March 4, 1861, the day of President Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration. This is a very dramatic ride considering the exposure. In some areas dry stack walls 30’ high hold the trail up. Considering that this route from Georgetown to Empire is in a wildlife tagging area, the Division of Wildlife requests that this trail is not ridden from October to January. This policy is intended to protect the Bighorn mating area during the rut. Jones Pass • Type of Trail: Dirt road • Elevation gain/loss: 2,200’ • Length: 4 Miles - Easy to moderate • Access: I-70 to Empire exit #232, take Hwy. 40 past Empire to Berthoud Falls, take a left at the Henderson Mine exit, go 2 miles to the mine and parking area, and follow the signs for Jones Pass. • About: This route takes you biking on the crest of the continental divide. Good shuttle ride; expect motorized traffic on this dirt road. Half of this ride is above tree line.
Jones Pass is a great place to see Colorado Wildflowers!
Devil’s Canyon Trail Area • Type of Trail: 4-wheel drive /single track • Elevation gain/loss: 600’ • Length: 6 Miles - Expert • Access: I-70 to Idaho Springs - Hwy. 103 or exit #240, go south on Hwy. 103, approximately 10 miles up there will be a
wide shoulder in the road on the left side, park here, bike through the forest service gate, this entrance will drop you into Devil’s Canyon. • About: This is the start to an incredible downhill and one of the upper entrances into the Barbour Forks trail. This trail is open to 4-wheel drive traffic. Barbour Forks Trail • Type of trail: Single track/dirt road • Elevation gain/loss: 2,800’ • Length: 8 Mile loop - Moderate to hard • Access: I-70 to Idaho Springs exit #241, go through East Idaho Springs to fork in road, take the left at the fork onto Miner Street, take this to Soda Creek Road, left onto Soda Creek Rd., past Indian Hot Springs (stop for a geo-thermal soak), go approximately 4 miles up to the end of Soda Creek Rd., there is a parking area at the Forest Service gate, trail starts here. • About: This trail supplies hillside meadows full of wildflowers, tall stands of aspen, mixed conifers and is considered by many to be one of the best singletrack rides in the state. Warren Gulch Trail • Type of trail: Single track • Elevation gain/loss: 3,300’ • Length: 8 Miles - Moderate • Access: I-70 to Idaho Springs exit #241, go through East Idaho Springs and find parking, start your bike ride heading west to fork in road, veer left at the fork onto Miner Street, take this to Soda Creek Road, left onto Soda Creek Rd., 1.5 miles on Soda Creek Rd.(you will pass Indian Hot Springs Resort), to the Idaho Springs Recycling Center on the right, opposite the recycling center is Steve’s Canyon Rd., turn left onto this road and drive a mile down, Warren Gulch is stenciled on a rock at your left, this is the entrance. You can also start this trail at the top of Hwy 103, 4 miles west of Little Bear Rd. there is a wooden sign for the trail head. • About: Warren Gulch is part of the Colorado East Mountain Segment of the American Discovery Trail, the nation’s first coast-to-coast, non-motorized recreation trail. This trail is smooth and clean all the way down. Scott Landcaster Memorial Trail • Type of Trail: Paved bike path • Elevation gain/loss: None • Length: 5 Miles - Easy • Access: I-70 to Idaho Springs exit #241, head east on Colorado Blvd., veer left at the fork, then turn south (left) on the one way street just past Safeway, make right at stop sign, left at “T” intersection, you are on the bike path. • About: This ride is mostly flat and easy in both directions. Bring the family or invite some friends. Enjoy a stop in historic downtown Idaho Springs or plan time for a soak at the Indian Hot Springs.
Silver Plume to Georgetown Express • Type of trail: Paved bike path • Elevation gain/loss: 600’ • Length: 2 Miles - Easy to Moderate • Access: I-70 to Georgetown exit #228 or Silver Plume exit #226, park in either town, peddle toward the train depot, the paved path entrances are marked. • About: Peddling above the railroad tracks, this paved bike path offers a moderate climb out of Georgetown. Don’t forget your backpack, as you will need it to pack items purchased in the wonderful town shops.
Silverdale • Type of trail: Combination 4-wheel and single track • Elevation gain/loss: None • Length: 2 Miles - Easy • Access: I-70 to Georgetown exit #228, follow signs for Guanella Pass RoadScenic Byway, drive up Guanella Pass to the first reservoir, Silverdale, entrance road to parking area and trail head is on the left, start ride heading across the wooden bridge. • About: Great beginner and family ride off of Guanella Pass. Suggested route marked by decreasing size rocks, smallest pointing the direction of the path. This ride has rolling streams and never ending majestic views. Look for the old factory foundation.
Hiking and Biking Trails. . .
driveway, this is the start of the trail head. • About: Wagon trail constructed in 1887, this is an easy, scenic ride with a few technical spots that can be walked. This route provides a view of Alvarado Cemetery graveyard and the remains of the Silver Creek Town site. Silver Creek Wagon Trail takes you up to 9,200 feet, overlooking the towns of Georgetown and Empire.
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Interstate Highway Paved Road Improved Dirt Road Trail
lar E r Dol Silve ke Trail La
Mount Evans Wilderness Area
Downieville Dumont Lawson
Bard E Creek 4 wd o
Stevens Gulch Grays & Torreys Trailhead
Pickle Gulch Group
Trail Head Information Map
West Chicago Creek
E Hells Hole Trail
Captain Mountain Trail
Mount Evans Wilderness Area
9 9 Mt. Goliath
Chicago Lakes Trail
Resthouse Meadow Trail
Mt. Bierstadt Trail
Beaver Meadow Trail
Lincoln Lake Trail
9 Summit Lake
Summit Lake Trail
D Indian Creek Trail
Lost Creek Trail
Roosevelt Lakes Trail
Cub Creek Trail
Abyss Lake Trail
E 9 @
Threemile Creek Trail
Cub Creek Trail
Rosalie Trail Abyss Lake Trail
County Road 47
9 County Road 43
Highway Paved Road Improved Dirt Road Trail
Photo courtesy of Dustin Schaefer
Your adventure awaits...
Published on May 8, 2014
Old West. New Adventure is the Official Visitors Guide to Clear Creek County, Colorado - Including information regarding the Historic Rocky...