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Clear Creek Canyon Park

Clear Creek Canyon Park is a 10 mile stretch along hiway 6 heading to Blackhawk and Central City that allows dredging up to 4″! Jefferson County has passed regulations regarding the multi-use recreational activities so all user groups can enjoy the park. The rangers that patrol this area know the regulations and we have a very good relationship with them. The main thing they are concerned about is high-banking and digging holes out of the water. A special tip for prospecting in Clear Creek Canyon is to keep at least one foot in the water. Another tip is to use a dripless gas can to fill your dredge. There are many places to get these so it shouldn’t be a problem. Jefferson County is in the process of adding a pedestrian path all along the creek with bridges to get across and portable public restroom located along the trail. There is one private claim that goes from Elk Creek, one mile west however it is owned by Bill Chapman who is the owner of Gold-N-Detector in Golden and he may give you permission by signing a waiver. Here are the rules and regulations:

  • Recreational Gold Prospecting

    Jefferson County Open Space allows recreational gold prospecting in Clear Creek only; from mm 270.5 west to the county line (approximately mile marker 260.5). Prospecting activities are prohibited in all other Jefferson County Open Space locations.

    Prospecting Rules and Regulations

    Digging into or destruction of stable shoreline, banks or existing vegetation is not permitted. Prospecting activities are permitted within in the normal, disturbed stream channel. Keeping one foot in the water is a step in the right direction. prospector_resize

    All prospecting holes must be filled in before leaving site. Dredges and equipment may not be left overnight.

    No prospecting within 100 feet of any structure including bridges, steps and stream channel improvements.

    Motorized operations:

    • Only dredges with a nozzle diameter of four inches or fewer are permitted.
    • No dripping or leaking of fuel or oil allowed. Use drip-free fuel cans or remove the dredge to at least 10 feet from the water before refueling. Gas engines must be sealed and placed in a tub or bin so fuel/oil is not released into the water.
    • For battery operated units, battery must be clean and isolated from the river by tub, bin or other structure.

    All prospectors must adhere to all Jefferson County Open Space rules and regulations. Report active violations to Jeffco Sheriff’s non-emergency number: 303-271-0211

    Reference Rules and Regulations

    C.6. Destruction of Natural/Cultural Resources: It shall be unlawful to deface, damage, or in any other way vandalize any vegetation, rock, or any object of archaeological, biological, geological, or historical interest on Open Space lands.Fine: $125.00

    C.7. Collection of Natural Resources: It shall be unlawful to take, collect, gather, or possess any animal, vegetation, rock, wood or any other object on Open Space lands.

    Fine: $100.00C.8. Destruction of Wildlife Habitat: It shall be unlawful for any person, or any pet under their custody, control, or ownership, to alter, damage, destroy, remove or in any other way vandalize wildlife habitat features on Open Space lands, including but not limited to, animal dens, burrows, dwellings, or nests. Fine: $150.00

    C.29. Abandoned Property: It shall be unlawful to leave any personal property unattended on Open Space lands in excess of 24 hours unless authorized. Fine: $50.00