Big Easy Trailhead Open!

The Big Easy trailhead is officially open! Experience it for yourself at 32088 US Highway 6, Golden. Almost nine miles West of the US6/Hwy 58/Hwy 93 intersection.

Adding another .75 miles to the Peaks to Plains Trail, The Big Easy trailhead and recreation area has a permanent restroom, 54 parking spaces, fishing platforms over the water, picnic pavilions, a geology garden, and a boardwalk in areas where vegetation needs to be protected. A new bridge also spans the creek, leading onto the Peaks to Plains Trail, which connects to the Mayhem Gulch trailhead westward up the canyon. Opening cable cutting ceremony photos can be viewed here.

Big Easy Trailhead recreation area map

Summertime, When the Construction is Big Easy

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Crews are making solid progress at the Big Easy Recreation Area and Trailhead in anticipation of an early fall grand opening.

Bathroom construction at Big Easy

Jeffco Open Space construction crews building the new bathroom structure.

Bathroom construction at Big Easy

The walls are up and the vaulted ceiling is being framed for the permanent restroom.

Paving near Big Easy

Paving the new 50 car parking lot near US Hwy 6 near mile marker 262.5.

The Hard Work Behind the Big Easy

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Get a glimpse behind the scenes of the recent US Hwy 6 closure that brought us one step closer to the grand opening of the Big Easy Trailhead in Clear Creek Canyon Park.

Move Over, Highway 6

You might have noticed the recent warm weather has brought about a flurry of construction activity along US Hwy 6 in Clear Creek Canyon. This is all part of another 3/4 mile stretch of the Peaks to Plains Trail and the development of the Big Easy Recreation Area which will include parking for over 50 cars, a permanent restroom, multiple river access points, picnic areas and a new bridge across the creek. To accommodate the new parking lot, and allow for safer creek-side access, US Hwy 6 needs to be moved to the north. With a planned opening date of early September, the crews are working diligently to  physically move the highway to the north of its current location near mile marker 262.5.

Please be patient with on-going lane closures and delays as a result of this work (they will continue off an on for the next month or so). Rest assured the new amenities and recreation area will be worth the wait and loved by visitors for years to come.

Rock face being chipped away

A large rock face needs to be removed to make room for the new highway alignment.

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The removed rock will be crushed and re-purposed as the road base for new pavement.

Installing nails into bank

The steep slopes above the future highway need to be stabilized using long soil nails, steel mesh, shotcrete, and stone veneer.  Here you can see the drilling equipment installing soil nails.

Stone wall finish

With the wire mesh and shotcrete in place, the future stone veneer allows the wall to blend in with the surrounding area.

new highway

The future highway alignment is beginning to take shape.

Cell tower

The existing cell tower, fiber optic lines and electrical line all need to be moved as well.

Fiberoptic lines being buried

The new lines are encased in concrete for protection.

Buried lines

Before being completely buried, red caution tape is added as a final layer of safety.

 

Taking Advantage of Warm Weather

Lots of action at the Big Easy helping us meet our goal of opening early fall…

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Dueling breaker bars slowly cut away bedrock to make room for the new highway alignment

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Slow going, but you can see the progress

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The future highway alignment can be seen in the distance

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Pouring the caisson cap for the new bridge

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The dry concrete in this photo is the top of the caisson, drilled over 40 feet deep!

Clear Creek Canyon Mouth of the Canyon Master Plan

Community Meeting January 18, 2017

Jefferson County Open Space hosted a community meeting on January 18 at the Golden Community Center to discuss the Master Plan for the Mouth of Clear Creek Canyon Park. Included in the presentation was information about the overall vision of Clear Creek Canyon Park and the progress of the Peaks to Plains Trail. The conversation centered around the area just west of downtown Golden and planned improvements for Welch Ditch Trail, Chimney Gulch Trail, Grant Terry Park and additional access/trailhead connections.
Clear Creek Canyon Park Mouth of the Canyon Fact Sheet

View the presentation:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Governor Hickenlooper Visits the Peaks to Plains Trail Project

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Governor Hickenlooper, members of his cabinet and both County’s Commissioners toured the 3-mile Clear Creek Canyon segment of the Peaks to Plains Trail project in September, 2016. This trail has been designated as one of the Governor’s 16 Priority Trail Projects in 2016 as part of the Colorado the Beautiful Initiative and we were proud to show it off to such a prestigious group.

CDOT Transportation Alternatives Program Awards Jefferson and Clear Creek County Open Space Funding for Peaks to Plains Trail

Jeffco Open Space (JCOS) is the proud recipient of one of seven Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Region 1 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) 2016 grants. JCOS will use the $850,650 to complete approximately 0.5 miles of the Peaks to Plains Trail at the Mouth of Clear Creek Canyon starting at the parking lot just east of Tunnel 1 and heading west around the oxbow. This grant aligns with CDOT TAP priorities in providing safe, alternative transportation for pedestrians and cyclists while increasing motorist safety along US Highway 6.

The project and proposal “had the benefit of being on one of the Governor’s priority trails but the project’s safety improvements, tourism benefit and the amount of financial support and planning that has been done on the corridor helped elevate the project,” stated Region 1 Planning Program Manager, Danny Herrmann. “We’re excited to work with the County on implementing this segment of the trail.”

The Peaks to Plains Trail at the Mouth of Clear Creek Canyon is a 1.75-mile segment of multi-use trail (combining the GOCO Connect grant scope of 1.25-miles and the CDOT TAP grant scope of .5 miles) leading recreationalists away from US Highway 6 and into a scenic area separated from motorists. JCOS estimates completion of this section in 2020.

Jeffco Open Space: Click to enlarge map for scope of projectGOCO TAP Map

 

In addition, Clear Creek County Open Space was awarded their CDOT TAP application request of $480,000 for the continuation of the Peaks to Plains Trail further westward following the alignment of the abandoned Colorado and Southern narrow gauge railway corridor. The Peaks to Plains Trail: Clear Creek Greenway Canyon Segment, extends from the parking lot just west of Tunnel 5, where the GOCO River Corridor Initiative funded trail project ends, upstream around Tunnel 6 and beyond.

Clear Creek County: Click to enlarge map for scope of projectClear Creek County TAP Grant Proposal