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.
Jeffco Open Space, along with our contractor Muller Engineering Co Inc, were humbled to receive an Honor Award for the Peaks to Plains Trail, from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). The national awards ceremony took place on April 25, 2017 in Washington D.C. and was hosted by Saturday Night Live alum Kevin Nealon.
Also this April, Jeffco Open Space was thrilled to be one of eight recipients of the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) 2017 Metro Vision Awards for The Peaks to Plains Trail. The award is for the three-mile segment of the Peaks to Plains Trail that was opened last year, and DRCOG focused on the community partnerships involved and the future connections the trail will make in the state. Watch the award ceremony video:
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.
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.
Congratulations to Muller Engineering Company for taking home two awards today at the 2017 American Council of Engineering Companies Colorado Engineering Excellence Awards ceremony! Their construction work on the Peaks to Plains Trail in Clear Creek Canyon was awarded the Honor Award for Outstanding Engineering Design and an Outstanding Graphics award. We are honored to have such a fantastic partner for this project.
Jeffco Open Space, along with Clear Creek County Open Space, opened segments of the Peaks to Plains Trail in Clear Creek Canyon on July 28, 2016. The following video shows the entire process from planning, to construction to completion and highlights the numerous partners who made this possible. Jefferson County Commissioners Donald Rosier and Casey Tighe opened the trail along with Clear Creek County Commissioner Peter Monson. Thank you to everyone involved!
On Thursday, July 28, the first phase of the Peaks to Plains trail will be open to the public. Over three miles of paved multi-purpose trail, as well as the three bridges crossing the creek in this joint project of Jefferson and Clear Creek counties, are ready for exploration. Visitors coming from the Clear Creek end will be able to follow the trail around the Oxbow, while visitors from the Jefferson County side will be able to travel west from the Mayhem Gulch trail head to the project beginning. Due to the unusually high water flows in the creek over the past two years, the trail has needed some unanticipated reinforcements and repairs, which has, unfortunately, pushed back the opening date of Phase 1 from July 14, and the grand opening of the trail as a whole until the fall. However, on Thursday, July 28,
Jefferson and Clear Creek counties are proud to open for the public the portion that is completed and safe.
For Your Safety: While some portions of the trail appear to be paved and completed, outdoor enthusiasts are reminded that ALL parts of the area are still construction zones
and that access at these points is still restricted until the trail is opened on July 28, 2016. Please do not enter or utilize the closed sections.
The crews have been hard at work of late and have made great progress on the bridge abutments for 3 of the 4 future bridges. The actual bridges will be installed in late winter of 2016, but these abutments really start to give you an idea of what the finished trail will look like.
Step 1: Bring this huge track mounted drill up the canyon.
Step 2: Drill 2 caisson holes down to bedrock. No easy task with all the large cobble found throughout the canyon.
Step 2: Little by little.
Step 3: Pour concrete footers on top of the caissons.
Step 3: The concrete must cure before the area is back filled.
Step 4: Once the footer is back filled, the framing for the abutments goes up.
Step 5: Bring a pump truck in and pour the abutments. Each abutment requires two concrete trucks.
Step 6: Strip the forms off and wait.
Now you can really get a feel for the final elevations. The bridge will sit in the notch and the final bridge deck height will be even with the top of the walls on the sides.
Each summer, since 1975, the Jeffco Open Space Trail Stewardship Team has employed Jefferson County youth to maintain and build trails while developing a land stewardship ethic. The program is open to all Jefferson County residents between the ages of 14 to 18. A competitive lottery every spring selects kids for these highly sought after positions. Read more about the Trail Stewardship Team.
This week a few members of the Team were onsite helping with construction of the Peaks to Plains Trail. They spent two days working in the westernmost segment of Jefferson County trail portion moving dirt, creating final grade around the railings and pulling noxious weeds. A big thanks goes out to them for all their hard work!
Evan Yardley tamps down dirt around the newly installed railing
Trail Stewardship Team members (left to right) Maggie Haddon, Carlee Shive, Andrew McInroy, Brett Lawrence, Olivia McCandle and Evan Yardley
Olivia McCandle and Andrew McInroy hard at work
Trail Stewardship Team at one of the trail’s overlooks (left to right) Andrew McInroy, Brett Lawrence, Evan Yardley, Maggie Haddon, Carlee Shive, Olivia McCandle and crew leader Sophie Scully
Please be aware that starting on Tuesday, August 26 2014, as a critical part of Peaks to Plains Trail Project, there will be temporary impassable large concrete culverts installed in Clear Creek near the area known as “Cannonball Flats”. Rafters must use the mandatory takeout designated at MP 260.5, otherwise known as “Placer Flats”. This takeout can be identified as the takeout area just after the Class III rapid known as “Whew!” and after the SH 119/US 6 bridge. (please map) Signs will be posted to help rafters navigate to the mandatory takeout.
If you have any questions, please contact the Public Information Team: 303.569.9972