Clear Creek County reopens popular trailhead, climbing routes following 2 year closure to add new recpath

A cyclist rides the recpath across Dillon Dam on along the Dillon Reservoir. Clear Creek County recently announced that the Tunnel 5/Oxbow Trailhead is open again to the public after two-plus-years of construction.
Hugh Carey /

After more than two years, Clear Creek County Open Space has announced on Wednesday, June 22, that the Tunnel 5/Oxbow Trailhead is open again to the public.

The trail has been closed for the construction of an additional segment of the Peaks to Plains Trail, namely the Clear Creek Greenway in Clear Creek Canyon.

The project took an extended period of time because of the expenses and difficulties that come when attempting to build a trail between a highway and a body of water. 

The newly constructed portion begins on the west side of the Tunnel 5/Oxbow Trailhead where it connects with the previously completed 3.75 miles of trail heading downstream to Mayhem Gulch and beyond into Jefferson County. 

The new trail segment adds to the existing trail, allowing users to travel 4 miles one way. With the reopening of the trailhead, users can begin their adventure in Clear Creek County rather than having to go into Jefferson County.

In addition, the rock climbing routes near the trailhead are now accessible.

The Clear Creek Greenway section is a key portion of the Peaks to Plains Trail selected by the Gov. John Hickenlooper’s “Colorado the Beautiful Initiative” as one of the “16 in 2016” most important trail gaps, missing trail segments and unbuilt trails across the state. 

This portion was made possible thanks to funds from Great Outdoors Colorado, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Colorado the Beautiful, Colorado Department of Transportation, Denver Regional Council of Governments and the Clear Creek County Conservation Trust Fund.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.