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Clear Creek is a tributary of the South Platte River, approximately 40 mi (64 km) long, in north central Colorado in the United States. The creek drains a canyon, called Clear Creek Canyon in the Rocky Mountains directly west of Denver, descending through a long gorge to emerge on the Colorado Eastern Plains where it joins the South Platte.
The creek rises at the continental divide near Loveland Pass in the Front Range, northwest of Grays Peak in western Clear Creek County. It descends eastward through Clear Creek Canyon past the towns of Silver Plume, Georgetown, and Idaho Springs, all of which were founded as mining camps in the 1859 gold rush. Within the canyon it receives numerous smaller tributary creeks that descend from the rugged mountains on either side.
At the mouth of the canyon, the creek passes through the town of Golden, past the Coors brewery. East of the foothills, it flows through the northwest part of the Denver Metropolitan Area, passing through north Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, then roughly along the route of Interstate 76. Along this section it is largely an ignored urban stream, with an undeveloped floodplain. Part of the creek path forms a wooded park with bicycle/foot path. It passes under Interstate 25 between its junction with Interstate 70 and U.S. Highway 36 (the Boulder Turnpike). It joins the South Platte from the west in southeast Thornton, near the junction of Interstate 76 and State Highway 224.
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