Clear Creek Trail runs between the Platte River Trail in Denver and (near) the Coors Brewery in Golden, CO. And the last time I checked, the Coors brewery offered free tours w/ free beer samples. That sounds a bit like a pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow to me. Or in this case, a mug o’ gold at the end of the trail.
The trail itself is a bit of gold. It is like an oasis in the middle of the urban landscape. It has creekside scenery, urban diversions, and can be combined with the C-470, Bear Creek, and Platte River Trails to make a pretty appealing loop ride.
If going out-and-back, I prefer starting at the Platte River Trail in Denver. That way, I can ride my bike uphill for the first half of the trip and save the downhill for the finale. In fact, a great ride is to start near Union Station in Denver, head north on the Platte River Trail until you get to the Clear Creek Trail (The turnoff is past the Sand Creek Trail turnoff and just after you cross a fairly large bridge.), then make a left and head west toward the mountains. The trail is 99% off road, but there is one place where you have to cross a major street. This is especially frustrating since there appears to be an underpass there, but for some reason, it’s always closed.
Clear Creek Trail takes you almost into downtown Golden and soon it will take you all the way there. If you’ve still got lots of energy, you could head south, catch the C-470 Trail, then tie that into the Bear Creek Trail in Morrison, and eventually make one big loop. Notice I said “you” could do that. It would be too much for me unless it involved an overnight. Come to think of it though, an overnight in Golden would be kind of nice. I wonder if they’d let me do the Coors beer tour two days in a row?