Hunting in Clear Creek County

Discover Rocky Mountain Hunting Close to Denver

Colorado Hunting starts here. Elevate your game and make Clear Creek County your next destination into the backcountry. With more than 75% of our land in public ownership, we specialize in public access and vast areas to roam freely over the Arapaho/Roosevelt National Forest, County Open Space lands, and state wildlife areas open to hunting. If you choose not to camp, no worries, reaching our backcountry from the comfort of one of our historic mining towns is possible within minutes.

Before you book your adventure check out Colorado Parks & Wildlife for season dates, licenses and information other pertinent information at

Big Game Hunting

Clear Creek County is divided into two primary Game Management Units (GMUs) – Units 38 and 39 – offering unique opportunities for everyone to pursue six of North America’s premier big game species – elk, mule deer, mountain lion, bear, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep. Unit 39 includes vast areas of roadless pursuits south of I-70 and U.S. 40 with access to the secluded Mount Blue Sky Wilderness. Unit 38 includes more off-highway vehicle-friendly trails that give you a shot at animals roaming North of Interstate I-70 and U.S. Highway 40.


Colorado has the largest herd of elk in North America, and Clear Creek County has the iconic western species right in our own backyard. Elk tags in Unit 39 typically must be applied for in the draw before April 1st in the year you desire to hunt. Unit 38 also offers tags through the draw, but also unlimited over-the-counter tags for second and third elk seasons.


Colorado Elk


Both GMUs 38 and 39 offer opportunities to put you on the rugged Mule Deer Colorado is known for. Tags for both units are offered through the draw, but Unit 38 typically has leftover tags that may be obtained from Colorado Parks & Wildlife in August before the season begins.

deer fight

Small Game Hunting

The air may be thin in Clear Creek County, but not the endless opportunities to pursue small game species unique to our mountains. Come and enjoy an experience that will take you from the bottom of our foothills to mountaintops chasing turkey, rabbits, ptarmigan, squirrel, Dusky grouse, and coyotes.

For information on small game licenses and dates – and other big game hunting opportunities in Clear Creek County – please refer to Colorado Parks and Wildlife at

Tim Mauck,
Deputy Director, State of Colorado Department of Natural Resources


Photo of the white-tailed ptarmigan

Clear Creek County is the gateway to the Rocky Mountains. Located just west of Denver along Interstate 70, Clear Creek has 396 square miles of public lands to explore, as well as four mountain peaks above 14,000 feet. Clear Creek is comprised of charming mountains towns Idaho Springs, Downieville, Lawson, Empire, Georgetown, and Silver Plume, which are all along the I-70 corridor. Learn more about Clear Creek County here.