Left Hand Creek (Colorado)
|Left Hand Creek|
Left Hand Creek and Canyon. Aerial photo by Doc Searls
|Mouth||Confluence with Saint Vrain
|Progression||Saint Vrain—South Platte—Platte—
|Mouth elevation||4,924 ft (1,501 m)|
Left Hand Creek is a tributary of Saint Vrain Creek, approximately 33.9 miles (54.6 km) long, in Boulder County, Colorado in the United States. The creek drains a section of the foothills of the Front Range northwest of Boulder, descending from the mountains in a steep canyon, known as Left Hand Canyon. It issues from Left Hand Park Reservoir along the north flank of Niwot Mountain. It flows through a steep gorge to the east, passing below Ward (which sits roughly at the head of the canyon). It emerges from the foothills north of Boulder and crosses ranchlands the Colorado Piedmont, passing north of Niwot and joining St. Vrain Creek on the south edge of Longmont.
The canyon is a popular destination for recreational shooting, biking, hiking, and rock climbing. It contains several Boulder city parks along the Boulder County road that ascends into the canyon from U.S. Highway 36 north of Boulder. The canyon rims provide habitat for raptors and are generally closed to rock climbing during the late winter and early spring during nesting season. In 1859 during the Colorado Gold Rush the canyon was the site of an early discovery of gold at Gold Hill located on a side gully approximately halfway up the canyon.