GOLDEN, Colo. (KDVR) — Recent sunny weather has many enjoying Clear Creek Trail and Water Park in Golden.

“This is my favorite weather in Golden, I usually go running or hang out down (near) Clear Creek,” Rachel, who also enjoys water activities during the spring and summer, said.

Unique temperature shifts in Colorado may cause the state’s snowmelt season to begin earlier than usual, which is typically the month of May.

Golden Fire Department Captain Ben Moline told FOX31 that high temperatures and late-season snow and rain affect the volume of area creeks.

“If it is warm up in the mountains or if there’s a rainstorm up in the mountains eight to 10 hours later we’re going to be seeing increased flows down here through Golden,” Moline said.

Twenty-two people drowned in Colorado during the 2021 season according to the Parks Department.

The flag warning system alerts anyone near the water about the risks.

“In the winter time, Clear Creek can be in the 40 to 60 cubic feet per second (range), pretty low flows you can usually walk across the river. During peak flows in the summer, it’s going to get up to 1,800 to 2,000 cubic feet per second,” Moline said.

Various safety levels and guidelines for tubing and other activities are outlined based on the flag warning system’s color code, which is posted along the trail.

“Under a red flag along Clear Creek, we only want kayaks and approved vessels and people who are able to do self-rescue,” Moline said.

Firefighters warn that even if the Creek looks shallow or calm, the flag warning may indicate the current underneath the surface is dangerous or that the water is contaminated.

“If you get in the water even just as low as your knees it could very quickly take you off your feet and sweep you down river,” Moline said.

Golden’s Fire Department is equipped with top-of-the-line rescue equipment, but Moline told the Problem Solvers the best way to remain safe is to heed the posted warnings.

“It still takes us a certain amount of time to get to a scene to perform a rescue. If you can prevent yourself from getting in danger then that helps us,” Moline said.