Golden High School was created in 1873, when the new consolidated school building of Golden was opened. It was named after the city of Golden, Colorado and was part of Golden School District #1.
GHS was the first senior high school opened in Jefferson County, Colorado, and was among the earliest high schools in the state. Originally Golden High did not offer graduation, but its first graduating class was in 1886, consisting of 11 students (Pearl A. Baird, Harry L. Bellam, Mary A. Camp, May E. Collom, Nellie M. Davidson, Robert W. Fisher, Beulah Moore, Myrmeta Perkins, Mary Constance Perrin, Lavinia L. Rowe and Henrietta Sampson).
GHS remained in the South School, as it became known, eventually largely taking the building over as primary grades sharing the building moved on to other places, until a new Golden High School was built in 1922-24. This building served until the third Golden High School was completed in 1956, which served until the current school was completed in 2008. GHS athletics date at least as far back as 1893, when the Colorado Transcript reported that the GHS football team defeated Jarvis Hall college 22-4 at Brooks Field on October 14, 1893.