Hike Fish Creek Falls in Steamboat Springs

5 miles 1400 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Amy Kesic

Waterfalls, waterfalls, waterfalls! This is a moderate hike the whole family can enjoy located close to Steamboat Springs. The trail is handicap accessible to the lower falls. 

Easily the most popular hike in Steamboat Springs, FishCreek Falls earns its popularity not just by its close proximity to town, butby its spectacular waterfalls. If you are a waterfall aficionado, then thishike is for you.

Just 3.5 miles from Main Street in Steamboat, the hike tothe Lower and Upper falls is less than 2.5 miles each way, for a total of lessthan 5 miles. You’ll park in spacious parking area for which there is a $5all-day fee. Due to the popularity of this hike, the lots will fill in peakseason by 10:00 am, so start early. The trailhead is also well-equipped withbathrooms, a water fountain, and a picnic area.

NOTE: If you enjoy photographing waterfalls, you’ll want toget to the lower falls before the sun crests the ridge; otherwise, the sun’srays will be in your eyes (and camera lens) and reflecting brilliantly off thewater, messing up your beautiful shots.

The Lower Falls is just ¼ mile from the parking lot. Theimpressive 280-foot falls and creek give you a “wow factor” from the verystart. The majority of visitors will not venture much further than this, whichis a shame, because the rest of the hike is gorgeous as well.

Cross the bridge and continue on the trail, which climbs thecanyon wall for another 2 miles or so. At 1400 feet (427 m) elevation gain, thetrail is moderately steep, so be prepared with proper hiking shoes and gear.Most of this 2 miles is through the forest, but the view does open up at times,giving you a nice view of the canyon. There is also an impressive section ofaspen trees, making this a worthy hike in the fall, as well. If you hearrushing water close by, go ahead and venture off-trail; you will find anothersmall falls through the dense foliage.

After you cross another bridge, you are about ½ mile fromyour destination. The view opens up a bit, and you can see the town ofSteamboat Springs lying in the valley below. After crossing a short cliff face,there is another small falls just off the trail, surrounded by wildflowers(when in season). Take some pictures but keep going, however; the Upper Falls lie 10 minutes ahead.

You’ll crest into a natural resting area, and that is wherethe Upper Falls is. These falls are not as tall as the Lower Falls, but just asbeautiful. You can get quite close to these falls (using a lot of caution!),and it is situated beautifully for photography. Some shaded rocks make for anatural resting area with plenty of friendly (read, “fed by humans”) chipmunks.Bring the bug spray, though; the mosquitoes and flies are thick up here due toall the moisture in the air!

Ambitious hikers may want to continue another 4 miles up toLong Lake; the rest of us will enjoy the falls all over again on the way down.

Read More

Tags

Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area
River
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Supreme

Very well kept trails and if you go early and on a weekday you'll have the place almost to yourself. (Like right before sunrise early.) Keep on hiking a bit after you pass the falls on the bridge. Bring your camera! Easy and fun for anyone.

So Beautiful

Because it is may the weather was colder and it snowed and rained a few time on the hike but personally for me that is when nature is most beautiful for me the weather can really set the tone for your day and I feel like the lest sunny the more you can really see the beauty. Of course I love sunny days but for this particular location it was amazing. Now when you first arrive there is another hike you can go on that is away from the falls but I feel like it's totally worth it. It's a small mountain /hill right next to the first parking lot. You park in the first parking lot get out pay 😉 a measly five bucks and then there will be a side walk you'll be able to start walking on. You'll pass a wooden bench and then shortly after you'll knot ice a trail going up the side of the mountain of course my my boyfriend I being curious we went on it. We continued and finished the hike it was so easy and we where able to finish it there and back in an hour and then continue to the falls which is located by the second parking lot. The falls where beautiful and peaceful and calm again it is may so it wasn't busy what's so Evers that's how I like these types of things haha. An amazing experience in steam boat springs ! Oh and after all this hiking go treat yo self to strawberry springs 😉

Nice Day Hike

I was in town just for the day and spent a few hours with my dog here. Great hike for someone who wants to feel like they're "doing something" without killing themselves, especially nice for a flatland Chicagoan such as myself getting used to the altitude of Colorado.

Stay Nearby

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Steamboat Springs KOA

Coalmont, Colorado

Grizzly Creek Guard Station

Overview At an elevation of 8,500 feet, Grizzly Creek Guard Station is located between Walden and Steamboat Springs, Colorado, offering guests an unique lodging opportunity in the Routt National F...

Coalmont, Colorado

Teal Lake Group Campsite

Overview Teal Lake Group Campground is set along a small yet scenic lake in north central Colorado in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Located in the Routt National Forest at an elevation of 9,000...

Clark, Colorado

Seedhouse Guard Station

Overview Seedhouse Guard Station is located approximately 26 miles north of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It was constructed in 1933 and offers a unique lodging opportunity for guests seeking recrea...

Nearby Adventures

  • Strawberry Park Hot Springs

    No matter the time of year, if you are going to be anywhere near Steamboat Springs, Strawberry Park Hot Springs is a can’t-miss experience. Steamboat is known primarily as a ski resort, but the area also offers amazing hikes and fishing in the sum...

  • Snowshoe or Ski Rabbit Ears Pass

    Rabbit Ears Pass outside of Steamboat Springs is packed with winter nordic trails. Most trails are marked and accommodate cross-country skiing or snowshoeing; to be courteous to other users keep snowshoes and dogs off ski tracks. Depending on ho...

    3.7 miles 700 ft gain

  • Hike to Mad Creek Barn

    Surrounded by ranches, barns are a common sight around Steamboat Springs, Colorado. There’s a great hike you can do to an old homestead to enjoy one of the best old barns in the area. Mad Creek Trail is a favorite hike of locals and tourists in St...

  • Camp at Dumont Lake, CO

    Dumont Lake is 22 miles southeast of Steamboat Springs, just minutes off of U.S. Highway 40 (Rabbit Ears Pass). As you turn off the highway and drive down the dirt road, you get great views of Rabbit Ears Peak.The campground is made up of 14 sites...

  • Summer, a season not to be missed in Aspen!

    "I came for the winter, and stayed for the summer," is a phrase you'll often hear around town. The weather is one of the highlights. During the day the temperature hovers in the 70's and 80's, and by evening the mercury will drop into the 60's. Aspen is a place to explore and a place to recharge. Breathe in the crisp mountain air while you discover our wide-open spaces by footbike, or horse. Restore your mind, body and spirit as you reconnect with nature and loved ones in Aspen’s great outdoors. Join us for a summer adventure that’s anything but ordinary.

    Learn More