Hiking Fish Creek Falls in Steamboat Springs, Colorado
This trail, considered by most outdoor enthusiasts to be moderately difficult, can be divided into three parts consisting of the overlook, bridge and upper falls sections.
From downtown, turn east on 3rd Street and make a right at the first stop sign you come to onto Fish Creek Falls Road. Continue up the hill for approximately 3 miles until you reach the Fish Creek Falls Recreation Area. After paying the day use fee ($5), park your vehicle in the parking area.
It’s best to begin this hike in the morning before the summer mountain sun gets too hot and the crowds get too big. In order to get the most bang for your hiking buck, hike on through to Long Lake, which is approximately 5 miles from the day use parking area.
As you walk, you’ll be overwhelmed by the intensity of the roar of the falls and overcome by the beauty of the abundant wildflowers alongside the trail.
The overlook and bridge areas of this hike are the easiest. For those who are in town from lower elevations, the 1.75 mile section of trail leading to the upper falls gets pretty steep and can be fairly taxing to unacclimated lungs. Hang in there! After climbing steeply for about a half mile, the trail levels off and climbs slowly to bring you to a bridge that crosses Fish Creek Falls. From there, hike another 5 minutes or so to traverse a rock face that will bring you to incredible views of the upper fish creek falls.
The hike up can take 1.5 – 2 hours and about 45 minutes down. So plan on about 3 hours round-trip. But it’s so worth it. The trail is well marked and pretty easy. A few section you’ll be walking though some rocky areas but overall the trail is pretty easy. But it is a hike so sturdy shoes is recommended. It’s also very dog friendly and there’s plenty of water for Spot to drink once you’re there.
Overall, this is a great family hike and will bring you many excellent memories. Have fun, be careful and most of all, enjoy!