Fish Creek Falls

#3 in Best Things To Do in Steamboat Springs
Fish Creek Falls picture
Adventure_Photo/Getty Images

Key Info

34165 Fish Creek Falls Rd.


Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
  • 5.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

The 280-foot Fish Creek Falls is a prime spot for hiking. Four trails are available, including a short walk to the lower falls from downtown Steamboat Springs and a more challenging trail for experienced hikers that leads to Long Lake. The two shorter paths – which are great for families – offer a stunning view of the legendary falls. Spring (when the surrounding mountains' snow melts) is the best time to check out the falls, while winter is ideal for watching ice climbers in action.

Recent hikers loved the view and noted that there are two overlook spots perfect for taking photos. However, some visitors commented that even the easiest trails can be daunting on the descent and recommended bringing water and wearing comfortable shoes. Several suggested families take the short, easy trail to the picnic area, adding that the third trail to the upper falls is best suited for experienced hikers. What's more, many were pleased to find restroom facilities in the parking area near the entrance and said the $5 per vehicle fee is reasonable.

Located less than 5 miles from the Steamboat Springs Visitor Center, Fish Creek Falls is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. but may be difficult to access during the winter. Expect crowds during the peak summer season and on holiday weekends, especially at mid-day. Complimentary guided hikes are offered on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays between June 22 and September 2, but visitors are welcome to explore the falls on their own. Keep in mind, though, that only cash and checks are accepted for the $5 vehicle fee. See the property's website for more information and detailed directions.

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Time to Spend
#1 Yampa River Core Trail

The 7.5-mile Yampa River Core Trail, which connects downtown Steamboat Springs to Bear River Park, is a paved multiuse trail for hikers and bikers. You'll find several playgrounds along the path, as well as scenic overlooks and picnic spots. It also offers prime access to the Yampa River Botanic Park and the Yampa River, where you can fish or float in an inner tube. 

Former visitors loved this trail's picturesque scenery, adding that you'll enjoy views of nearby ski runs, Howelsen Hill and multiple hot springs. Most found it ideal for a family bike ride or a relaxing walk, and some recommended stopping in the city center for a snack or lunch. 

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