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Fish Creek Falls, CO

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Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CO > Northwest
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 11 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,511 feet
Elevation Gain 2 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 11.01
Interest Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
22  2017-10-27 MtnBart01
18  2012-07-23 slegal
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Preferred   Sep, Jun, May, Aug → Any
Sun  7:22am - 4:41pm
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Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Pick between long and hard and short and easy
by slegal

When visiting Steamboat Springs, most people looking for hiking opportunities will visit Fish Creek Falls. The road to the falls is right in the center of town. In addition to its closeness to town, what makes this destination so popular is that the falls are just a quarter mile from the trail head. So for those that want to see a waterfall, but don't want to put a lot of effort into getting there, this is a good bet. In addition, while the Fish Creek Falls trail heads down hill to the falls, requiring an uphill return, there is also a picnic area that is about the same elevation as the trailhead that has a nice viewpoint of the falls.


For those that want to get in a little more exercise than just a half mile round trip, the Fish Creek Falls trail does continue past Fish Creek Falls. At the bottom of the downhill you reach a bridge with a great view of waterfall. After crossing the bridge the trail heads uphill past several switchbacks until continuing up the canyon above Fish Creek. The trail is fairly steep and unrelenting for quite a distance. Fortunately, there is plenty of shade throughout the hike as tree cover is fairly thick.

After about a mile and a half the trail finally starts to flatten out a bit. The creek level gradually rises to where you no longer just hear it below you, but you can actually see it. This is a pretty scenic section of the trail. At about the two mile mark the trail crosses a bridge over Fish Creek and then heads up several switchbacks before reaching a rock wall. The trail continues up and around the rock wall. Just past this wall you reach the upper falls. Unfortunately, we didn't make it that far because of an electrical storm. However, photos that I've seen show that the lower falls are more impressive.

If you've feeling energetic after reaching the upper falls, another 2.5 miles up the trail will get you to Long Lake. The hiking book that I have for Steamboat Springs area hikes says that moose sightings in the Long Lake area are not uncommon. Just be aware, that the sign at the trailhead appears to underestimate the distance to Long Lake by about a half mile one way. So it is about an 11 mile round trip to the lake and about a 2,200 foot elevation gain.

slegal
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    FS


    Directions
    Map Drive
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    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Lincoln Avenue, which is the main street through town, head northeast on 3rd Street for one block and turn right on Fish Creek Falls Road. Take Fish Creek Falls Road all of the way to the end where the road dead ends into a parking area. The trailhead is at the far end of the parking area. The parking area can get quite crowded and if you don't get there early, you may have to park down the road a bit where there is an overflow parking area.
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Aug 14 2012 10:17 pm
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