Fish Creek Falls National Recreation Trail
Routt National Forest
Date Hiked: Feb. 17, 2013
Distance: 1.3 mi (RT) can be longer or shorter if you wish
Elevation Gain: 400ft can be more or less if you wish
Elevation Min/Max: 7,359 to 7,755ft
Managing Agency: U.S. Forest Service
Fish Creek Falls Trailhead Website (USFS)
Fish Creek Falls Trail Map (Google Maps)
Directions (From U.S. Forest Service): Directions from Steamboat Springs: North on third street, then right on Fish Creek Falls road 4 miles to the Trailhead.
In the winter Fish Creek Falls is a snowy wonderland. The Falls run swiftly below and between tufts of white Champaign powder. The Fish Creek Falls National Recreation Trail runs for 5 miles from the Falls to Long Lake but you can make it much shorter hike and still enjoy the area. I highly recommend using snowshoes on this trail as the snow gets very very deep here.
From the parking area there are 2 trail options, the trail to the left, near the information kiosk will take you up north to the Falls Overlook. This trail is beautiful and gives you great views of the Falls and the surrounding Canyon. Past the overlook the trail gets very steep. When you lose the “trail” at the steep section near the cliffs, you should probably turn back. You’ll know it when you get there.
The second trail heads straight east from the far end of the parking area and drops down to the base of Fish Creek Falls. This is the main trail. The hike down to the falls is easy and short but you can explore further past the bridge across Fish Creek. From the bridge, the trail switchbacks up the side of the mountain and then continues for 5 miles. I like to hike up and find a nice viewpoint (there are a few) to relax at before heading back to the trailhead.
I’ve never been here in the summer but have snowshoed here 4 or 5 times and it is a fantastic area and when the sun is out and the snow piles up, it is truly a winter wonderland.