Options Abound in Steamboat Springs
If you go
To the trailhead: Once in Steamboat Springs, drive east on Lincoln Avenue then turn left on Third Street. At the next stop sign, take a right onto Fish Creek Falls Road and drive about three miles to the parking area.
Distance: About three-quarters of a mile out and back to the frozen falls
Difficulty: Moderate, depending on snow and ice conditions
Elevation gain: Negligible
Dogs: Yes, on leash
Fee: $5 per vehicle/per day
Visiting Steamboat Springs this time of year is other-worldly. At least that was the sentiment expressed by a friend of mine recently while soaking in one of the hot springs in the city. Resting your weary muscles in natural hot springs following a crisp winter hike is out of this world, I guess you could say.
And one of the most popular hiking spots in Steamboat is conveniently reached via the city’s main street.
An easy and quick out and back hike in the area is the trip to Fish Creek Falls — that 283-foot cascading waterfall that feeds into the now frozen canyon creek below. Acquired by the U.S. Forest Service in the early 1980s, the Fish Creek Falls area offers hiking, a picnic area and informational signs.
There are two hiking trails from the parking lot at the end of Fish Creek Fall Road. One is short route through several aspen groves, ending at a viewing station where the entirety of the falls can be seen.
Another trail you may choose while here leads into a u-shaped valley. This trail continues on to Upper Fish Creek Falls, accessing the lengthy Wyoming Trail, a route continuing along the northwestern mountains of Colorado to Wyoming. Both trails to the overlook and the bridge at the base of Fish Creek Falls are well-groomed and easily accessible.
Consider a trip to nearby Strawberry Park Hot Springs while in the Steamboat area. Although this time of year until about May 1, the last two miles getting to the hot springs requires a high-clearance four wheel drive vehicle or a front wheel drive car with chains. For that reason, many visitors arrange transportation with either Sweet Pea Tours or Hot Springs Adventures shuttle companies in Steamboat Springs.
Broomfield Mayor Pro-Tem Bette Erickson is the author of “Just for the 2 of You - Romantic Hikes to Share” ( Amazon.com ). Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org .