Fall is in full swing and so are the beautiful fall colors here in colorful colorado. Every moment of warm weather and free time needs to be taken advantage of! One of my favorite ways to get a workout, but also enjoy the great outdoors is to explore and hike new trails. Somehow the universe aligned in my favor this particular weekend, and my husband and I had a day off together! We knew we couldn’t let it go to waste.
I am by no means a morning person, but something about rolling out of bed to drive into the mountains is highly motivating. My husband is like a kid on Christmas morning whenever the mountains are mentioned. We awoke at 6:00 am and were out the door by seven We have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to explore Steamboat Springs, CO. Ever since we moved to Colorado, we have been slowly making our rounds to mountain towns, but Steamboat had a special place in my husband’s heart.
Mr. Lazy Lady discovered his love for skiing when he was sixteen years old and his father took him on a ski trip to Andorra. (Andorra is a little-known country in Europe sandwiched between Spain and France) After his first time out on the slopes, Mr. Lazy Lady and his father decided to make it an annual father-son trip. They soon began talking about someday traveling to America to ski Steamboat. I should probably mention that my hubby is from across the pond (England). But Alas, Mr. Lazy Lady came to America and fell in love with an American girl and those Ski trips were postponed. Who knew that 3 years later we would move to Colorado and now have the opportunity to host a ski trip in Steamboat! We were eager to scope out Steamboat Springs and report back to his dad.
We arrived at Steamboat Springs, CO around 10:00am and headed straight for the visitors center. We were recommended to hike Fish Creek Falls Trail. This trail is perfect for anyone who is a beginner or for someone who needs a challenge. They have plenty of options starting from a 1/4 mile hike straight to the 1st waterfall, a 2.5-mile hike to the 2nd waterfall, or a 6-mile hike up to Long Lake. We chose the middle option 🙂 a 5-mile hike is more than enough for me.
When you arrive at Fish Creek Falls, there is a small parking fee of $5 for the day, just pay it…it’s worth it. The walk to the first 283ft waterfall is paved and wheelchair accessible. They also have loads of picnic tables and areas to sit and read. I would definitely go in late spring since the waterfall will be in full force with snowmelt.
Even though the hike to the first waterfall is almost too short to call it a hike, I was looking for a challenge. I also hate paved hiking trails, it just doesn’t feel like nature without all of the dirt and obstacles. My husband and I made it to the base of the waterfall and made our 2.5 hour trip up the mountain. After all, we had to make room for our lunch.
I would class this hike as moderate, the path is easy to follow but it does get steep. However, there are plenty of places to rest along the way. One of my favorite places along the trail was an aspen grove. The path opens up and flattens out and all you see is a forest of aspen trees.
Colorado is gorgeous in the fall, but the mountains have a very short window for perfect fall color photo shoots. We made it to Steamboat on one of the very last weekends. Because fall is so popular for fall hikes, this trail was very busy. It is one of the more well-known hiking trails in Steamboat, so if you are looking for seclusion, I would look elsewhere. Below are a few photos from our hike up.
Once you make it to the 2nd waterfall, you are at 9000 ft in elevation. You have definitely earned a beer if you decide to take the trail up to the 2nd waterfall, and you can definitely have two beers if you decide to travel all the way up to Long lake at the top. Mr. Lazy Lady and I got too hungry 2 hours in and decided to head back. I am incredibly proud of myself for doing a 5mile round trip hike and racking up 19,000 steps. If I had attempted this last year, I am not sure I could do it. Or if I could have, Mr. Lazy Lady would have had an earful of me complaining. I even challenged him to jog most of the way down.
If you are in Steamboat Springs, CO. Check out Fish Creek Falls, you will not be disappointed.
Lastly check out this amazing website: Dayhikesneardenver.com
He has an excellent article out right now about the best fall hikes near and around Denver, CO. See Below: