One of the most popular attractions in the Steamboat Springs area is Fish Creek Falls. This beautiful feature is easily accessed on a paved trail with nice picnic areas--all just a few minutes outside of town. Most people never venture beyond viewing the lower falls, but for those who want a bit more solitude and a very satisfying hike with an even better waterfall, the trail to Upper Fish Creek Falls is perfect.
There are two parking areas for the falls: the lower fills up by mid-morning, and the upper is about a quarter mile further to walk. From the lower parking area there is a short paved trail up to a few nice overlooks of the falls and also a gravel trail down to the bridge at the base of the falls. This adventure first takes the high road to the overlook and then follows a short and steep path down to the bridge. After admiring the falls, cross the bridge and take the trail up the other side of the canyon. The first part of the trail is through dense mixed forest and does a fair bit of climbing. The trail levels out at it passes through a lovely aspen grove before reaching another bridge across Fish Creek. After this bridge the trail climbs up to some exposed areas with great views down the canyon toward Steamboat and eventually reaches the Upper Falls.
This is a great spot for lunch or scrambling on the rocks for some photos of the falls, and for most this is the turnaround point. For the hardy, it is another 2 miles and 1,200 feet of climbing to reach Long Lake.