Hiking in Steamboat Springs
Grab your hiking boots, backpacks and reusable water bottles. We have a number of hiking and backpacking trails for all levels, and Rocky Mountain views that will take your breath away.
There are more than 80 maintained trails on U.S. Forest Service land. See the local Forest Service office for more information and detailed trail maps.
U.S. Forest Service
925 Weiss Drive
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
Special Offers in Steamboat
Best Hiking Tips in Steamboat FAQ
Where can I hike near Steamboat Springs?
There are several hiking options near Steamboat Springs. From trails deep in the forest to scenic hikes through state parks to trails directly in town. The Yampa River Core Trail is a great option for hiking in town. This beautiful, 7.5-mile paved multi-use trail runs through Steamboat Springs and along the Yampa River. There are numerous points of interest and activities from the Core Trail. A few other popular hikes in and around Steamboat Springs are the 4-mile Emerald Mountain Quarry (moderate) trail and the 10.5-mile Spring Creek Trail (easy).
What are some easy hikes near Steamboat Springs?
Spring Creek Trail reaches 7,000 feet at its highest point and is one of the most popular trails for hiking and biking in Steamboat Springs. The trail is an out and back that is 10.5 miles long and presents wonderful scenery all year. You can access this easy trail at the corner of Amethyst Drive and Maple Street.
For something a bit more challenging, the moderate-rated Emerald Mountain Quarry is 4 miles roundtrip and has prime views of downtown Steamboat Springs and the ski area, including Mt. Werner. The trailhead is located at the top of Routt Street.
What are the best family hikes near Steamboat?
Spring Creek is an out-and-back trail that is wide and flat, perfect for all ages and pets, too. About a half-mile in is a reservoir where dogs can be off-leash. There is a picnic pavilion there as well. Take a gondola ride up to Thunderhead Lodge at the ski resort and take the 1 mile Vista Nature Trail Loop. There, you’ll get an incredible view of the Flattop Mountains.
Fish Creek Falls is another family-friendly hike with lots to see and experience. The trail has a bit of an incline, but it’s a short hike to the base of the majestic falls. The second falls is only 2.5 miles from the parking lot and is another fun challenge for your gang. The Strawberry Park Hot Springs on the Hot Springs Trail is the perfect spot for an easy hike followed by a warm soak afterward.
What are some of the longer hikes near Steamboat Springs?
If you’re seeking a hiking challenge near Steamboat, there are plenty of trails for you to tackle. The Nipple Peak Loop is a 30-mile round trip hike that’s great for hiking, biking and dirt biking at high elevation. The experts-only loop starts at 9,500 feet and tops out at more than 10,200 feet. The entire area is gorgeous during the fall colors.
For a more moderate outing, try the Manzanares Trail Loop, a 27.5-mile trail that offers about 1,400 feet of incline amid some nice hilly, rocky sections with a steep grade and lots of wildlife along the way. Hiking, biking and dirt biking are all allowed on the loop.
Can you hike to Fish Creek Falls?
Yes, you can hike to Fish Creek Falls. Crystal clear high alpine water roars down Fish Creek Canyon, spilling over Fish Creek Falls, one of the most popular destinations near Steamboat Springs. There’s no off-season at the magnificent 280-foot falls. In the spring, Fish Creek Falls hits its peak with snowmelt, while in late summer clear water cascades down the smooth rocks. In winter, ice-climbers take to the famous face and hikers snowshoe the trail.
How long is the Fish Creek Falls hike?
Just minutes from downtown Steamboat, wilderness comes to life with a splash at the legendary falls, easily accessible for the entire family. A short 1/4-mile walk down a gravel path is a pristine view of the lower falls, while a moderate hike with picturesque views will take the more adventurous to Upper Fish Creek Falls (2.5 miles one way) and Long Lake (6.5 miles one way), deep in the Routt National Forest.
What are the most scenic hikes in the Zirkel Wilderness Area?
Nestled peacefully next to the Zirkel Wilderness Area, Mad Creek and its surrounding network of trails wind through aspen groves, wide-open meadows filled with wildflowers, steep canyons and lush fern forests. About 2 miles up the Mad Creek Trail is the Mad Barn, built by homesteaders in 1906. Take in local history and take a photo in the doorway of the barn. Or, enjoy a peaceful picnic lunch up in the loft, accompanied by the sounds of chirping birds and the rushing Mad Creek. Additional scenic hikes in the Zirkel Wilderness Area include Three Island Lake, Gilpin Lake, and Gold Creek Lake.
Can you hike Emerald Mountain?
The Emerald Mountain Quarry hike is open to foot traffic and mountain bikes. The 4-mile, moderate-rated round trip trail offers great views of downtown Steamboat and the ski resort. To access the trailhead, take U.S. 40 west out of town to 13th Street. Turn left onto 13th Street and turn left onto Gilpin Street once you pass over the bridge. On Gilpin, take the first left (Saratoga Avenue) and make an immediate right onto Routt Street. Follow Routt Street to the top and you’re there.
What are the best hikes along Spring Creek?
Spring Creek Trail is an easy hike or a fun bike ride. It is about 10.5 miles long round trip with about 920 feet in elevation gain. The popular out-and-back trail follows spring creek and is fun for people of all ages and physical abilities. It’s one of the prettiest hikes in the Steamboat area.
Can you hike Rabbit Ears near Steamboat?
While you can’t hike on the delicate “ears” at Rabbit Ears Peak, you can enjoy about 6miles of moderate-rated hiking with breathtaking views of the peak and the nearby wildflower fields. The Rabbit Ears are actually the remains of pyroclastic materials, or layers of extruded rock and ash. The layers can crumble easily, so it’s not safe for climbing or hiking. The hiking trail, however, provides ample footing to enjoy the surroundings. Plan for a nice hike with about 1,000 feet of elevation gain along the way.
Is there hiking at Stagecoach State Park?
Elk Run Trail is an easy family hike at Stagecoach State Park that’s about 10 miles long and open to foot traffic and bikes. The trail is relatively flat at about 7,200 feet above sea level. The trail begins at the fishing access parking lot off County Road 16 at the south end of the reservoir. About 4.5 mile in, the trail crosses the dam and joins County Road 18. From there, you can take County Road 18 past the marina and reservoir offices. In the late afternoon especially, there’s a good chance you’ll encounter some wildlife seeking refreshment at the reservoir.
Can you hike the Continental Divide near Steamboat Springs?
Steamboat Springs is home to one of the world’s best long-distance recreational trails! The Continental Divide Trail (CDT) stretches 3,100 miles from Mexico to Canada along the Continental Divide. The CDT is the highest, most challenging and most remote of the 11 National Scenic Trails. It provides recreational opportunities ranging from hiking to horseback riding to hunting for thousands of visitors each year.
Where can I get hiking and backpacking gear in Steamboat Springs?
What is there to do in downtown Steamboat Springs?
There’s lots to do in downtown Steamboat during the summer, and a lot of it won’t cost you a penny. You can sightsee and shop around town, or take one of the many family friendly hikes that start near downtown. You can also enjoy an array of treats and fine dining at the town’s many restaurants, pubs and eateries. The town plays host to an array of musical and theatrical performances, a wide variety of art galleries and some of the most exciting summer events in the West.
What is the elevation of Steamboat Springs, Colorado?
Picturesque Steamboat Springs, Colorado rests at 6,900 feet (2,103 meters) above sea level. Nearby Mount Werner has an elevation of 10,570 feet at its peak. It is the tallest mountain near Steamboat and is visible from Lincoln Avenue in town. Because of its lofty elevation, the air is thinner and there is less oxygen. As a result, those visiting from lower elevations are at greater risk to experience altitude sickness within the first 48 hours.
Is Steamboat Springs worth visiting?
Steamboat Springs is a favorite summer destination for many outdoor enthusiasts. There are endless adventures on the water, on the hiking and biking trails, and even in the air! Many people love Steamboat because of its western roots and welcoming community compared to other mountain destinations like Aspen or Vail. Since the town is a bit more isolated, it encompasses a genuine spirit of the West that you don’t get with most mountain towns. Another big draw is that Steamboat is surprisingly affordable, especially compared to other resort destinations in Colorado.