Hike to Fish Creek Falls from the Sanctuary
Most locals who hike Fish Creek Falls throughout the year don’t appreciate having to pay a parking fee and like taking the locals route, which is why they access the Fish Creek Falls trail from the Sanctuary. Drive up Fish Creek Falls Road and turn right onto Steamboat Boulevard. From Mt. Werner, turn onto Steamboat Boulevard heading towards the hospital and golf course. Follow the road and right at the bridge crossing the river is parking lot on the side of the road closest to the mountain. Park here and follow the wide trail upstream.
There are several footpaths that branch off heading to the water. Pass these. As the trail begins to U around Aspenwood, take the trail off to the left. This will wind up a fair way up a pretty steep trail. There will be an intersection with a large rock with a crack in it off to the right. Be sure to turn left here as the trail fades off if you continue going straight. Follow this trail up until you peak out. The hill in front of you will be covered with aspens. Turn to the left after another large rock and pick up the trail again here (it crosses a rocky area where the trail is hard to see for about 50 feet.). Another 10 minutes or so and you’ll drop out on the Fish Creek Falls trail. The approach is a gem itself and then you get to the Fish Creek Falls Trail. Bring water, a snack and your camera to take in the views. In the evening it is nice to stop along the creek for a european picnic and a glass of wine after you are done with the hike.
This trail begins in the Sanctuary and is one of the reasons it is great to live in this neighborhood. Even if you don't it is a short bike ride or drive from most of town. There are many more hidden gems like this around Steamboat so never stop exploring.