When spring slips into summer, the hills literally come alive. Mountain waterfalls flow fast and furious. Marmots pop up in the high country, whistling while they work. Black bears (and baby bears) awaken from their hibernation in search. Where can you find all this dramatic nature playing out before your eyes? In Steamboat Springs, of course, where the singletrack trails truly are a hiker’s paradise. Owners at One Steamboat Place, a Private Residence Club slopeside at the gondola, have the benefit of hiking all over this beautiful Rocky Mountain setting.
Once you get to Steamboat, start your hiking trip at Hahns Peak Lake, which is only 1 mile round trip trek. Bring along a picnic lunch and some fishing gear to snag a foot-long trout. Just head west on Highway 40, turn right on Elk River Road, then drive 2 miles to NFSR 485. Difficulty: Easy.
Elk Run Trail in Stagecoach State Park is a more challenging hike at 10 miles round trip, but being surprised by an elk or moose spotting — or other local wildlife — is well worth it. This trail starts at the south end of Stagecoach, just off Routt County Road 16. Difficulty: Easy
Emerald Mountain Quarry is 4 miles round trip and boasts breathtaking views of the Steamboat Springs ski area. Just take US 40 west, take a left on 13th, then turn left onto Gilpin. Then turn left on Saratoga, with a quick right then onto Routt. The start of the trail is at the top of the street. Difficulty: Moderate.
At 6.1 miles round trip, Gilpin Lake has magnificent views of the Sawtooth Range. About halfway through the trail, look for places where the Routt Divide Blowdown of 1997 uprooted countless trees in the forest. Driving west on Highway 40, turn right on Elk River Road, drive 18 miles to Seedhouse Road, turn right. Take Seedhouse about 11 miles to the end. Difficulty: Moderate.
Many consider Fish Creek Falls to be one of the most breathtaking waterfalls in the entire state of Colorado, so it’s totally worth the short hike to see it for yourself. You can then choose to continue on the 6-mile hike that is the total package: meadows, Long Lake, a picnic area, aspen groves and gorgeous views along the Continental Divide Trail. Head east on Lincoln, go left on third and right on Fish Creek Falls for a day you won’t soon forget. Difficulty: Moderate.
Be sure to ask your One Steamboat Place concierge about anything special you should take on any of these hikes. As a local, he or she should be able to give you the skinny on how to pack and what to expect, weatherwise. When your hiking day is done, a relaxing evening at the Truffle Pig Restaurant at One Steamboat Place provides just what you need. Keep up that energy so you can head back out again tomorrow!
Contact the OSP Concierge for information on hiking, biking and any other activities via email or by calling 970.870.5100.