Explore steamboat - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

steamboat Map

Wonderful Hike! The trail offers a variety of terrain. The path is well travelled, but the higher you hike the less people you see. There are many photo opportunities of Fall Colors, and some wildlife. If you are serious about heading to the second Falls and Lake wear hiking boots and bring plenty of water. Love, Love, Love This Hike!

Tough but soooooo worth it!!!

5 days ago

Great trail minus the horse poo... Lots of elk hunters out currently. Only saw 2 deer on the trail. Lake is gorgeous. Hike the entire loop if possible. I believe the AllTrails mileage is off though. Our gps tracker said 5 miles to the lake from the Gilpin trail.

This was a gorgeous hike! Just as many other people have said BRING WATER! Couldn’t believe how many people had little or no water and wore flip flops. Even if you only go to the first falls it’s best to be prepared. More of a moderate hike than hard. Good variety of terrain on trail.

We went clockwise and was good as the other way would have been much longer in the ascent. Loved this hike but my IPhone clocked 13 miles. It was gorgeous but a few more miles than I expected. Perfect time to hike it. I will go back and probably camp halfway next time. ❤️

We hiked that trail today 9/13 it was an amazing hike, we went counterclockwise and did the entire Loop. Unfortunately we lost a Micro SD card on the trail - it is in a plastic case- if anybody finds it please message me. or call Brian 847-702-9240. Thank you

We took the short and easy paved path and had a lovely time and beautiful views! Quite a few people on a Sunday afternoon, but still enjoyable.

hiked on Labor Day 9/3/18 with my 16 year old son. Got a later start, arrived at trailhead at 9am. VERY crowded parking wise. But trail was not too crowded. Saw a few groups, all courteous and enjoying the hike. No tough creek crossings. No significant wildlife sightings on this day; however, my wife and I had hiked the Gilpin Lake trail two weeks before and ran into a bear about 45 minutes up from the trailhead. The bear was only about 10 yards from the trail.....never once looked up from his feeding frenzy on the vegetation. Lots of dogs as part of the groups, only about half were leashed, none were trouble. The hike is AWESOME. So glad we went counterclockwise, sure seems to be the easier way to get to the "saddle" south of Gilpin Lake. A GREAT hike, nice day, just a few sprinkles.

Beautiful, moderate to hard, you will not regret it!! My wife and I are 54, from the Midwest and fairly active. We’ve hiked Colorado, Washington, Arizona and California. We loved this hike to the upper falls! Great workout, not too technical, but plenty of opportunities to explore around the falls. Definitely in our list of Top 20 hikes. Hydrate before, during and after!!

13 days ago

The leaves are starting to turn on the way up. The water color of the lake is as blue as Maroon Bells! Beautiful turquoise! Chilly water temp. Will do the full circle next time.

Great hike close to town. There are few places near the top of trail that are very rocky and closer to the edge than my wife liked but really doable for most people.

16 days ago

Very nice hike
Beautiful views
The lake is also beautiful
The way in is a steady gradual climb with only a few switchbacks
The first half is shady
Would be a nice trail run for advanced runners

17 days ago

Great views
Moderate exertion, not for everyone
Steady climb going in
Nice Aspens along the way
Well maintained
Some sections more challenging, rocky and narrow, not for everyone

Hiked it today we went counter clockwise. The views when you crest the ridge to see the lake are amazing. I clocked it at 11.6 Miles. I definitely recommend the counter clockwise to enjoy the views of the lakes on your decent. Will do this hike again next time in town.

Holy cow - this has to be the most gorgeous hike I've done yet in Colorado. It has everything you could ever want in terms of scenery: waterfalls, aspen groves, high alpine lakes, and endless mountain meadows. Counter clockwise is definitely the way to go as others have mentioned, as the incline is a bit more gradual, and the descent to Gilpin lake is absolutely breathtaking. We did this hike over Labor Day weekend - the aspens aren't quite yet turning, but there's plenty of beautiful fall colors on the forest floor to be enjoyed. We took a ton of breaks for lunch, snacks, and pictures, and clocked in at 6.5 hours. Cannot recommend this highly enough!

20 days ago

Take water! Saw too many people on the trail without it.
A lot of people on trail. Not the trail for you if you like solo time.
Aggressive climb up all the way to second falls. Didn’t go to upper lake so not sure it continues the steep climb.
Beautiful scenery, aspen groves and flowers.

20 days ago

My boyfriend and I were originally planning on hiking Mad Creek Trail yesterday, but realized that we had already hiked that several years ago. We decided to hike something different so continued to drive towards Steamboat Lake. We ended up finding Slavonia Trailhead, and decided that would hike a few hours and then turn around thinking that Gilpin Lake was actually 6 miles one way. Fortunately, another hiker told us that Gilpin Lake was only 4 miles one way, so we charged on. It was well worth it. Crystal clear lake and not too many people at the actual lake. We were sluggish that day, but it took us 4 hours round trip. Not too mention, the best part was that we saw a bear and her cub driving back from the trail towards Steamboat. :)

21 days ago

Prime time right now. Just go, you won't regret it. Spectacular views once you get about 2-3 miles in heading toward Gilpin Lake via Clockwise hike. Did one night, would have loved to have done 2. So much to explore and do including jumping into the lake!

Beautiful Aspens
Rocky Trail
Soothing Creek Sound
Multiple Waterfalls
Taxing Hike

Beautiful hike! This trail has a little bit of everything (streams, animals, lakes, mountains) and the fall colors are amazing right now. I can only imagine what it looked like with all the wildflowers.

I accidentally went clockwise (left at the dorm) and I enjoyed the trail. The first half up to the lake was gradual and I walked around for a bit before proceeding up the switchbacks. The hike up wasn’t that bad because my legs were warmed up. The view of the lake from up top was amazing. The rest of the hike was downhill. Overall the hike wasn’t hard. It’s a long hike so I think that makes the elevation gain easier. I started at 6 and the trailhead was packed when I came down.

The trail is just over 3 miles up to the lake; UP being the operative word! Took us just under 2 hrs. Just getting my hiking legs going so those more up to speed will get to the lake much quicker. We saw an elk near the lake.
You are definitely in the wilderness on this trail.
I would recommend.

27 days ago

Incredible views that are definitely earned! Counterclockwise is the way to go as many others have suggested. Clocked it at 12.2 miles total.


1 month ago

This hike was not strenuous but it was fun and it did get my heart going when I kicked up the pace. I have to admit- it’s hard to keep pace with the endless beauty this hike brings. I was mesmerized by the wildflowers, trees, mountains, and wildlife all around. The lake at the top was peaceful and I saw a moose and all sorts of smaller creatures all along the way. It took me about 5 hours up and back- but I stopped many times to take it in and get photos. I highly suggest going in the afternoon- there is more wildlife and less people! Enjoy!

Absolutely beautiful hike, slow & steady will get you to the top. I took lots of water & a
protein/carb snack which really helped (PB&J) Beautiful views throughout the hike,
Say hi to those that pass :)
I plan to hike this trail again.

1 month ago

Trail is 3.6 miles round trip, not one way, so half as long and twice as steep as expected. If you can drive to the first, small parking area you can make it to the second, larger one just beyond. The sign is a little ambiguous; see pic. Nice hike, pretty views. I recommend a trekking pole and no children in backpacks, due to steepness.

on Fish Creek Falls Trail

1 month ago

Wonderful hike in the winter with frozen falls!

This is two hikes in one. You start traversing above the glacial valley of the Middle Fork of the Elk through aspens on a smooth dirt trail. Halfway through, you make an abrupt turn into a hanging valley. The trail becomes much rockier and steeper as you switchback through a profusion of granitic dikes. The Aspens give way to subalpine firs. Three Islands Creek cuts through the adjacent granite. After a nasty hour, you arrive at one of the most beautiful and pristine lakes in the state. This is not a long hike, but a steep one and the road to the trail head features all the washboard you could want, but we traverse the state in Prius, so if we make it you can. Don't go. I want it for myself.

The best hike I’ve ever done!

We are from Minnesota and have never experienced anything like this hike before. The views are gorgeous and the water at the peak from the waterfall was breathtakingly worth it!!!

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