Steamboat A to Z: Fish Creek Falls
Steamboat Springs — F Fish Creek Falls!
Want to stretch your legs? For a great, close family stroll, head to 283-foot Fish Creek Falls, located just a 3-mile drive from downtown. From Lincoln Avenue, head one block north on Third Street and turn right on Fish Creek Falls Road. From the parking lot, it’s an easy 1/4-mile walk up the rest of the road to the trailhead, and then another 1/4-mile to the bridge at the base of the falls or to an overlook above. You also can extend your hike by following the trail farther up valley. Fee: $5 per vehicle per day for parking. “It’s one of the most spectacular places in Steamboat,” says local mom Blair Seymour. “It’s close to town, and you can dip your feet or even dunk your whole body in its cool waters at the end of the line.”
Sidebar: Farmers Market fun
Looking for something fun to do on a Saturday in Steamboat? Look no further than the Mainstreet Farmers Market, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this summer by switching locations for the first time in the past half-decade.
When the annual 14-week Saturday festival kicks off June 14, it will be at its new home along Seventh Street between Lincoln Avenue and Yampa Street, right in the middle of a vibrant downtown. “That’s the spot where everyone wanted to have it,” says organizer Tracy Barnett, adding that the weekly event has more than 100 vendors letting visitors shop, mingle, taste, drink and more the first day of every weekend. “It should be a great location.”
Every vendor, Barnett adds, follows the city’s Zero Waste Contract as part of their exhibiting guidelines. With live music each week, she adds that it’s become one of the most popular farmers markets in the mountains. Filled with food booths, arts and crafts kiosks and more, the market offers something for the whole family and is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 14 to Sept. 6in the heart of downtown.
Info: 970-846-1800, http://www.mainstreetsteamboat.com
Sidebar: Free Summer Concert Series
Take in great national acts at the Steamboat Springs Free Summer Concert Series downtown throughout the summer at the base of Howelsen Hill. The events are fun for the whole family and offer food, music, libations and more. This year’s shows will be held June 21 (Trombone Shorty); July 5 (TBA); July 18 (Uncle Lucius);
July 26 (Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers); and Aug. 8 (Infamous Stringdusters). “We’re absolutely thrilled with the lineup this year,” says series President Coleman Cook. “We think it reaches out to a good cross-section of our fans.”
Like the ski area in winter, the Yampa River downtown harbors one of the best reasons to visit Steamboat Springs in the summer: the town’s world-class fishing. You’ll never have a better chance to try fly-fishing than in Steamboat, where rivers such as the Yampa and Elk offer a world-class place to cast a line. Throw in our wealth of lakes, and there’s something for every angler under our 300 days of annual sun.
With as many as 2,000 trout per mile in the city limits, from the tall grass meanders of Rotary Park near the Mount Werner Road exit to the faster water along the Yampa River Core Trail at Emerald Park, the town stretch offers some of the best, most accessible fishing in the state. Probe the eddies of Dr. Rich Weiss Park or head to holes near the historic railroad depot (Hint: Fish early when the water is cool and the inner-tubers have yet to launch). All trout must be returned unharmed to the water, and only flies and lures are allowed.
Two nearby state parks offer great lake fishing. Fish Stagecoach Reservoir (13 miles south via Colorado Highway 131 and Routt County Road 14) early and get your fly down 10-11 feet in mid summer. For great scenery and magical evening fishing, head north 24 miles to Steamboat Lake State Park (Hint: Fish woolly boogers beneath the surface for rainbows). Boat rentals are available at both marinas. Other lakes include Elkhead Reservoir east of town, as well as Hahn’s Peak and Pearl lakes near Steamboat Lake.
To get the kiddos hooked, head to two stocked ponds within city limits. Bait fishing is allowed in Casey’s Pond, located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 40 and Walton Creek Road (the last stoplight toward Rabbit Ears Pass), as well as Fetcher Pond, a short drive west down Pine Grove Road off U.S. 40 (turn at Walgreens). Another hotspot is Spring Creek Pond, a short hike up Spring Creek Road off Amethyst Drive across from the high school (Note: There’s no parking at the ponds, so either walk or bike). Purchase kids gear at Walmart or a local fishing shop.
A Colorado fishing license is required for anyone 16 and older. An annual fishing license is $26 for Colorado residents and $56 for nonresidents. Resident seniors 64 and older can purchase an annual fishing license for $1. Visitors may purchase one-day ($9) and five-day licenses ($21). All licenses also require the purchase of a Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp for $10. In water where trout may be kept, the daily bag limit for rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout is four fish, with a possession limit (including coolers) of eight. The bag and possession limit for brook trout is 10. Fishing is with flies and lures only. Info: http://wildlife.state.co.us/Fishing.
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Explore a mix of in-person and virtual events happening this weekend in Routt County.