Meet Nina Lowe, the only person allowed to live at Fish Creek Falls
July 16, 2014
Steamboat Springs — When Nina Lowe pushes a giant tub of water up the concrete path that leads to a breathtaking view of Fish Creek Falls, children always ask Lowe what she’s doing.
“Somebody’s got to keep this waterfall going,” she replies with a smile.
Lowe, 71, is only partly joking.
The gallons of water she pushes up the hill every morning in the summer are for the colorful flowers planted in the overlook area.
But in a way, Lowe does help keep the falls going.
When she sees trash along the nearby trails, she’ll pick it up.
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When the parking lot starts to overflow every day, Lowe helps direct traffic.
When hikers want to how to get up to the second falls, she points out the way.
And when she sees fresh chalk art on the ground at the falls overlook, she’ll wash it away.
“Oh Katy, why did you have to do that?” Lowe said Wednesday as she washed away the name “Katy” from the ground at the overlook area.
Lowe, a volunteer for the U.S. Forest Service, is the lone camp host at Fish Creek Falls.
From June to September, the Florida resident lives in the Skyline Nomad camper at the start of the trailhead to the falls.
It may seem like a lonely endeavor, but her daughter and her two grandchildren who live here in Steamboat go to visit her often.
“Not everybody has a grandmother who does this,” Lowe said. “They think what I do is very special.”
Every night, Lowe cracks open a window in her trailer and is the only person in Steamboat who can fall asleep to the thundering roar of the water cascading down 283 feet.
Last summer, her second as the camp host, she was visited by a mother bear and two cubs one night.
In the morning, Lowe helps maintain the restrooms, waters the flowers and helps visitors find their way.
“It isn’t a fascinating job, but I enjoy it,” Lowe said Wednesday as she welcomed large crowds to the waterfall. “This is one of the premier spots to volunteer in. I hope I can keep doing this for several more years.”
Before retirement, Lowe was the finance manager at a company that imported rugs from around the globe.
She loves the outdoors and visiting national parks. She lived at Yellowstone while working at the park’s gift shop several summers ago.
Here at Fish Creek Falls, Lowe stops to chat with people she meets along the trail.
She said she even met some visitors from as far away as Russia one time.
“I love going into the parking lot and seeing all the cars from all over the country,” she said. “Most of them are in awe of what they see.”