Spearfish Canyon Nature Area is well known for its beauty and scenic drives- but there is more to this gorgeous destination than initially meets the eye! If you’re searching for excellent outdoor recreation, stunning views, and hidden gems, you’ve come to the right place! Here are 5 things you don’t want to miss out on in Spearfish Canyon Nature Area!
This area has some fantastic hiking trails that vary in length, difficulty, and scenery. If you are looking for a short, easy hike that is great for families or if you’re short on time, try the Roughlock Falls Trail or the Spearfish Falls Trail. Both of these trails can be accessed from Spearfish Canyon Lodge and lead to spectacular waterfalls. Iron Creek Trail is another great hike for all ability levels. This easy trail is filled with wildflowers during the spring months, offers great views of the limestone cliffs and small waterfalls, and ends at Iron Creek.
If you are searching for moderate hikes that lead to unique spots, check out the Community Caves (sometimes called Wild Cat Cavern), Devils Bathtub (swimming hole!), or 11th Hour Gulch (this one requires some climbing and scrambling).
Looking for something a little more challenging? The 76 Trail is only about 3/4 of a mile, but it gains about 1,000 feet in elevation. The breathtaking views from the top of Spearfish Canyon are well worth the effort! This trail can be accessed from Spearfish Canyon Lodge. Crow Peak Trail is a roughly 6-mile out and back hike that gains around 1,500 feet in elevation but offers incredible views when you reach the summit!
Spearfish Canyon Nature Area has some excellent trails for mountain biking. Some of the more popular trails in the area include the Centennial Trail, Little Spearfish Loop, The George S. Mickelson Trail, Storm Mountain Trail, Old Baldy Trail,and Eagle Cliff Trail. There are multiple bike races in the area including the popular Dakota Five-0 that starts at Spearfish Canyon Lodge.
Roughlock Falls Nature Area
This stunning area is perfect for an easy hike, like we mentioned above, but it’s also a great spot for bird watching, fishing, taking pictures, picnicking, and wildlife viewing. Surrounded by massive limestone cliffs, the paved walking paths and catwalks take visitors through one of the most beautiful areas in the Black Hills. After following the meandering creek that flows through lush marshes and ponds, the end reward is the spectacular Roughlock Falls. Created by Little Spearfish Creek, the water plunges into a chasm creating a breathtaking multi-tiered waterfall. If you are hoping to snap some amazing photos in the canyon, this is the place to do it! Love bird watching? This is one of the only places in the Black Hills that you can see the rare American Dipper.
Spearfish Canyon Nature Area lies within the expansive Black Hills National Forest which is packed full of amazing off-road trails. Explore hundreds of miles of maintained trails in the forest and discover fun points of interest like hidden waterfalls, ghost towns, and fire lookout towers. Spearfish Canyon Lodge rents brand new UTVs!
Spearfish Canyon Nature Area has roughly 700 established climbing routes. From crimps and pockets to steep overhangs, there is a little something for everyone in the canyon. A few of the more popular routes include Bugs Bunny, Dragonfly, Peace Pipe, and Carp.
Ready to explore Spearfish Canyon Nature Area? Start your adventure at Spearfish Canyon Lodge! We are more than happy to help you discover the hidden gems in the area, as well as assisting you with choosing the perfect hike, ride, or climb.