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Roughlock Trail just one of the best hiking trails in spearfish canyon

Spearfish Canyon is known for it’s beauty. The scenic byway is certainly a popular drive. But the hiking trails are my favorite way to explore the canyon.

There are plenty of great options from easy to more challenging. Always bring plenty of water and snacks, most of the trails do not have fresh water available. Watch the weather. Weather conditions change quickly in the Black Hills, a beautiful fall day can easily turn into a blizzard. Watch for wildlife. Rattle snakes can be found in the area and mountain lions too. Know your ability level. Some of the trails are steep with loose gravel. And, it always a good idea to hike with a friend. Have a good map, I always have my copy Black Hills North by National Geographic, it is a detailed map and waterproof. Pack out what you pack in, I usually bring an extra bag along and end up picking up trash I may encounter on the trail.

I have listed the trails roughly in the order you would find them if entering Spearfish Canyon from Spearfish. I’m assuming you’d be turning off Colorado Blvd onto Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway.

About 2.7 miles into the canyon you’ll find a small parking area. It does not look like much, but is the place your want to start to find Community Caves.  It is an area only about 1/3 of a mile from the road, however it is a steep hike. No fear, the hard work will be rewarded. The “caves” are a unique natural feature in the canyon. There is usually a small waterfall trickling and the view is amazing.

About six miles into the canyon you’ll find Bridal Veil Falls. There is parking on one side of the road and a viewing platform on the other. The water flow varies greatly during the year, sometimes it is just a thin wispy waterfall and other times it can be flowing pretty good. In the winter you may even see some ice climbers scaling the frozen water.

Devil’s Bathtubbest hiking trails in spearfish canyon is an ever popular hike in Spearfish Canyon. Watch for the turn for Cleopatra Place (not quite 8 miles into the canyon) and there will be a small gravel parking lot. The well worn path should be easy to find.

Just over 9 miles into the canyon, you be in the area of 11th Hour Gulch and Kissing Rocks (aka the dice). Eleventh Hour is tricky to spot, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled.

A little over 11 miles you’ll find Iron Creek. This trail is great for walking, biking or even snowshoeing. The creek does go all the way to Iron Creek Lake.

At about 13 miles you’ll arrive in the Savoy area. Right behind the Latchstring Inn is a loop trail that goes by Spearfish Falls. A nice 3/4 mile loop nature trail.

If you are feeling energetic try the The 76 trail. This steep trail will take you to the canyon rim, for great views of the area. It is just the right of Spearfish Canyon Lodge as you turn onto Forest Service Road 222.

Behind Spearfish Canyon Lodge, you can find the Roughlock Falls Nature Trail. It is about one mile to the base of Roughlock Falls with minimal elevation change. I like to take my kids on this one and have even went snowshoeing on it in the winter.

If you continue on Forest Service Road 222, you’ll find Roughlock Falls.  Further on you find The Rimrock Trail and The Rod and Gun Campground. Even further you’ll find the Little Spearfish Trail and Timon Campground. And, if you wanted to go keep exploring you could checkout the Old Baldy Trail.

Now, back to the byway. Further South from Savoy Annie Creek is a interesting hike.

And at the end of the byway you will reach Cheyenne Crossing, home to a popular restaurant.  Not too much further from here you can also find Eagle Cliff Trails and Hanna Campground.

If you are going to explore the area, just be sure to be prepared. Also, remember that cellular phone service can be nonexistent in certain portions of the Black Hills National Forest. It is a good idea to visit a National Forrest Ranger Office to check on current trail and forest conditions.


Best Hiking Near Deadwood South Dakota

There is plenty of great hiking near Deadwood South Dakota.  I mean everyone knows about all the fun in town.  Great attractions, casinos, restaurants, events and more.  But, the options available in the Black Hills National Forest are plentiful too.

Just to the north of town in a nice short hike that has great views of the area.  Friendship Tower was dedicated in 1919, and it is still a favorite of locals and visitors alike.  You can climb the tower and there is a picnic area too.

You don’t even have to leave town to feel like you are taking a hike.  You could walk to Mount Moriah, then on to Seth and Martha Bullock’s graves and if you still have energy hike all the way to white rocks.

West out of town you’ll find Spearfish Canyon.  It has hiking for all levels of abilities.  Take a nice leisurely stroll to Roughlock Falls, or test your lung capacity hiking to the canyon rim on the 76 trail, or visit Devil’s Bathtub and take a dip in the refreshing water.

Head east out of town to Sturgis, then a bit further you find Bear Butte.  A place held sacred by the Native Americans, a great hike.  On the top you’ll be treated with views of the prairie and the Black Hills.  There is a small lake and camping is available.

Just off the interstate near Sturgis you can find the Alkali Creek Nature Trail.  It is a short trail but offers great views and a mix of trees and meadows.  Plus you can access the Centennial Trail there too.  The Centennial Trail is a 111-mile trail that runs right through the heart of the Black Hills.

The Deadwood Trailhead of the Mickelson Trail is right in town.  It is free to use in the city limits.  It is a 109-mile trail along an old railroad bed.  It starts in Deadwood and ends in Edgemont.

When you are visiting Deadwood and the Northern Black Hills, be sure to enjoy sometime time hiking in the forest.


hulett ham and jam 2016 and wyoming wednesday

The Sturgis Rally 2016 is quickly approaching and as anyone who has been to the rally before knows….. Wednesday is know as Wyoming Wednesday and the most popular event is the Ham and Jam in Hulett – August 10th 2016.

Taking a ride to Devil’s Tower is popular with many visitors to the Black Hill area.  But, during the rally you’ll see a lot of motorcycles and on Wednesday of the rally you will see many, many motorcycles. There is also a nick name for the day, I’ll let you find on your own  (it may have something to do with women’s undergarments).Winking smile

The Ham and Jam at the Rodeo Bar has been a long running tradition during the rally and 2016 is no exception.  The folks at Hulett Chamber of Commerce told me the Rodeo Bar is having a free pig roast and live music.  And, the Ponderosa Café and Bar (you know the place – good burgers) is planning drink specials and live music all day. Plus – Main Street is closed to thru traffic for bike parking.

So if you in the area take a ride through the Bear Lodge portion of the Black Hill National Forest.  And, have a lot of fun in Hulett.

While you are in Wyoming you might as well visit Sundance too.  They have plenty planed as well.  At 4pm burnouts start, there are plenty of festivities planned for the whole day.

Hey if you are at the rally have you seen all the Sturgis Rally Concerts? Even Weird Al is coming.  Willie Nelson, Kid Rock, Elle King and more.