Hiking Devils Bathtub in Spearfish Canyon
I have fond childhood memories hiking up to Devil’s Bathtub in the South Dakota portion of the Black Hills National Forest. Hiking this little limestone corridor is neat whether you are young or old. This hike has to be high on the “must do list” in Spearfish Canyon.
First of all, plan on getting at least your feet wet – maybe all of you. If you are a barefoot hiking enthusiast, get out your FiveFingers KSO’s. I wore mine and had great traction on both mossy rocks and slippery logs. This is a great hot day hike, a good portion of the hike can be right in the middle of the creek.
Don’t forget your camera. The limestone walls are just amazing. Some places the walls are covered in moss and almost look like walls from an ancient city. In other places, the layers are exposed like a pile of rough paper. The vegetation is lush, it feels like a rain forest. The day we hiked it there where many butterflies.
Bring more snacks and water than you’ll need. You may end up staying longer than you planned. We hung out under a ledge while a Black Hills thunderstorm passed through the area. You and your children will be hungry after playing in the pools.
Is this a hike for small kids? Yes, if you don’t mind carrying them most of the way. We took our almost 2 year-old and our 3 and 1/2 year-old. My wife carried one in the Boba Carrier and I hiked with or carried the other child. The trail is steep and a bit slippery in place – so caution is needed. However, if you have hiking experience take your little kids – they will have so much fun playing in the water.
How to find Devil’s Bathtub
From Spearfish head south on the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway. A few miles after Bridal Veil Falls, you’ll see a road sign for Cleopatra Place. Park in the small gravel parking area before the bridge. Walk over the bridge and head to the right. Follow Sunshine Creek up to Devil’s Bathtub, about a mile or so. The path is not marked, however there are several well worn trails up to the tub.
If you plan on spending time hiking in Spearfish Canyon I’d encourage you to pickup both Black Hills – Northeast, South Dakota Trails Illustrated Map #751 and Moon Mount Rushmore & the Black Hills: Including the Badlands. These will make navigating the Black Hills and deciding what to do much easier.
Devil’s Bathtub Video
Please enjoy this video I shot at the tub