Spearfish Canyon in South Dakota
Spearfish Canyon is a place that captures the soul. I've never been anywhere quite like it, and I'm sure if you make the pilgrimage out here, you won't either. Filled with stunning cliffs and lush vegetation, this 19-mile-long canyon in South Dakota is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the Midwest.
One-thousand-foot limestone walls are wrapped in deciduous trees, cascading waterfalls, and bubbling springs for as far as the eye can see. This landscape was carved by Spearfish Creek over many years and provides an idyllic backdrop for outdoor activities like fishing, camping, hiking, mountain biking, or just taking a scenic drive along Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway.
If you're looking for a more leisurely experience, stop at Bridal Veil Falls, Spearfish Falls, or my favorite, Roughlock Falls. This picturesque waterfall cascades down the rocky walls of Spearfish Canyon and is easily accessible from the road.
Whether you want to take in the view or dip your toes in the water, this spot is not to be missed. And if you're feeling adventurous, why not try rock climbing? Several local businesses provide guided tours up some of Spearfish Canyon's most challenging climbs with experienced instructors so that novices can enjoy their first climb safely.
Whatever activity suits your fancy, there's plenty of fun to be had in Spearfish Canyon! So go ahead, make a trip out here and explore the beauty of Spearfish Canyon for yourself. You won't regret it.
Delicious restaurants can also be found throughout the area, serving up traditional American fare with a modern twist. From classic burgers to vegan dishes, there's something on the menu for everyone. After exploring the canyon all day, nothing beats a hearty meal while enjoying the view of this beautiful landscape.
Spearfish Canyon is truly an unparalleled experience - whether you're looking for a thrill or want to take in its beauty, it's worth visiting at least once in your lifetime! So come out here and discover what makes Spearfish Canyon Adventures so unique! I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
Photos of Spearfish Canyon
Spearfish Canyon Scenic Drive
Arguably one of the best in all of South Dakota, the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Drive is outstanding in every way. The area was never well known until the railroad spurted the canyon, attracting visitors from all over the country. Frank Lloyd Wright was one of them, who commented that it was even better scenery than that of the Grand Canyon. He spent some time here and made flattering comments about Badlands National Park, the Black Hills, and Spearfish Canyon Scenic Drive.
The drive itself is 19 miles and has plenty of pull-offs, usually where there are trailheads or waterfalls. There are lots of twists and curves, but the drive is flat for the most part. Each turn reveals something new, another white canyon cliff, a cave in the wall, a waterfall, and in Autumn colors so bright yellow and orange you'll think the forest is on fire. Honestly, it's stunning. A strong suggestion is to take your time driving the canyon. It can be an all-day experience if you do it right. If someone riding your tail, pull over and let them pass because you're here to take it all in.
Waterfalls of Spearfish Canyon
While driving along Spearfish Canyon Scenic Drive, you'll come across three waterfalls. In my opinion, the most impressive is the Roughlock Falls State Nature Area. This specially designated portion of the drive allows you to get out of the car and go on a leisurely walk along the creek. As you do, you'll hear the chirping of birds, water flowing over rocks, and see the crystal clear water straight to the bottom.
The Roughlock Falls State Nature Area offers picnic tables, restrooms, overlooks, and paved trails. Roughlock is my favorite because you can walk right along the creek and see several smaller "falls" along the way. The name Roughlock Falls was given because of the locks they had to put through the wheels of the wagon to keep them from tumbling through this area.
Spearfish Falls is located near the Latchstring Inn. You can use the parking lot there and begin the hike to the falls. It's a little off the beaten path but close to Roughlock Falls. It's worth the hike. Spearfish falls are high and mighty. It's probably the most substantial flowing falls in the canyon; however, years ago, before the water in the area was manipulated, it flowed twice the volume. Even though it's cut in half now, the experience isn't. This particular waterfall is beautiful through all seasons, even winter. Icicles and strange formations are created from the flowing water at such a height. It's a beautiful sight to see.
Bridal Veil Falls is by far the easiest to access. It also is the easiest to pass if you're not paying attention. This is where a nice slow ride through the canyon comes in handy. It allows you to see things that you otherwise wouldn't. There's a pull-off for Bridal Veil Falls and a constructed overlook where you can stand and watch the beauty of the misty falls drop from the cliffs above.