Best Spearfish Hikes

Black Hills

Best Spearfish Hikes

Finding the best hikes near Spearfish is not too difficult. Hiking trails are plentiful in and near this Northern Black Hills city. Really something for nearly every ability level. Short hikes and all day hikes can be found.

Lookout Mountain Park

You don’t even have to leave this city limits to find quality trails. Lookout Mountain Park is over 750 acres just waiting for you right in Spearfish. The trails are open to hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. There are about 10  miles of marked trails, plenty to keep you busy for awhile. The best access is at the Nevada St Trailhead. There is a really good map at the beginning of the trails, just snap a picture with your phone and refer to it as you need during your hike. The area is home to snakes and other wildlife, just be aware as you would on any other hiking trail.

Crow Peak

This hike is over 6 miles round trip  and it is located close to town. There is more than 1000 feet in elevation change and great views of the area from the top.
The Crow Peak trail  has a  significant change in elevation, be sure to bring some snacks and plenty of water. From Spearfish, head north on Main Street.  Turn left on Hillsview.  Hillsview will meet up with Forest Service Road 214 (Higgins Gulch Road), follow that to the trailhead (about 7 miles).

Big Hills

The Big Hills Trails (Trail Number 72) is a series of loops and one spur resulting in over 13 miles of trails. The area was named by the early settlers of the area, describing the “big hill” as they were leaving Spearfish. The trails are about 8 miles south of Spearfish on FSR 134 (Tinton Road)The National Forest Service has more information and a printable map here.

Old Baldy

This another hike on Tinton Road, you’ll find it about 13 miles south of Spearfish. Old Baldy one of my favorite fall hikes. There area has many aspen trees and I just love it when the leaves turn golden in the fall. The loop is about 6 miles and the spur to the top of Old Baldy is about 0.7 miles.

Rimrock

The Rimrock Trail is a couple of loop trails that connect with the Old Baldy Trail. The Little Spearfish Trail is one. The trail is also accessible at the Rod and Gun and Timon Campgrounds. It is on the Rimrock trail system where you will see the Dances with Wolves film site.

Spearfish Canyon

Spearfish Canyon is a great place to spend a day or two. It is a beautiful drive and there is plenty of scenic and challenging hiking. Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway is about 20 miles and will be the road you use to find many of the waterfalls and hiking trails.

Community Caves is a steep hike to a small waterfall and small “caves.” The trail is loose gravel in the summer and nearly a sheet of ice in the winter. This hike is not for everyone, but worth the time if you can handle it.

Devils Bathtub is a very popular hike. I like to hike this early in the morning, before the crowd shows up. There is limited park, do not park on the main road or you will be towed. I usually bring a trash bag and pick up trash along the hike, as a popular hike, less than thoughtful hikers sometimes leave trash on the trail.

11th Hour Gulch is a unique natural feature. It involves climbing on wet rocks and if you want to go to the top there is a homemade ladder that is not for the faint of heart.

Iron Creek is about 11 miles from Spearfish and you will find a small parking lot near the bridge that crosses Iron Creek. This follows the creek and I like to snowshoe here too.

At Savoy, by the Spearfish Canyon Lodge and Latch String Inn there are three trails work exploring. Spearfish Falls trail will take you to Spearfish Falls, the trail begins just the the north of the Latch String Inn, look for the signs and the map.

The 76 Trail is for those looking to hike to the canyon rim for a vista of the area. In less than three quarters of a mile there is an elevation gain of 1000 feet. This will get your heart pumping and make you feel like you’ve earned the views.

The Roughlock Falls Nature Trail begins behind the Spearfish Canyon Lodge. There is a mild elevation change over the one mile trail. The trail delivers you to the base of Roughlock Falls, be sure to bring your camera.

 

 

 

find plenty of day hiking in spearfish canyon

City Park and Bike Trail

If you are looking for a leisurely stroll, check out the city park. The sidewalk is right along Spearfish Creek, the path follows the creek all the way through town.

Deadwood and Lead

Lead and Deadwood are a short drive from Spearfish and they offer plenty of hiking options. The new Homestake Trail connects the two cities. It follows a ridge line starting at  the Deadwood Trailhead of the Mickelson Trail and ending at the Dog Park in Lead. The elevation gain at the begin of the Deadwood portion is pretty steep, some people have found starting in Lead a better option. This trail really provides a great view of the area.

Finding Friendship Tower on Mount Roosevelt just outside of Deadwood is a treat. You’ll find this short hike a few miles past the Lodge at Deadwood, on Mount Roosevelt Road. This page about Mount Roosevelt and Friendship tower has a video of the drive. We really enjoy this short loop hike. There are views of the prairie and of many of the area peak. On a clear day, you can see all the way to North Dakota from here.

Walking from Deadwood’s Main Street to Mount Moriah (Boot Hill) is a hike as it is up hill all the way. The historic cemetery is the final resting place of some of the area’s well know characters. Wild Bill and Calamity Jane are buried here just to name a few. If you are up for more physical activity hike to the grave of Martha and Seth Bullock. If you are still not tired, hike all the way to White Rocks for a bird’s eye view of the area.

 

Wyoming

Devils Tower is about an hours drive from Spearfish. It is the nation’s first National Monument and an area held sacred by many Native American Tribes. There are several loop trails and they really are a great way to experience the beauty of the area.  Climbing is allowed at certain times of the year and it is awe inspiring to watch the climbers make there way to the top. Read more at the National Park Service official website.

Sturgis

The first thought that comes to mind when I hear Sturgis is motorcycles, but do you know there are some really great hiking trails in the area too?

The Fort Mead Recreation Area is nearly 7000 acres of public land, it is located on the East side of Sturgis.  The Alkali Creek Nature Trail is a short hike just off Interstate 90. The 7th Cavalry Trail System is my favorite,it is a mix of wooded trails and small meadows. There are several access points for the trails and the views from certain portions of the trail are incredible.

The Centennial Trail, traverses right through the recreation area.  The Trail begins at Bear Butte and continues for over 100 miles right through the Black Hills. The Centennial Trail also connects with the 7th Cavalry trails.

The Deadman Trails are still under development, but add a lot of great trails to the Sturgis area. This area is south of town and will connect to the Centennial Trail. The trailhead is located at the corner of Pineview Drive and Vanocker Canyon Road.

Hiking in the Black Hills

The weather can change quickly in the Black Hills, be prepare. Always carry plenty of snacks and water. Please gather all you trash and take it with you. Check out these websites for more information

Visit Spearfish – They also have a visitors center at 603 N Main.

Black Hills the Hike – A useful website describing many of the local hikes and recreation opportunities.

The Black Hills National Forest – Many maps and more information on the website. Plus, you can visit ranger stations and inquire about trail and forest conditions.

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks – Quality information about the areas maintained by the state.

About the author: Josh loves to take pictures and share them on his South Dakota and the Black Hills blogs. Plus he enjoys traveling with his family any chance he gets.

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