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Rimrock Trail

photo of aspen Rimrock Trail Spearfish Canyon, South Dakota Black Hills

The Rimrock Trail (Trail #79) in Spearfish Canyon is great day hike for those people wanting to spend some time in the forest.  The trail is actually two loop trails – one loop is about 4.5 miles and the other is just over 3 miles.  If you hike it in a figure eight pattern like I did, you will hike just under 8 miles.  There is an elevation changed of about 700 feet when you travel from the creek side to the top.

There are several access points for the hike and a portion of the trail is shared with the Little Spearfish Trail.  Plus, there is a spur from the Old Baldy Trail that connects to the Rimrock Trail.  Other than the Old Baldy Spur, you will find the access points all along Forest Service Road 222 (Roughlock Falls Road).

Trailheads/access points


Lower Loop Trailhead – The first place you’ll find on Forest Service Road 222 when traveling west is the this small pullout.  There is a gate and small sign showing you the trail.

Dances with Wolves Film Site – This area is on the lower loop portion of the trail

Rod and Gun Campground – If you look at the back of the sign at the entry of the campground, you will find a small map of the Rimrock Trail.  The lower loop trail goes right through the campground. image of dead tree, spearfish canyon, south dakota black hills

1997 Holiday Tree – This is the site where the 1997 White House Christmas tree was cut.  It also appears to be the site of an old homestead, there is an old root cellar.  This part of the upper loop

Ranger Draw – Part of the Upper Loop and shared with the Little Spearfish Trail

Timon Campground – No official trailhead here, however the trail goes right along the edge of the campground.

Little Spearfish Trail Trailhead – From here you can hike the Upper Loop of the Rimrock Trail or the 6 mile Little Spearfish Trail.

What you’ll see

This is a nice trail to take in all that Spearfish Canyon has to offer.  The lush riparian vegetation along Little Spearfish Creek gives way to meadows and stands of Ponderosa, quaking aspen and paper birch.  This is a great place to enjoy the Black Hills National Forest.

Be Prepared

Know what you need when hiking in the Spearfish Canyon area.  Always have plenty of water and snacks.  Weather can change quickly, dress accordingly.  Have a good map, like the Black Hills National Forest Map Pack: Topographic Trail Maps.  These maps have the trails and trailheads clearly marked, they are my favorite.

About the author: Josh loves to take pictures and sharing them on his South Dakota and the Black Hills blogs. When he is not busy being a Pharmacist he enjoys traveling with his family.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Katy September 19, 2013, 11:40 am

    Is Rimrock trail dog friendly? Thank you for your time.
    Much peace,

    • Josh January 9, 2014, 7:23 am

      I would say it is dog friendly, this trail is out in the National Forest. You will most likely encounter other hikers and bikers, so as long as you have your pet under control – it should be a perfect trail.

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