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Some of the best places to visit in South Dakota are in the Black Hills.

And, one of the famous places in the Black Hills is Spearfish Canyon!

Spearfish Canyon is one of the many scenic drives in South Dakota.

A trip to Spearfish Canyon can be about the waterfalls, trails, or just about the drive!

By driving through Spearfish Canyon, you’ll also be driving through Black Hills National Forest!

You can make it a drive through Spearfish Canyon with a few short activities.

 

Things to do in Spearfish Canyon

spearfish canyon. things to do in spearfish canyon. black hills. south dakota travel blog

 

I went to Spearfish Canyon as part of a drive from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower. (That was a drive from Mount Rushmore to Yellowstone with Spearfish Canyon along the way!)

This means that coming from Mount Rushmore, I arrived at Spearfish Canyon at Savoy SD.

 

things to do in spearfish canyon south dakota road trip

 

1. Roughlock Falls Trail

If you are coming from Keystone SD and Mount Rushmore, then the Roughlock Falls Trail can be a perfect first stop in Spearfish Canyon!

You can see waterfalls in Spearfish Canyon, and Roughlock Falls can be the first waterfalls you see!

You can hike the Roughlock Falls Trail to see the waterfalls and the cascades around it at the Roughlock Falls Nature Area.

 

things to do in spearfish canyon: roughlock falls. spearfish canyon waterfalls.

 

You can hike the Roughlock Falls Trail to see the waterfalls.

 

things to do in spearfish canyon: roughlock falls trail. spearfish canyon hiking trails.

things to do in spearfish canyon: roughlock falls. spearfish canyon waterfalls.

things to do in spearfish canyon: roughlock falls. spearfish canyon waterfalls.

 

This isn’t a difficult hike, it just requires a little bit extra time and effort.

It is a pretty leisurely walk through the forest, and along the way there are parts where you will see views of the canyon!

This will lead to the Roughlock Falls overlook.

You will park at the Roughlock Falls trailhead that you’ll come across almost immediately after you start driving on Roughlock Falls Road from Savoy.

 

spearfish canyon parking

 

 

2. Roughlock Falls Road

things to do in spearfish canyon: roughlock falls road. spearfish canyon scenic drives

 

Or there is another way to see Roughlock Falls which is to drive all the way down Roughlock Falls Road to the Roughlock Falls Nature Area parking lot.

It will be a shorter walk to the waterfalls.

 

spearfish canyon parking

 

From the parking lot, it’s a short walk to the Roughlock Falls overlook and more of the Roughlock Falls Nature Area.

Bring your picnic food as there are a number of picnic tables around!

The Roughlock Falls Nature Area can be your picnic spot in Spearfish Canyon.

 

things to do in spearfish canyon: roughlock falls nature area. spearfish canyon picnic spots

 

I hiked the Roughlock Falls Trail from the main Roughlock Falls trailhead parking lot (the first parking area you’ll come across), and it took me around 30 minutes to get to the Roughlock Falls overlook.

Then, I walked around the Roughlock Falls nature area.

Then, instead of taking the same way back, I walked the Roughlock Falls Road back. It took me around 15 minutes. It’s a dirt road and this is the same road that cars drive so it means dust will come up as cars drive past you.

Both Roughlock Falls parking lots are located on Roughlock Falls Road that you will see a sign for at the main Savoy junction.

 

 

3. Spearfish Falls Trail

things to do in spearfish canyon: spearfish falls. spearfish canyon waterfalls

 

Spearfish Falls is the most famous waterfalls in Spearfish Canyon!

You’ll hike the Spearfish Falls Trail to get to the waterfalls.

 

spearfish canyon scenic byway best stops: spearfish falls trail. black hills, south dakota scenic drive.

things to do in spearfish canyon: spearfish falls trail. spearfish canyon hiking trails

 

The start of the trail is located right near the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway.

When coming from Savoy, the Spearfish Falls trailhead is basically at the start of the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway.

So if you’re coming from the opposite direction, driving from Spearfish, then Spearfish Falls will be at the end of your drive! (And then you can drive further onto Roughlock Falls Road!)

You’ll find the start of the Spearfish Falls Trail near US-14A.

 

spearfish canyon parking

spearfish canyon parking

 

 

 

 

 

4. Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway

THE drive through Spearfish Canyon is the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway!

You can drive it in either direction, and I don’t really think there is one way that’s better over the other.

It will more or less be a matter of where you’re coming from and where you’re going.

Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway can be just about the drive, and there are also a few quick stops you can make too. (Some of these stops will be listed below.)

 

spearfish canyon scenic drive. how to get to spearfish canyon.

spearfish canyon scenic drive. how to get to spearfish canyon.

spearfish canyon scenic drive. how to get to spearfish canyon.

 

There will also be some spots where you can pull over on the side of the road.

 

spearfish canyon scenic byway parking

things to do in spearfish canyon: spearfish canyon scenic byway

 

You’ll also drive through a “split rock” as you make your way through Spearfish Canyon!

 

things to do in spearfish canyon: spearfish canyon scenic drive

things to do in spearfish canyon: spearfish canyon scenic drive

 

 

5. Spearfish Creek

As you drive through Spearfish Canyon, there are many areas where you’ll be driving directly along Spearfish Creek.

 

things to do in spearfish canyon: spearfish creek near spearfish canyon scenic drive

things to do in spearfish canyon: spearfish creek near spearfish canyon scenic drive

 

There are also small stops you can make in Spearfish Canyon if you want to take in the sounds of the flowing water of Spearfish Creek!

You’ll pass over the creek as you hike Spearfish Falls Trail.

You can go to the Long Valley picnic area even if you’re not bringing food – and if you are, here’s another picnic spot in Spearfish Canyo

 

things to do in spearfish canyon: spearfish creek picnic spot

 

But otherwise, Long Valley can be a stop along Spearfish Creek!

There is a small boardwalk along Spearfish Creek, and there’s also a bench so you can sit and take in the quiet surroundings of Spearfish Canyon with the flow of the water!

 

things to do in spearfish canyon: spearfish creek trail, long valley

things to do in spearfish canyon: spearfish creek trail, long valley

things to do in spearfish canyon: spearfish creek trail, long valley

 

You’ll see a sign for Long Valley picnic area as you are driving through Spearfish Canyon.

 

things to do in spearfish canyon: spearfish canyon scenic drive

things to do in spearfish canyon: spearfish canyon scenic drive

 

Another Spearfish Creek stop you can make is at the Kissing Rocks.

If you’re looking for it, then you’ll see it as you drive past it. You can also stop nearby to walk down to the creek to get a closer look at it.

 

They are 2 massive rocks that are located in Spearfish Creek!

 

things to do in spearfish canyon: spearfish creek, kissing rocks

 

You can also make a quick stop at Spearfish Creek at Victoria Lane to see Victoria’s Tower.

 

things to do in spearfish canyon: spearfish creek, victoria's tower

things to do in spearfish canyon: spearfish creek, victoria's tower

 

You can see Spearfish Creek flowing in both directions.

 

things to do in spearfish canyon: spearfish creek, victoria's tower bridge

 

You can also cross over Spearfish Creek near the roadside parking area that is located near Split Rock!

So, you have plenty of places in Spearfish Canyon that you can make a quick stop at Spearfish Creek!

 

 

6. Eleventh Hour Gulch

things to do in spearfish canyon: eleventh hour gulch. spearfish canyon hikes

 

Consider the Eleventh Hour Gulch a bit of a hidden spot in Spearfish Canyon!

Even though it’s located directly off of the main road, if you’re not looking for it, you can easily miss it!

You can make it a quick stop to go for a walk with the tall rock formations around you!

 

things to do in spearfish canyon: eleventh hour gulch. spearfish canyon hikes

things to do in spearfish canyon: eleventh hour gulch. spearfish canyon hikes

things to do in spearfish canyon: eleventh hour gulch. spearfish canyon hikes

 

This is near Kissing Rocks, so find roadside parking near there, and then you can go in search on the other side of the road for the Eleventh Hour Gulch!

It will be on the other side of the road from Spearfish Creek.

 

If you like Eleventh Hour Gulch, you might like hiking the Sunday Gulch Trail in Custer State Park! It’s one of the best things to do in Custer State Park.

 

 

7. Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls are the roadside waterfalls in Spearfish Canyon!

Well, Bridal Veil Falls are apparently best seen in the spring and summer.

It was only a trickle when I went in the fall!

 

things to do in spearfish canyon: bridal veil falls. roadside spearfish canyon waterfalls.

 

It is easy enough to see, so you might as well stop no matter what time of year you go!

The parking for Bridal Veil Falls is directly along the road, and so it the waterfalls overlook.

 

things to do in spearfish canyon: spearfish canyon scenic drive

things to do in spearfish canyon: spearfish canyon overlooks

 

And those are some ideas of things to do in Spearfish Canyon!

 

where to end spearfish canyon

 

 

Spearfish Canyon map

You might like the Spearfish Canyon map that is part of the Spearfish Adventure Guide by the people of Visit Spearfish!

See the Spearfish Canyon map for more things to do in Spearfish Canyon!

 

spearfish canyon map. black hills national forest scenic byway map

spearfish canyon map. black hills national forest scenic byway map

 

And that’s a bit about things to see in Spearfish Canyon!

 

Along with Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park, Spearfish Canyon is one of the best things to do in the Black Hills!

You can make it part of a day trip from Custer State Park.

There are lots of lodging options in Custer State Park, including campgrounds, camping cabins, and lodges!

Or you can go to Spearfish Canyon as you are driving from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower if you are making it a combined South Dakota road trip + Wyoming road trip for example!

 

 

More for your trip to the Black Hills and beyond:

 

HAPPY SEEING SPEARFISH CANYON!

 

things to do in spearfish canyon: black hills national forest

spearfish canyon. things to do in spearfish canyon. black hills. south dakota travel blog



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