Spearfish puts you smack in the middle of craggy limestone cliffs, ponderosa pine trees and majestic waterfalls — the ultimate backdrop for hiking, fly-fishing and rock-climbing excursions. Cruise along the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway to experience the best of the northern Black Hills, or hang out at the craft breweries, art galleries and antique shops in town. It doesn’t matter if you use Spearfish as a relaxing getaway or jumping-off point for outdoor adventures — you’ll leave with fond memories either way.
Chase Spearfish Canyon Waterfalls
A drive through the 22-mile Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway unveils cascading waterfalls, pristine forest and even vivid fall foliage if you come at the right time. There are many pull-offs on the side of the road in case you want a better view of the natural landscape.
Unbridled Bridal Veils
Bridal Veil Falls is the most popular roadside attraction, enticing tourists with its 60-foot cascade. Hiking is not allowed here, but there is an observation platform that offers fantastic photo opportunities. If you do want to hike, continue on the byway until you reach the Savoy area. There you’ll find a trail that takes you from the Latchstring Inn restaurant to the raging waters of Spearfish Falls. The last wonder on the circuit is Roughlock Falls, a multitiered waterfall resting along Little Spearfish Canyon. Picnic areas and walking paths make it the perfect spot for a relaxing break.
Streams Full of Trout
You’re in luck if you love to fish because Spearfish Canyon is one of the best angling destinations in the Black Hills. Cast a line in Spearfish Creek to snag wild brook, brown and rainbow trout. Next, head west to Iron Creek Lake for yellow perch and more rainbow trout. Located upstream from Cheyenne Crossing, Hanna Creeks and Little Spearfish are worth visiting too for their good numbers of brook trout. Crow Creek is the biggest stream in the Black Hills and another great spot for catching wild brown trout.
The Outdoors is Waiting
A multitude of trails cater to hikers of all skill levels. Enjoy a leisurely or challenging trek to the top of Lookout Mountain, and create your own adventure on the Eagle Cliff Trails by following a combination of 21 intertwining loop and dead-end paths. You can also climb to the summit of Crow Peak if you’re up for a challenge. The 1,600-foot ascent isn’t easy, but the 360-degree views of Spearfish Valley and Eastern Wyoming are well worth it at the end.
South Dakota Game
South Dakota is known for its excellent hunting opportunities, and Spearfish certainly lives up to the hype. The area north of the town is prime hunting ground for antelope and mountain lions, while the Black Hills in the south support an abundance of deer and wild turkey. Small game available for the taking includes prairie dogs, coyotes and jackrabbits.
Craft Beer Galore
Spearfish has a budding craft beer scene, and you’re encouraged to try the local brews at three downtown breweries. Head to Spearfish Brewing Company for a classic American lager and hefty burger. The taproom also produces craft ales and features a rotating lineup of locally made kombucha. Up the street is Sawyer, a brewery serving hoppy IPAs and wood-fired pizzas, with a beautiful creekside view. Crow Peak is right beside it and well known for its diverse lineup of lagers, ales and stouts. Get a tasting flight to start, or order local favorites the Pile O’Dirt Porter and Canyon Cream Ale.
Things heat up in the summer months, especially when it comes to events and festivals. Race against other cyclists at the Gold Rush Gravel Grinder in June, check out sweet rides at the Black Hills Corvette Classic each July and shop for everything from art to furniture at the annual Festival in the Park in July. For a fun-filled evening, attend the Downtown Friday Nights block party for live music, family-friendly activities and delicious food vendors all summer long.
Hearken Back to the Gold Rush Days
Drive 20 minutes south from town and you’ll wind up in Deadwood, an 1800s gold rush town that has been immortalized in legend and in the HBO series by the same name. Get a feel for pioneer life by watching reenacted shootouts on Main Street and viewing over 50 historic wagons at the Days of ‘76 Museum. You can even gape at a 7.3-ounce gold nugget at the Adams Museum and learn how to pan for gold and keep what you find at the Broken Boot Mine.
Before you go, visit the Mount Moriah Cemetery to see the final resting places of Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and other legendary outlaws and roustabouts. The High Plains Western Heritage Center is on the way back to Spearfish, so stop by to explore Western artifacts and family history displays.
For More Information
South Dakota Department of Tourism