The Best Spearfish Canyon Hikes to Experience

We discovered Spearfish Canyon on a recent South Dakota road trip, and is a true hidden gem! It’s a great place to hike, with beautiful waterfalls and deep scenic canyon walls. Some of the best Spearfish Canyon hikes can be a bit hidden if you don’t know where to look. However, if you find them you will be rewarded with some of the best views in South Dakota. From Spearfish Falls, to Devil’s Bathtub, this is our guide to the best Spearfish Canyon Hikes.

Spearfish Falls Trail

  • Location: If you are facing the Spearfish Canyon Lodge Latchstring Restaurant, walk behind the building to the left and you will find the trailhead.
  • Length: 1.5 Miles out and back
  • Difficulty: Moderate

This is one of the best Spearfish Canyon hikes to take with kids. The trail takes you a short .75 miles out and back to view the Spearfish Falls. It winds through a flowered forest, with an upward gaze of the extraordinary canyon walls.

The trail down to the falls does have some elevation. On the way back up, there are benches to rest at most turns.

The area next to the falls has a nice boardwalk with a place to rest. Enjoy a snack, capture some photos, and just take in the majestic waterfall.

After your hike, don’t hesitate to stop at the Latchstring Restaurant for lunch. They have friendly service and outdoor seating with beautiful views of the surrounding canyon.

Roughlock Falls Trail

  • Location: If you are facing the Spearfish Canyon Lodge, walk left to the side of the lodge. You will see a Japanese style bridge that merges with the Roughlock Falls Trail. Turn right and follow the path to the falls.
  • Length: 2 miles out and back
  • Difficulty: Easy

There are several ways to get to Roughlock Falls. We recommend this two mile hike that can be taken from the Lodge. You can park at the Latchstring Restaurant and catch the trail to the side of the Spearfish Canyon Lodge.

Go around the lodge to the bridge over the stream and turn right headed to the falls. This hike is easy, and leads through the canyon past beautiful views. After a mile of forest, you will come to the Roughlock falls viewing area.

The falls themselves are magical, and there are several viewpoints to allow you to see the upper and lower falls.

You also have the option to drive and park near the falls. We still recommend the trail. It is beautiful and easy with very little elevation. If you feel like taking a beautiful walk in the midst of Spearfish Canyon, we definitely recommend this as one of the easiest and rewarding Spearfish Canyon hikes.

ProTip: This waterfall gets very busy mid day. Some of the magic can be lost if you have to crowd to get a good view of the falls. We recommend going early in the morning or late afternoon to try to avoid larger groups of people. This will give you the best experience at Roughlock Falls.

Devil’s Bathtub

Location: 1917 Spearfish Canyon Hwy, Lead, SD 57754, There is a parking lot off of 14A designated for the trail.
Length: 1.6 miles out and back
Difficulty: High Moderate

If you are looking for the most adventurous of the Spearfish Canyon hikes, Devil’s Bathtub is for you. Multiple stream crossings and boulder crawling make this hike technically challenging. However, it pays off in the end and leads you to a pool with a small waterfall that you can slide down.

Use common sense when sliding down the slide. On days when the water level is high, it can get dangerous and you need to be a strong swimmer to get out from under the waterfall.

This is a fun hike for those looking for an adventure. Your feet will DEFINITELY get wet, so wear water shoes, and don’t attempt this in sneakers. The parking lot fills up as early as 10 AM, so try to hit this early or late in the day to avoid crowds.

76 Trail

Location: 10620 Co Rd 222, Lead, SD 57754
Length: 1.2 miles out and back
Difficulty: High Moderate

If you are looking for a work out, the 76 Trail has great elevation and amazing views. It is a short hike at only 1.2 miles, but is straight up and quite steep. It’s definitely the most strenuous of the Spearfish Canyon hikes.

At the top you are treated to gorgeous views of Black Hills National Forest. It can get muddy after the rain, but overall this is a very doable hike, especially if you take your time. Hiking poles might be helpful, particularly for the way down. If you want to get out and get your steps in, consider this hike, the views are worth it.

Iron Creek Trail

Location: Mile Marker 22 on 14A about 11 miles into Spearfish Canyon from Spearfish
Length: 2.5 Miles Out and Back
Difficulty: Easy (Moderate in the Winter)

This is a great trail for families looking to get lost in the woods. It wanders by Iron Creek, and as you explore the forest and the canyon, you will enjoy the sound of the running water.

It has some elevation, but it is gradual. The first half of the hike is the most scenic, so if you want to make it shorter just head in for a half mile or so.

Be cautious in the winter, the rocks get more slippery and this hike can get challenging with snow on the ground.

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