If you’ve never been to the Black Hills in the fall, you are truly missing out. Combine the natural beauty of the hills with the colors of fall and you’ve got a picture-esque scene. Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway embodies the best of both, and taking the breathtaking drive, hike, or walk through the canyon tops our list of things to do in the Black Hills!
Spearfish Canyon runs along US Highway 14A, sandwiched between the City of Spearfish and Cheyenne Crossing at Highway 85. The 19 miles of limestone canyon walls are older than the Grand Canyon and change a whopping 2,000 feet in elevation from beginning to end. Full of waterfalls and dotted with historic buildings and sites, Spearfish Canyon offers amazing views and recreation. The beauty of the canyon is merely heightened in the fall when the colors change to golden yellows, crimson reds, and burnt oranges, setting the scene ablaze with lustrous splendor.
This roadside waterfall drapes amongst some of the prettiest scenery Spearfish Canyon has to offer. In the winter time this waterfall is something straight out of Disney’s Frozen, sprawling, icy crystals spilling out from the canyon wall.
Another beautiful stop along the way, these falls are tucked back off the road and give venturers an opportunity to stretch their legs with a short hike. If this attraction looks somewhat familiar, you’re not going crazy! The final scene of the 1990 classic Dances With Wolves starring Kevin Costner was filmed here, making these falls that much cooler!
With the boundless adventures Spearfish Canyon offers, you may find yourself in need of nourishment and where better than the historic Latchstring Restaurant at the Spearfish Canyon Lodge. The restaurant is open year round for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and with a little planning, you might catch one of their special events like Dueling Pianos or the Brew Master Dinner featuring local brews and a wild game inspired menu.
Whether you’re an avid cyclist or get into a frenzy over fowl, Spearfish Canyon offers something for everyone! Named one of the top 50 scenic bike paths in the country by Bicycling Magazine, Spearfish Canyon is laden with paths and wide shoulders for cyclists and pedestrians alike.
Don’t forget to pack your binoculars! According to National Geographic Magazine, the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway is one of the most popular birding routes in the region. Traveling the various sites along the way, bird watchers are bound to see Bald Eagles and may even come across the rare American Dipper.
If bird watching isn’t your cup of tea, consider packing your camera. Photographers flock to the canyon, particularly during the changing of the colors in the fall. Why do you ask? It’s nearly impossible to take a bad photo with so many gorgeous colors and breathtaking views!
When planning your next vacation in the Black Hills, make sure to dedicate at least a few hours to the beautiful Spearfish Scenic Byway. Swing by this fall to catch the changing of the colors or head out in the winter to see the glistening frozen wonderland. And if you’re looking for accommodations, check out the cabins and RV sites available at Hart Ranch Camping Resort. For more information on things to do in the Black Hills or to book your stay at Hart Ranch Camping Resort, contact us today!