The limestone and shale walls of Spearfish Canyon rise 1,000 feet above the canyon floor. In this scenic byway, the views are from the bottom of the canyon where the road follows the creek and the eyes are drawn upward. From the mouth of the canyon near Spearfish, along U.S Highway 14A, to Cheyenne Crossing near Lead, the byway climbs 2,000 feet in 22 miles. Home to wild rainbow, brown and brook trout, Spearfish Creek is a great small stream fly-fishing destination.
The roadway was designed with four foot shoulders on each side so that bicyclists can enjoy the canyon in safety. Stop in Savoy where Spearfish Canyon Lodge is located for hiking. Trailheads to Roughlock Falls and the 76 Trail are located near the Lodge. The trailhead to Spearfish Falls (a personal favorite) is across the roadway near the Latchstring Restaurant. The hikes to the falls are short and easy. For scenic vistas, the 76 Trail is a short but strenuous hike, rising 700’ to the canyon rim in just .8 miles. It is one of the few places you can see the world from the top of the canyon.
From Savoy it is a short drive to Cheyenne Crossing the endpoint of the scenic byway. Historically a stop along the Cheyenne/Deadwood stagecoach line, today it is a delightful place to stop for a great meal, a glass of wine and dessert.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for outdoor activities in the Black Hills. Every region from the Southern to the Northern Hills has its own special beauty and hidden places to explore. Bring a good pair of boots and sunscreen. Leave the dynamite and mountain carving to the experts.
Photo © Laural Bidwell