Every year on our granddaughters birthday, we take our annual trip (we do more througout the year) up Spearfish Canyon and stop at Bridal Veil Falls. It us just beautiful, and we take the walk around RoughLock Falls too. We then enjoy lunch at Cheynne Canyon and enjoy the beautiful fall colors along the way.
Visitors are always asking me about hiking trails in the area. While there are dozens of great trails, I frequently end up recommending one of my personal favorites, Iron Creek Trail.
Iron Creek Trail is an easy trail, about 2 miles long, with excellent scenery. The trailhead is about 11 miles into Spearfish Canyon when you take Highway 14A – Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway. It’s easy to find, just look for a large parking lot on the right and a sign for Iron Creek.
The trail follows an old roadbed alongside Iron Creek, which means that the trail is wide enough for two people to walk next to each other. It’s not at all over-grown, like a lot of the trails in the Black Hills are. It’s also one of the most beautiful hikes in the area. One side of the trail reveals the high canyon walls of sandstone, shale and limestone and the other side of the trail provides a spectacular view of Iron Creek, carved through the wall into its small gorge.
This hike is a great one any time of the year and I recommend it to anyone who wants to take in the beauty of Spearfish Canyon.
Many climbers believe that great rock routes can not be found in South Dakota. They are wrong. In late March of this year I drove with my friend Jasen the "short" half day freeway cruise from Sioux Falls to Spearfish to embark on some early season climbing. Our original plan was to do ice climbing in Spearfish Canyon, but the weather turned surprisingly warm in the week preceding our trip. Spring is beautiful in the Spearfish area, and as we arrived the warm breeze was a welcome change from the cold weather we're used to in the eastern side of the state this time of year.
In talking to local climbers in the Rapid City area, I learned about "Sunshine Wall" at the south end of the canyon. Since the wall faces south, it sees a lot of sun and warms up quickly - an ideal place to climb early season. The approach hike is short - perhaps a quarter mile and a couple hundred feet of elevation gain. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow.
Jasen and I spent our afternoon on the wall enjoying the warm spring sun and climbing some great limestone rock. I'm a moderate climber and found a lot of the routes looked pretty difficult. A couple hundred feet to the west less steep climbing comes into view - a perfect fit for my climbing skill (5.8-5.9). Most of the wall is "bolted", meaning climbers clip into bolts drilled into the wall. This makes for a much more safe climbing setup, and allows people like me to push my abilities to the next level.
We just couldn't get over how warm and inviting the weather was. For those of you who enjoy a more quiet and peaceful vacation experience, I would highly recommend going to the Hills in the spring instead of the traditional June-August vacation season. You'll see the hills transition away from winter and break out into full spring growth. Breathtaking.
My favorite month of the summer is now upon us. Not only does July bring fireworks, warmer temperatures, and the Spearfish Festival in the Park, but it also brings Summer Stage—theatre productions at Black Hills State University.
In the summer of 2009 my mother, my aunt and I followed the yellow brick road to BHSU to see “The Wizard of Oz.” I was in awe through the entire play. I marveled at the magical sets, the musical moments, the stunning choreography and the spectacular acting abilities of the cast. I couldn’t believe there was this much talent in a small-town college in Spearfish, SD. They made me an instant and permanent fan of Summer Stage.
This is the fifth summer that BHSU students, alumni and community children will take part in three Summer Stage performances during the month of July. I am sure this summer will hold another trio of productions guaranteed to impress.
The first show is the comedy “Love, Sex, and the IRS” beginning Thursday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m. and running from July 7-10. The second production of July, and one I am looking forward to the most, is the musical “Peter Pan.” It runs July 14-17 and July 21-24. The final production will be the murder mystery “Postmortem.” It runs July 28-31. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and a matinee on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. For more details and show times go to the BHSU Theatre page.