Thursday, September 1, 2016

Fall foliage: three best scenic drives

by Victoria Kinkler
guest blogger, road trip enthusiast

Oh, autumn.  Golden leaves, brisk mornings, and active wildlife.  Fall is upon us, and it is the perfect opportunity to grab a coffee, a camera, and a friend--and hit the road.  

3. Higgins Gulch
This is the road takes you to Crow Peak.  That means it goes uphill out of Spearfish, winding through steeper, more forested knolls.  

Take a hike up Crow Peak or drive the Gulch all the way to Tinton Road--which will take you back to Spearfish.  Higgins and Tinton are both maintained gravel roads.

2. Maitland Road
Maitland starts out as Christiansen Drive and can be accessed from Colorado Boulevard.  It turns to Maitland between Spearfish and Deadwood.  The drive is very winding with magnificent views and is, again, gravel.  

Just a couple of miles in, you'll find the Termesphere Gallery, which features hundreds of spheres painted by local artist Dick Termes.  It's worth a stop for sure.

You can then take Maitland Road all the way to Deadwood.  

After you've had your fun there, make your way back to Spearfish via our number one scenic route.

1. Spearfish Canyon
The canyon is the obvious first pick.  Spearfish Creek and Iron Creek both run through it, and fishing, hiking, and rock climbing opportunities abound.  The stark limestone rock contrasts and compliments the magnitude of color, and the creeks reflect it.

Of course, you can drive straight through to Spearfish.  But if you're up for an easy, beautiful walk we recommend the Iron Creek Trail.  There's parking, it's a flat hike, and you can walk all the way to Iron Creek Lake (about 6 miles) if you feel like it.  The trail follows the creek, and is lined with crimson and scarlet leaved trees.

These three drives can be done in a day if you're up to it.  Maitland Road is #mygreatplace

Which is your favorite?