Anyone who has seen the movie, Dances with Wolves, may recognize Spearfish Canyon since several scenes were filmed in the area. Spearfish Canyon is actually older than the Grand Canyon in Arizona and was only accessible by horseback until 1893. It’s located in the northern part of the Black Hills in South Dakota. According to legend the Sioux and Cheyenne used to spear fish in the creek and hence the name, Spearfish.
Before building his world famous house, Fallingwater (a National Historic Landmark), Frank Lloyd Wright visited Spearfish Canyon in September 1935 and called it “Unique and unparalleled elsewhere in our country”. With that sort of endorsement, Lex, Sar and I could hardly bypass this beautiful scenic route.
First turn off was for Bridal Veil Falls where thin delicate streams of water cascaded down among the tree leaves and moss covered rocks. It was lovely and did resemble the Victorian lace that it was named for. The turn off for the falls was very easy and there was a crosswalk clearly marked for safely walking across the road. A comfortable viewing platform with a bench beckons the visitor to stay and relax a bit.
Getting back on the road, we drove by the amazing canyon walls 1,000 feet (304.8 meters) high. They had a dark gray tint with jagged edged cliffs and strange looking caves carved into the hills (bears maybe?). After a 1 mile turnoff onto a well-maintained gravel road, we made it to Roughlock Falls.
We were pleasantly surprised to see how cleverly the pathways wound around the powerful falls. It was quite disabled friendly too. It was easy to take Sar in her wheelchair so she could also enjoy the refreshing atmosphere. The day was getting pretty warm and the water cooled down the air around us.
It was a beautiful day and we thoroughly enjoyed our drive through Spearfish Canyon and seeing the amazing waterfalls. If you haven’t yet, we hope that you visit one day because it was certainly worth it for us.