Explore the most popular forest trails in Black Hills National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Very nice hike ,beware of slipping.

hiking
3 days ago

The stream was only 6 inches deep in most crossings. You can keep your feet dry if you don't slip off the rocks. But I would plan on getting wet feet. Bring hiking poles!

Beautiful short hike to really immerse yourself more in the beauty of Spearfish Canyon. We encountered numerous folks en route some which were motorcyclists taking in the beauty as well. There were surface changes of flat areas, some roots thru wooded areas, a few logs to climb over and some rocks which were in the stream. Your basically following along the stream bed with crossing back and forth over the stream. The crossings are a good test of balance if you walk on the logs and rocks. Careful! As the rocks CAN BE SLIPPERY! A couple folks actually slipped and fell. The stream is shallow and at the end I waded into the “bathtub”. The water IS cold and I’m guessing the temp was around 70 degrees. Maybe colder? ( I’m basing my guess on a spring i enjoyed in Florida called Devil’s Den which is a year round temp of 72. )

hiking
14 days ago

Slippery in spots, but lots of fun!!!

Great hike with kids. The swimming hole at the end is small but adequate. My kids love this hike.

So crowded. It’s a great family hike with great swimming and a waterfall water slide. If you are looking for a peaceful, quiet hike, though, this isn’t the place.

26 days ago

As noted by others, this hike was not “easy”, but the kids agree it was awesome. Wear water shoes- no obvious way to avoid getting your feet/calves wet. Slippery areas- the kids (11, 9, and 8 yo) handled this easily, but I was slightly less graceful. Trail is not marked and I’m sure we were off it at times. LOTS of other people and parking very tight. We got there on the early side and had no issues, but there were a few cars waiting to park when we left.

VERY busy trail on hot days - beautiful walk.

hiking
28 days ago

Trail is pseudo marked; just keep forging upstream. Bring shoes or sandals you don’t mind submerging. And yes, just go for it, you will eventually need to go knee deep in the water to make it.

Trail isn’t difficult in terms of physical requirements. As such, I wouldn’t necessarily shy away from taking younger kids. They’ll love the water and lack of elevation.

beautiful hike but not easy. with all the creek crossings, sometimes hard to tell where the path is, slippery rocks and fast current in some spots I would say it should definitely be rated moderate. its a bit easier if you just accept your going to get your feet fully submerged and just walk across on the smaller rocks with water up to your ankles and almost knees at times instead of trying to balance on rocks and only get a little wet. it's just not worth the extra effort because you will eventually get wet anyway. in some places take great care in crossing because the current can be fast enough to sweep you off your feet or the rocks might be slippery. also the bathtub has changed over the years. it's not as amazing as our friends recalled it being years ago. the water only went up to just above my knees so there is no jumping in. also if it's rainy the crossings will be more dangerous so don't go if it's raining or if there is a chance of getting caught in the rain.

It was amazing and nice. The wife thought the water was way to cold for comfort

hiking
1 month ago

Definitely more moderate than easy, due to unlevel ground and several water crossings. Our 7 year old did fine, but needed adult help in several areas. Gorgeous area - lots of areas for great photos. Biggest issue was LOTS of poison ivy. Entire trail was covered with it - if you watch your footing carefully you can avoid it.

hiking
1 month ago

Great family trail! Our four and two and a half year olds did pretty well (though the young one spent about half the return trip on my back). Water crossings are fine if parents are there to help. Scenery is beautiful and pools at the end are a lot of fun. Parking is tough; we waited about ten minutes for someone to leave before getting a spot.-and we didn’t get there until mid afternoon. A great hike!

scenic driving
1 month ago

Amazing easy-ish hike. You will get wet through multiple crossings and there are some slippery rocks when you get up towards the pools. Quite busy with a mix of ages from old to young. Very clean for a high traffic trail. We did with small kids and a very lazy dog. There is a bit of mud. We got a little rain but it was muddy before the rain. Quite a few dogs on the trail. All were on leashes. A lot of people wore swim suits to swim. Hands down one of the most beautiful drives too.

Nice trail that is well marked!

Great hike with a natural slide at the end for the older kids. Water shoes/sandals are a must! Trail isn’t well defined so would call it moderate versus easy. Beware of the slippery rocks.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail, but NOT "easy". 8 river crossings and rough terrain make the 1 mile feel more like 2. I would definitely rate this a moderate trail.

8 creek crossings, a little much for the little (under 4) kids. But very beautiful.

Hiked this a couple days ago. Great trail! You will get wet up to your knees. Crossed the creek at least 10 times. So much fun!

best to go before the summer, because it can be one of the most popular hike. It's a lot of fun, be prepared to get your feet yet.

hiking
2 months ago

Lots of people on a Friday, lots of river crossings, not a maintained trail and no sign. Very pretty scenes along the river, definitely wear river shoes versus hiking boots.

so fun! just make sure you're going to get wet.

hiking
2 months ago

We did not get to begin the trail as we soon found out there are several knee high water crossings with no options but to wade through the waters. We witnessed several unhappy hikers with soaking wet shoes warning us away and decided not to move forward. We intend to come back with proper water shoes etc to make the most of this trail. Wish more guides and top hike lists would have mentioned this.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a fun trail to get out and 'explore'. It is very poorly marked but was fun to try to find the right path on. There were a lot of stream crossings (calf high water), so if you go in the near future, plan to get wet - there are not always rocks to jump on to cross so you just ford right through. The falls at the end were beautiful. Fun way to get out and stretch your legs while driving through the canyon.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a poorly marked trail that has many “options” along the way. This trail has rock scrambling and climbing over and ducking under felled trees as well as some steep all dirt (mud if it rains) portions. Be sure to wear hiking boots that will keep your feet dry or Tevas as you WILL have to cross the creek at least once (depending on your route). I recommend this trail be marked as a moderate for the reason stated above. Great hike overall if you’re prepared.

Beautiful trail. I would say this is more medium skill level since there are multiple times you must cross the stream. We took our 1 year old and it was a bit more difficult because of all the crossings.

Easily one of our favor hikes so far in SD. Not an easy hike by any means. Multiple stream crossings and narrow ledges. Took our 3 and 2 year olds. 3 years old walked the whole way, but had to be heavily helped over rocks and ledges. Took a dip at the end. Lovely.

hiking
11 months ago

Variety is good. Easy to get there with many inter weaving trails. Restful and colors a plenty in the fall. Watch out for poison ivy but aside from that is was just perfect.

hiking
11 months ago

Easy to moderate, unmarked, in-out trail that follows the stream along to the 'bathtub' at the end. It is a flat trail BUT does require crossing water back and forth, climbing up/down, through/along rocks the whole way. Wear sturdy shoes and be conscious of the terrain.

11 months ago

You cross the gorgeous mountain stream many times. some light climbing. One of our favorites ever. Keens would really help get over the slippery rocks and stream - better shoes would have saved me a scraped knee. This is moderate, NOT easy. I picked up and carried my preschooler several times. the trail eventually gets kind of dangerous for small kids. we saw the end but didn't go all the way. still enjoyable though to sit and tip you feet in the stream

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