When positioned just above Spearfish Community Caves, hikers and nature lovers alike can enjoy a spectacular view of the Black Hills. But what’s the best route to the top? If you park just past mile marker 13 on Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway, you’ll find the trailhead just across the street. After you’ve found the trail, you’ll follow Spearfish Creek for a short distance, along with moths, butterflies and other charming wildlife living around the canyon.
Don’t forget to watch for sunbathing spiders as the trail takes you across the creek and onto a path toward the caves. Once you’ve crossed the creek, you’ll find yourself among tall grass and vibrant wildflowers native to the Black Hills. If you pay close attention, you’ll notice detailed patterns in the leaves of some of the plants lining the trail.
Next, the trail will bring you to a small boulder field, at which point you’ll begin your ascension to the caves. Along with the increase in elevation comes diversity in nature as the path reveals new plants and wildflowers which are more comfortable living at a higher altitude.
As you near the top, the caves will begin to appear. You may notice various bird species along your trek as the caves provide plenty of places to roost and hide away from predators. Recent rains have given life to a small waterfall which trickles out from several crevasses within the caves. The running water helps shape the rock and encourages life in an otherwise dark, shaded place.
Just past the caves, a rock-climbing route awaits the most adventurous hikers, but hikers of all experience levels have plenty to enjoy as they take in the breathtaking views Spearfish Canyon has to offer just to the right of the caves.
Once you’ve reached the highest point of the trail, be sure to take one last look at the expansive Black Hills before beginning your descent from the beautiful scenery of Spearfish Community Caves.