Following our lunch in Rapid City, we took the afternoon to drive Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway. The start of the scenic byway is just off the interstate, and there were many signs pointing us in the right directions. We wanted to drive this both to view the fall foliage and the 3 major waterfalls that are located along the byway.
The first waterfall is easily accessible. There is a roadside stop off area to one side and across the road is Bridal Veil Falls.
There is a small viewing platform area where you can get some decent photos of the falls, but this is a very quick stop to just pose for a picture, snap a few others of the falls on their own, and hop back in the car.
The next two sets of falls are located much further south along the byway. You will reach the small town of Savoy that offers a nice lodge and restaurant. To the west is a dirt road that will lead to Roughlock Falls. We opted to park at the trailhead to get a nice hike in. There is a small bathroom located at the start of the trail and parking for a few vehicles. You also can adventure further up the road to get a closer parking spot to the falls.
On this hike you can see many beautiful plants along the creek bed and also the canyon walls towering high above. The end goal is of course, Roughlock Falls. You can get a nice shot below them when hiking the trail and then also take the series of path bridges to climb further above the falls, closer to that second parking area. Lots of unique vantage points for viewing Roughlock Falls.
Roughlock Falls is located on the lodge side of the road. For Spearfish Falls, you will want to park by the restaurant. Here they have a small overlook from the top and you can look down below to also see the lower viewpoint that you can hike to.
You can’t fully appreciate the falls from above, so I highly recommend making the short hike down to that lower viewpoint for some especially stunning views! This was by far our favorite of the three!
The Spearfish Canyon Byway is well worth the afternoon (or morning) trek. You can easily view all three of these beautiful falls in a couple of hours. It’s especially beautiful in the fall as the leaves are changing! I would certainly return, and while we ran into a few other couples hiking here or there, we were relatively alone in our visit, making it very peaceful!
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