Spearfish SD offers and excellent combination of history and outdoor activities. Less than an hours drive northwest of Rapid City, Spearfish’s position among the Black Hills has given the town a rich history with both Native Americans and the United States. The area’s limestone crags provides ample opportunity for rock climbing and hiking, while its many bodies of water draw fishing enthusiasts.
History Image: Lars Plougmann (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0
Spearfish SD and its nearby creek are named after the Sioux tribe’s method of fishing in Spearfish Creek’s clear waters. In 1876, gold was found in the Black Hills, and the town of Spearfish was established at the mouth of Spearfish Canyon. Miners in the hills depended on farms established in Spearfish and the surrounding valley for food and supplies. The first store and the post office opened in 1877, and The Spearfish Norman School, known today as Black Hills State University, was established in 1883. Spearfish SD was officially incorporated in 1888, and a railroad was built through the area in 1893. The Matthew’s Opera House, built in 1906, still serves the city today.
Spearfish is situated at the northern tip of the Black Hills of South Dakota, one of the United States’ most stunning national forests. This secluded mountain range boasts the tallest peaks east of the Rocky Mountains, the greatest of which is Harney Peak at 7,244 feet. Their name originated from the Lakota tribe, noting their dark appearance due to their thick tree cover. While the Black Hills extend from the Great Plains in western South Dakota into Wyoming, Spearfish’s convenient location makes it the perfect place to explore this beautiful countryside. Outdoor Recreation Due to the town’s position within the Black Hills, there are many outdoor activities to enjoy in and around Spearfish SD. The many surrounding peaks make Spearfish a mecca for hikers. Crow Peak, named for a tribe once lost to the Sioux, offers an unparalleled view of mountains as far as Wyoming and Montana.
Spearfish, South dakota
Hikers can also ascend Lookout Mountain, one of the three mountains surrounding Spearfish. Cyclists enjoy nearby Big Hill, a system of bicycle trails ranging from beginner to intermediate. Fishing enthusiasts enjoy Spearfish’s many nearby lakes, rivers, and creeks. The most popular is Sand Creek, west of Spearfish. Its clear waters are considered some of the finest trout fishing in the area. Spearfish also makes an excellent home base for many nearby attractions. Visitors to Spearfish frequently venture beyond the town’s borders to the many sites located within an easy drive. Perhaps the most popular is Mount Rushmore, a mere 52 miles south. This easily recognizable American monument of sculpted presidents attracts nearly three million visitors a year. An hour’s drive west will bring travelers to Devil’s Tower, considered the first national monument of the United States. This monolithic rock rises 1,267 feet above the ground, luring rock climbers of all types. Devil’s Tower is considered a sacred Native American site, and climbing is not allowed during tribal ceremonies.
Spearfish offers a decent selection of basic motel lines, such as Best Western (pictured) and Days Inn, providing clean bedding and basic motel amenities. Another option is to rent a cottage at Orchard Creek Cottages, providing a tranquil wooded atmosphere and privacy. Orchard Creek also includes free wireless internet access. Spearfish also offers several reliable bed and breakfasts, such as Yesterday’s Inn, offering excellent personalized service and wonderful food. For those wanting to stay connected to nature, the Spearfish City Campground is located along Spearfish Creek, within walking distance of downtown Spearfish. The campground includes laundry facilities, internet access, and electricity at full-hookup sites.