For one final scenic experience in South Dakota’s Black Hills, before heading back into Wyoming, I decided to drive the Spearfish Canyon Byway. The route was a little bit out of the way from where I was starting (in the Lead-Deadwood area), but the squiggly line on the map looked like it would be worth it.
After Alt-14 turns north, and the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway begins, the road instantly plunges into a deep canyon, sandwiched in between tall mountains, often with just enough room for the road and Spearfish Creek to squeeze through. One of the first nice places to stop is at a small lake, formed by a small dam. The spot is known as the Savoy Intake…
… and it’s a popular fishing spot…
… not to mention a great place to find a nice reflection on the water.
The road takes its time as it meanders through the canyon. Around just about every corner, you see a scene that looks like this. Sometimes it’s a bit more dramatic, but there is a limited number of places where you can pull off, to take a picture.
One place worth a quick stop is Bridal Veil Falls. The waterfall cascades down a mountainside on the opposite side of Spearfish Creek. You can’t get any closer than the edge of the road, but you still get a good view.
The road continues to take you around countless curves, until you finally reach the pleasant little town of Spearfish.
It won’t take long to explore Spearfish’s Downtown. The historic commercial district is only about 3 blocks long. Signs will guide you to a dozen or so historic buildings which still stand…
… including Matthews Opera House, which has been recently restored.
Spearfish has a couple of nice neon signs hanging alongside main street. Be sure to check them out as you stroll around town.
If you’re not planning on snuggling up for the night at Motel Kozy, now’s the time to leave the scenic route behind, and hop onto Interstate 90, for the trip west into Wyoming.
Note: This trip was first published in 2008.