If you’re looking for an alternative way to burn calories, you may as well get the added benefit of some pretty spectacular views. Here are five hikes in the Spearfish Canyon that will take your breath away — some from the views, others from the exercise. Just remember to be cautious while climbing and hiking and take a friend or two, especially since there is limited cellphone service in the canyon. Bring water, dress appropriately and have fun.
This is an easy hike for those who don’t want anything too strenuous. It’s located at the end of the Spearfish Canyon Lodge parking lot, and is a one-mile hike. This is a good option for kids and those who don’t want a hike that climbs far uphill.
This hike is as long as you make it. You can hike all the way to Iron Creek Lake, or simply follow alongside the creek for as long or short of a time as you want. The trail starts about 11 miles into the canyon when coming from Spearfish. You will see Iron Creek and a parking lot on the right side of the road.
11th Hour Gulch
This hike is more of a short climbing adventure than an established hike. There are many small waterfalls throughout the trail, but be prepared to climb up some terrain and ladders to reach the top of the rocks, which overlook the highway going through the canyon. Look for the roadside pulloff roughly 9 miles into the canyon across the "kissing rocks."
This trail leads you to a great place to cool off on a hot day — nature’s own little swimming pool. You’ll have to cross the creek quite a few times to get there, but you won’t have to go uphill too much. Just be careful when crossing through the creek that you don’t slip. This trail is about 7 miles into the canyon off Cleopatra Lane.
Although this hike is less than a mile long, you’ll gain 1,000 feet in elevation — 700 feet in less than half a mile. Once you’re at the top, though, you’ll be looking over the top of the canyon. The trailhead is located near the Spearfish Canyon Lodge parking lot.