Devil's Bathtub: A Local Gem | Black Hills Travel Blog

Devil's Bathtub: A Local Gem

  • Devil's Bathtub: A Local Gem
    Devil's Bathtub: A Local Gem
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
By : 
Shawna V

Looking for an amazing family hike? One of our little family's favorite places is Devil's Bathtub in Spearfish Canyon. Why is it so great? You get a scenic drive through part of the canyon (taking in Bridal Veil Falls along the way), a nice, fairly easy, gorgeous hike and refreshing pools to cool off in. What more do you want?

Although the locals are very familiar with this area, few tourists may find this little gem hidden in the canyon. When traveling from Spearfish through the canyon, the road you will need to look for is Cleopatra Pl. It is a small road about 8 miles into the canyon and parking there can be an issue on weekend days during the summer months. Please be aware of the private road/drives and make sure to not block them. I would recommend planning a half day for this adventure and longer if you want to explore further.

Once you have arrived and parked safely, grab your backpack with plenty of water and snacks to last a few hours, any sunblock or insect repellant, hats, glasses and hiking footwear that can get wet. Kids may want trunks or swimsuits to splash in at the final destination and of course a towel or two to dry off once they start freezing. *Please be aware, there are no restrooms or trashcans along this hike and, as on any nature hike, be on the lookout for poison ivy as well and wildlife such as snakes that can be dangerous.

The beginning of the hike is pretty easy to find and chances are you will not be the only ones on it that day, so from the parking, head East. The path is quite enjoyable as the landscape changes and you go through the woods, over fallen trees and under them, through the creek, to rock walls and waterfalls and pools. My kids love this hike and throwing stones into the creek for so much of it. They are just irresistable to little ones...who am I kidding? We all love throwing stones into the creek and making that ever-so-satisfying "Spaloosh!" sound. We often have to force ourselves to move on as we compete for the largest splash.

The trail runs along the creek for a bit, then eventually crosses it. Most of the hike is very easy and is incredibly beautiful. You will come to a point where you will have to hike along a tall rock wall, up a short steep area, then across some narrow ledges, but one you get to this point, you are almost there! This is the most difficult part of the hike if you have little ones along, but it is totally doable with at least two adults.

You will follow the creek and eventually reach a small waterfall that flows into a shallow pool. This is the pool that the kids love to play in. There is a bit of a natural slide into the pool below it, which is much deeper. Many people jump from the ledge above into the deeper pool; use caution and your best discretion if you choose to do so, as it would not be a fun place to hike out of being injured. There are some large rocks that make a nice place to hang out while the kids splash around. We like to have our snacks at this little spot and relax.

Really, my words cannot fairly describe the beauty of the hike, so you should go check it out for yourself! It is the perfect outing on a nice warm day. I have no doubt that you will love it as much as we go explore!

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