BHNF Trail #80: Little Spearfish Trail | Black Hills & Badlands - South Dakota

BHNF Trail #80: Little Spearfish Trail

Trail Difficulty: 
Easy, Moderate
Trail Length: 
6.0 mile loop trail
Trail Elevation Range: 
4,805 to 6,280 feet

Spearfish Creek offers a year round home to the American Dipper. Dippers are small songbirds uniquely adapted to feeding underwater. The common name "dipper" comes from this bird's habit of bending its legs so its entire body moves up and down in a dipping motion. Dippers can dive and propel themselves under the water with swimming motions of their wings.

In shallow water, they walk along the bottom of streams by grasping stones with their elongated toes. Dippers feed almost exclusively under water on larval forms of aquatic insects including caddisfly, mayfly and stonefly nymphs.

Trail Highlights

The trail begins at the trailhead but can be accessed at numerous locations apparent on the trail map. Both trails meander through stands of ponderosa pine, quaking aspen, and paper birch. Spectacular views of limestone cliffs are complimented by the ambiance of Little Spearfish Creek. The foundation of an old ranger station and a root cellar can be seen between Timon Campground and Rod and Gun Campground.

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