27 July, 2019

Attractions near Spearfish canyon and Badlands national park #SouthDakotatrip

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We visited the beautiful Spearfish Canyon and unique Badlands National park on the second day of our South Dakota Road Trip. Here is the Travelogue of Day 1 if you haven't read earlier. 

Flights to reach Rapid City:

Here is a map to book accommodation near Badlands National park.

Our day started with a drive to Spearfish Canyon after breakfast from Rapid city. The drive is just 45 mins from Rapid city passing through a historic town 'Deadwood'. 

We didn't stop at Deadwood, but if you have time, I would recommend that. You can watch some entertaining shows going on in the town about the wild west past. The Tatanka Bison Sculptures are a good attraction too.

The drive through the 22-mile Spearfish Canyon national scenic byway is well worth it. There is no entry fee to access this scenic byway.

Bridal Veil Falls :

Within 10- 15 mins from Spearfish, you will come across the 60 ft waterfall, the Bridalveil Falls. This can be seen from the road itself and there is a parking area to stop and take photos too. 

The best time of the year to watch waterfalls in full flow is spring / early summer. We visited in July and the waterfall was good.

Bridal Veil Falls

RoughLock Falls :

The trail to Roughlock falls is an easy 2 mile (round -trip) which starts near the Parking area at Spearfish canyon lodge. The trail is paved and we enjoyed the scenery on the way and the beautiful waterfalls. This trail is good to go with kids. 

Roughlock Falls

Spearfish Falls :

Spearfish Falls is a 47ft waterfall with just a 3/4 mile loop trail. If you don't have time to visit much, I would suggest not to miss this trail. 

The trail to these waterfalls (also called Little Spearfish falls) starts at the Latchstring Inn parking area. The path to the trail is beautiful with a lot of flowers and tall trees. The waterfalls are great with gushing water and there are good spots for photos. 

Spearfish Falls

We couldn't find the location of Community caves in our GPS properly, so we had to miss that. From other blogs, I realized later that it's at mile marker 13 and it's difficult to spot it. 

After covering Spearfish Canyon, we drove straight to Badlands National Park. 

Badlands National Park :

Badlands National Park is unique, vast, and fascinating. We entered the Park through Pinnacles Entrance. The entry is $25/ vehicle valid for 7 days.

The park got its name from the Lakota tribe who referred this place as 'mako sica' or land bad. Since these lands are arid, black, without water, with rugged terrain exposed to extreme temperatures,  they got this name.

In the afternoon, temperatures usually reach 92 F in summers and so, sunglass, sunscreen, and hat are mandatory. I think, entering the park from Ben Reifel Visitor center might have been good. 

Sunscreen Spray

Prairie Grasslands in Badlands

Driving through highway 240 Loop road will take around an hour. There are many overlooks on the way to stop by.

Badlands Loop

I loved the bright colors of 'Yellow Mound Overlook'. Pinnacles Overlook is good to view Sunset/ Sun rise. Big Badlands Overlook, White river Valley overlook and Panorama point Overlook are good for photos. Conata Basin Overlook is popular to watch Sunset.

There are many short trails near the Ben Reifel Visitor Center. The 0.25-mile Window trail which leads to the Badlands wall is an easy trail to do with kids. Door Trail also is an easy 0.75 miles round trip.  

Wall Drug Store :

After Badlands National Park, we drove to 'Wall Drug' store which is 15 mins drive. This place is really worth if you are visiting with kids. Though the Wall drug is famous for it's 5 cent Coffee and free cool water, my kids loved the life-size robot T-Rex, Amazing! 

Wall Drug

We enjoyed the homemade ice cream, donuts and kids loved playing in the splash pad and climbing on horse and bunny sculptures. We took a lot of fun photos, did some shopping and relaxed a bit before driving back to Rapid City. 

Wild West theme in Wall Drug

That's how we ended our Day 2 and relaxed in our hotel swimming pool after dinner in Rapid city. 

So, How did you like my travelogue? Please do let me know in comments.

Here are Day 1 and Day 3 travelogues:
Day 1 - Rapid city, Custer state Park and Mt. Rushmore

Day 3 - Crazy horse memorial and Carhenge, Nebraska 

Until Next time,


  1. Wow so many beautiful waterfalls around the area. It would be wonderful to go on a hike here. Lovely photos.

    1. True, even though we couldn't take longer hikes due to kids, we enjoyed the small hikes to waterfalls.

  2. I love waterfalls. The name Badlands is intriguing. It makes me wonder what is it with the national park that it was named BAD lands. I have a suggestion with respect to the travelogue posts. Your photos are beautiful and it would be nice to post them in bigger dimensions (large or full size) on the blog so that the beauty of the places in the photos comes out better.

    1. Thanks for your suggestions Anamika. Made my pics to full size and I have mentioned the significance of its name for Badlands national park.

  3. Does this drive work for a motorhome?

    1. I think, yes. Also, there are lodges and campsites I believe. Not 100% sure.


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