Sunday, August 26, 2012

Back to Deadwood on the Spearfish Canyon Highway

 We left the excellent Booth Fish Hatchery in Spearfish, SD and decided to return to Deadwood using the Spearfish Canyon Highway. This scenic road offers many great views of the Black Hills and is a great drive of about an hour.

We had a fabulous weather day with cloudless skies and mild temperatures. It was hard to imagine a nicer day to drive amid the forests and rock cliffs of the Hills. 

 It is easy to see how the Black Hills got their name. The rocks are a dark granite and the spruce trees are a very, very dark green that look black from a distance.

One of the top attractions on the Spearfish Canyon drive is Bridal Veil Falls. Unfortunately, this has been a dry summer and the "Veil" was pretty small. Indeed, this was more of a Bridal trickle than a real falls. Still, we have seen this in wet times and it is spectacular then.

 We liked this cliff structure which is at about the halfway mark on the drive. It is amazing to drive through the hills since all round it is desert plains area.

 We found it interesting that no water flows into -- or out of the Black Hills. While there are many beautiful streams in the Hills, we were told that they go underground at the edge of the hills, so no water leaves the area.

 On the way back to Deadwood, we traveled through Lead, SD, which was home to the fabulously rich Homestake Gold Mine. Started in 1876, the mine became the largest gold mine in North America and extracted 40 million ounces of gold before closing in 2002. Mining took place up to 8,000' below ground and included miles of tunnels.
Just a few miles away is Deadwood, SD as indicated by this welcoming sign. We eased back to our RV to enjoy the rest of the day. 

We stayed at the Whistler Gulch RV Park which is at the south end of Deadwood. While the sites are a bit narrow, the location is great and we enjoyed walking down to the town (and taking the trolley uphill on the way back).


Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

That is a great drive! I think we stayed in that RV park, as well.

Ron Howes said...

I've been going to the Black Hills for many years, but somehow missed some of the scenic drives and tourist stops you've been writing about this past week. I'll be catching up on these on my next trip, thanks!