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A Mile of Fun: The Devil's Bathtub

June 29, 2016

 

Just 70 miles north of Mount Rushmore lies The Devil's Bathtub in Spearfish Canyon, South Dakota. The Devil's Bathtub trail is an unmarked local's hangout that can't be missed. At around one mile in length, the path feels more like an obstacle course than a trail. 

 

 

The path starts off with several creek crossings. There are loose logs and rocks at most crossings but most hikers walk right through the water. Wet feet are going to happen, no matter how good your balance is.  Soon after the first few creek crossings, other trails start to appear. The most strenuous routes lead high up on narrow single track, gaining and loosing

elevation in short but steep sections. Other paths follow the edges of the stream and are full of boulders and pools that must be negotiated. The easiest route keeps crossing the creek a dozen or more times, going around most obstacles.

 

 

 Eventually, most trails converge as they enter an impressive vertical walled canyon. The trail turns to slick rock and the options are few. After some boulder hopping and scaling sections of canyon walls, you'll arrive at The Devil's Bathtub. With four or five feet of crystal clear water, it's a great spot to chill on a hot day. 

 How to get there: From the town of Spearfish, SD - head south on Hwy 14/Spearfish Canyon Hwy. Turn left onto Cleopatra Place and park before the bridge. The trail starts on the right (south) side of the road (headed upstream) just across the bridge. 

 

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