Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Exploring the Great West: Day 2, Part 2, Devil's Bathtub

This is a continuation of a travel series to The Great West.  To start at the beginning, go HEREHERE, and 

In last week's travel post I covered how we spent the morning at Bear Butte State Park hiking the Summit Trail.  It was quite the rigorous trail and we were exhausted afterwards.  We got back in the car and headed to our next destination:  Spearfish Canyon.  The drive was so relaxing.  It was so nice to sit for a spell and enjoy the air conditioning, and of course we stopped for lunch too!

Now we had been to Spearfish Canyon before, back in 2019,  It is a must stop if you're ever in South Dakota because the landscape is quite different than the rest of South Dakota, filled with trees and water!  There are multiple trails and waterfalls on this scenic byway.  If you want to see more, check out my old posts HERE and  HERE!

On our first visit to Spearfish Canyon, somehow we missed one of their more popular trails "Devil's Bathtub" so my husband wanted to return and check it out.  So here we are, back again, two years later!


The Devil's Bathtub Trail is 1.6 miles roundtrip and is rated as moderate.  It was a nice relaxing hike for us to take late in the afternoon, especially after taking a more vigorous hike in the morning.  When we were just starting the trail, it seemed most people were heading out as the sun was just starting to go down.  It is a very popular, heavily trafficked trail.  


The parking lot is located a short distance from the trail head.  But it is a very nice walk for you walk through a forest, along a beautiful river.  It was the beginning of September when we were there, and the fall colors were just starting to emerge.


The trail itself reminded me a tiny bit of The Narrows in Zion National Park, because it follows the river.  Throughout the hike, you cross the river multiple times, using rocks or fallen trees to help you.  The water level depends on the time of year your hiking.  We were there in the fall, at the end of a hot summer and drought, so the water was very shallow.  I initially "tried" to use stepping stones and my sticks to guide me across the river, but then I realized it was easier just to step right into the water.  I had water shoes on plus my "Active Swimwear" so it didn't matter if I got wet.

A common issue I found when reading reviews of this trail is that it is hard to figure out where the trail is.  We found that to be an issue as well as there aren't a lot of trail markings.  The trail actually exists on both sides of the river, but sometimes it is easier to hike on the opposite side depending on the time of the year, that is why you are constantly crossing over the river.  When we were there, there were a lot of other hikers there, so we just followed them every time we got "lost".  However, I don't always recommend that as one set of hikers got me in some waist deep water at one point. Eventually we figured out that there wasn't a need for markers on the trail, and there was no way to get lost on this trail, because the river itself is the trail.  Just follow the river, and it will eventually lead you to the end, which is "Devil's Bathtub".


The trail is so beautiful, and so worth it!  You will see some amazing rock formations like this one.  But this picture is also an example of some issues you will have to deal with.  Do you stay along the cliff wall, or do you rock jump in the river?   It's kinda neat actually that there is no real trail.  You make a lot of decisions for yourself thus setting your own adventure!


We really enjoyed this trail and thought it was so cool!


The water is icy cold, but people still do "swim" in it.  I saw lots of people heading back to the parking lot with bathing suits and towels.  The trail is most popular during the heat of the day because of the swimming aspect.

The trail comes to an abrupt end at "Devil's Bathtub".  You will know you're at the end because there is a tiny waterfall with a "slide" that lands in a big pool of water.  Many people go down the "slide" and into "Devil's Bathtub".  But be sure to have shoes on, as there are rocks on the bottom.  My husband tried it barefoot and did hurt his feet.  There is a video at the end of this post showing my husband going down the "slide" and into the "Devil's Bathtub".  We were told that when we were there the water was much lower than it usually is.

And finally, I just wanted to share a few pictures of some beautiful fall wildflowers that were in bloom along the trail.  They just took my breath away!






 And here is the short video of my hubby going down the "Slide" into the "Devil's Bathtub".  I didn't try it, as the rocky "slide" looked like it would hurt your backslide, but hubby said the only thing that hurt was his feet...and how cold the water was.  What about you?  Do you think you would try it?  I'd love to hear from you!


Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

24 comments:

  1. That sounds like a fun hike! We had the opposite problem hiking in New Hampshire either this month while the trail was well marked the water was running so high we could not get across.

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    1. It was. Very adventurous to say the least! That doesn't surprise me about New Hampshire. You said you got a lot of rain. When I was reading reviews of this trail a couple people said they had to turn back because of rain or water levels. So I think it all depends around the time of year you go.

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  2. Goodness, you guys are so adventurous! Can't believe your husband went down the "slide". It looks scary!!
    But what an amazing trail! Such pretty views and love the wildflowers! We visited Spearfish Canyon but haven't been on this trail.

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    1. Yes we are, especially for our age. I planned on going down it too, that's why I wore my active swimwear, but when I saw it I chickened out. ha ha! It didn't look smooth to me, and I was more worried about scraping up my backside. I already had that leg injury going on from the day before, I wasn't thrilled about getting another injury

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  3. What a cool hike. And NO...I wouldn't be going down that slide. But I loved seeing your hubby do it. What a daredevil!! I can only imagine how cold it was too.
    XOOX
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. It was! Ha Ha! I planned on it it, but when I saw it I chickened out. Yes, the water was very cold.

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  4. Such an amazing place.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Enjoy the weekend.

    Ann
    https://roomsofinspiration.blogspot.com/

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    1. It sure was! You're welcome. I hope you have a great weekend too!

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  5. looks like a fun hike! it's nice that you can't get lost even if the trail isn't clearly marked as you just have to follow the river :)

    Hope that you are having a wonderful weekend :) We are enjoying our long weekend, with a beach day Friday, playdate and carnival yesterday.

    Away From The Blue

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    1. It was! I'm happy to hear you are able to get out and about in Australia. We keep hearing horror stories of lockdowns and police abuse in Australia. It must depend where you live, just like here in the states.

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  6. Wow, what a great hike there. Very nice.

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  7. The name Devil's Bathtub made me smile. A beautiful trail, and as you said, amazing rock formation. Last thing I expected there is wildflowers.

    Thanks so much for the sharing this beautiful post on Wandering Camera.
    -Soma

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    1. Ha ha! Pretty funny, eh? I've noticed in nature they tend to name a lot of things after the devil.

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  8. Enjoyed seeing your pics! Thanks so much for linking up at the Unlimited Link Party 37. Pinned!

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  9. I know my husband would want to go down the waterfall slide! Brr though! The rock formations are really beautiful. That was my favorite part of our spring break in Kentucky: all the beautiful rock formations. You make me want to explore other states!
    www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

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    1. Oh, you have a crazy husband too Huh? ha ha! You live in a beautiful area to explore. Lots to see, but I agree you have to drive/fly quite a distance to see different geography.

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  10. What a beautiful hike! Ha! Your husband is braver than I am.

    Michelle
    https://mybijoulifeonline.com

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