I fell in love during a road trip across the country in 1999. This was no ordinary road-trip romance. It has remained true to this day, and is rekindled each time I pass through South Dakota. Recently I have even made several trips there on purpose. Who is this love? The Black Hills.

The Black Hills of South Dakota are renowned for their beauty. Possibly easy to overlook as they sit in the shadow of the Bighorn and Rocky Mountains only a few hours further west, the Black Hills are still well worth visiting, The region is beautiful in a way that really cannot be compared with taller mountain ranges as they are unique.

The Black Hills are quite scenic in general but, as I learned last month when I took the opportunity to visit Spearfish Canyon, the canyon has to qualify as a “must see.” Roughlock Falls, in Spearfish Canyon, is something of a hidden gem in the midst of the Black Hills.

The sound of falling water, birds, and other sounds of nature are all that is to be heard at Roughlock Falls. It is surprisingly peaceful for being only a short drive from the largest city in the region. The air, even on a hot, August day, is comfortable thanks to the forest and water.

Located between Deadwood and Spearfish, Roughlock Falls can accurately be described as being in the middle of nowhere. It is also worth the drive if you happen to be anywhere in the area – not just for the destination, but for the trip itself.


Roughlock Falls is in Savoy, South Dakota. Take Alt 14 south from Interstate 90 in Spearfish, then turn right (west) on Road 222 in Savoy.

There are two parking areas for the falls, both on the left side of the road. The first parking area connects to the falls via a nature trail. The second parking area is just above the falls and offers a restroom and picnic areas.