This is a lovely hike, which takes only 30 to 40 minute to get back to Devils Bathtub. The scenery along the way is awesome too, make sure to go slow and savor your surroundings!
Pretty easy hike, as it is mostly level all the way. We rated this hike a 3. This one rated that high primarily because you will cross the creek many times AND the trail is easy to lose. It zigs and zags, with the many "before you explorers" lost trails, and they are all to easy to follow.
I don't think you can actually get "lost" as long as you stay by the creek. You just may lose the good path for a lesser path temporarily, and often. At least we did.
We were up on a Sunday afternoon, and it was HOT out. Like 90 hot (most of us Midwesterners agree that 90 is HOT anyways). We were sure glad for lots of shade on the numerous trails and paths, as this is a pretty wooded trail.
We really enjoyed this hike and the canyon walls that you eventually enter as you get closer to Devils Bathtub. There is plenty of layered shale cliffs that surround you during your hike, and it brings lots of fun and imaginative ideas to mind.
Much like the Secret Caves it is easy to imagine old grizzly gold prospectors panning for gold beside the creek, hoping to strike it rich! Maybe, just maybe, one of them did and stashed the gold somewhere close by...a long lost treasure.
Or perhaps an outlaw pose running from the law after holding up a stage coach coming from the lawless town of Deadwood hid out among these canyons. Who knows?
What I do know is that hiking back in this area sure inspires the imagination, it feels like you are stepping back in time.
This is a picture of the TUB itself, so you know when you have arrived.
We were surprised at all the families we ran into on this hike. Seems as if everyone was out enjoying the day too. We did notice that there seemed to be a "high" road, and we were down by the creek. I was thinking it would be lots easier to get around (and less run off trails) at the top, but couldn't convince my crew to switch over. We stopped and chatted with a family after we hit the Tub, who had been on the high road. They said it was rough going and wished they had stuck by the creek. Huh. Guess my family was right. (Read/Husband) =)
As you get closer to the Tub, it starts getting a little steeper and, due to the water, SLIPPERY! This can amount to a little precarious of a situation, and is probably the main reason we give this on a rating of 3 (with a 5 being the hardest).
It is a wonderfully refreshing ending to your hike once you get to Devils Bathtub. We will next time make sure to bring a little picnic with us, and maybe some water shoes. We were pretty hot by the time we got here and the water felt refreshing (for about the first 2 minutes, then hypothermia starts to set in..ha!)
The path continues on long past Devils bathtub, but alas, we didn't leave ourselves enough time to explore. Maybe next time...
This one is easy to find!
Take Spearfish Canyon Nature Byway (N 44 28.8901 W 103 50.6892)
Turn at the Street Sign that says Cleopatra Place and then park. You will go across the bridge and to the right you will see a path, that's the one!
The hike itself to the Tub and back is 1.43 miles (yep, that's round trip)
Devils Bathtub coordinates are N 44 24.0711 W 103 53.7074
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