Hiking The Devils Bathtub
- Date Visited: September 21, 2020
- Address: 1917 Spearfish Canyon Hwy, Lead, SD 57754
- GPS: 44.39727, -103.89799
The Devils Bathtub is a 1 mile roundtrip hike (maybe one there and one back it felt much longer than one) located off of the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Drive.
From the parking lot you will follow the trail along the creek, cross the bridge and turn right into the woods. That’s when the official trail ends and the “choose your own adventure” trail begins through the limestone corridor. While walking along the creek you will see multiple little trails all leading in the same direction. Which one is official? No one knows just choose one path there and another back to make it feel like a totally new hike.
Prepare to get your footsies wet, because you will be crossing the stream about a dozen times to reach your destination. At some of the water crossings stones and downed trees have been placed to help you cross a little easier. Beside water crossing there is a little rock scrambling and tree crawling as well especially toward the end. All these rocks are very slippery though so be careful or your tooshie might end up getting wet with your footsies.
Eventually you will come to The Devil’s Bathtub. This small swirling pool of water is perfect to take a dip in. Because of the water running through the canyon a natural slide has been created in the rock that will plunge you into the pool.
Truthfully I don’t know if the pool we found was the actual Devil’s Bathtub. According to some research I did depending on the time of year and amount of rainfall there can actually be 3 separate pools on this hike. We saw some people coming back from farther up the canyon so we don’t know if the pool we played in was the bathtub or not. There was a lot more rock scrambling past this point we didn’t want to do so we made the decision to stop. Water levels were low at the time too so we weren’t sure and there is no signage or markers on the trail at all.
Even if we didn’t see the actual tub the devil cleans up in the hike itself was still worth it. The scenery is just gorgeous and the “choose your own hike” part is fun. I’m not big on rock scrambling, but there really wasn’t that much. I also only fell in the creek once which was a huge accomplishment considering how clumsy I am.
This place is super popular though. Prepare to meet plenty of peeps on your journey. My best advice is to go early to avoid the crowds. Also pets are allowed on trail as long as they’re leashed. Our pets had a blast.