South Dakota

Hike to the Community Caves

1 Miles Total - 300 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Isaac Parsons

Explore the captivating Community Caves, just outside Spearfish! Great to visit anytime: on a hot summer day, you can stand under the trickling cold water, falling from the cliff...or on a cold winter day, you can embrace your adventurous side and climb the frozen pillars!

Community Caves is located in the scenic Spearfish Canyon, on Highway 14A, about 2.7 miles from Spearfish (once you turn off of Colorado Blvd).  There is a large pull-off area on the right (west) side of the road and then the trail, which is not marked at all, is on the opposite side of the pull-off. 

The trail starts very mildly. In the winter, it is easy to follow as everyone's footprints mark a path in the snow; summer usually has a pretty well worn path. You will cross the creek, then it will climb gradually slowly getting steeper. A steady stream of water flows down the trail/path year-round. In the winter, it can be frozen and very slippery so use caution; summer can be wet and slippery at times too so don't let down your guard. As you get closer to the caves, the ice is much more prominent, and crampons or yaktrax are extremely helpful. You can do without them in the winter but makes it more challenging.  There is no doubt you will know you are at the community caves when you see them: it is one gigantic, overhang cave, with multiple little "rooms" tucked back into the wall. 

People enjoy exploring this special spot and enjoy the caves throughout all seasons, but it is definitely one of the most popular ice climbing spots in the Black Hills.

Use your discretion on the ice and practice Leave No Trace ethics . . . and always keep the Earth clean.

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Rock Climbing
Dog Friendly


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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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