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RoughLock Falls

RoughLock Falls

Just down the aptly named Roughlock Falls road from Spearfish falls is the Roughlock Falls Trail head. Now for those of you who like to eat the cheese cake before the meal there is some parking closer to the falls themselves but I would recommend taking the trail. The trail is an easy dirt trail that is just over 2 miles out and back. There isn’t really much elevation gain to speak of and the trail is easy to navigate. When you get to the falls there is decking in place.

The trail follows Little Spearfish Creek and about half a mile in comes to an area that I believe was called Breakneck Gulch that has some really picturesque views. It reminded of that movie “A River Runs Through it” at the spot that Brad Pitt is fly fishing.

An image taken from a river side. The river sits in a bit of a marsh.  The river proceeds to cut a valley between two ridges. on the right a high rocky point. the background is full of an assortment of trees.
Breakneck Gulch

Another quick and easy half mile and you are at the falls themselves. I was really impressed with these falls. It helped that it had rained most of the day and night before and as you can see was overcast and rainy the day we were there but the falls were very active and I would estimate about a 10 foot drop. Not quite as tall as Spearfish falls but had a lot more moving parts.

Here is a bit wider shot for perspective.

The Upper Fall

As I said before there is decking around the falls which allow for some nice views but you are also able to follow the decking up to the top of the falls and see the view from the top. What surprised me from the top was how small and calm the creek feeding this fall was and really shows the power of water and gravity. I personally didn’t like it as much from up there but I am here to please so here is video of the main fall from above.

Wrap Up

I am starting to have the feeling that South Dakota is nothing but waterfalls. The first few I have seen have been really nice and very accessible so everyone should be able to enjoy the beauty. Here are some pictures from the rest of the hike that started at the Roughlock Trail Head.

If you have a suggestion for a hike that you would like me to try, feel free to email me at or you can follow me on the below social media platforms. I have also added this hike and all the hikes to the interactive map that you can find here.

6 thoughts on “RoughLock Falls”

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