Spearfish, SD

Quick City Facts

County: Lawrence
Population (2019): 11,756
Population (2010): 10,494

Data provided by US Census Bureau (2019)

A Canyon Jewel

Known as the Queen City of South Dakota, Spearfish is a charming community nestled in the center of three major mountain summits: Crow Peak, Spearfish Mountain, and Lookout Mountain. The town is located in a scenic valley at the mouth of the visually spectacular Spearfish Canyon in Lawrence County. A Mecca for hikers and nature enthusiasts, the canyon is a breathtaking natural gorge along the northern stretch of the Black Hills, once heralded by Frank Lloyd Wright as among the most spectacular sights in the world. Gushing waterfalls, brilliantly hued foliage, and lush forests distinguish this attraction as a natural masterpiece. A local canyon favorite is the hike to the Devil’s Bathtub along one of the side gulches, culminating in a cascade of water tumbling from Sunshine Creek and feeding into a 10-foot-wide pool. Outdoor recreational activities abound in Spearfish, including mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and more.

History

Spearfish is named after the frequent spearing of fish by the Native Americans who originally inhabited the area in the early 1800s. With the bustle of activity and development in the wake of the Black Hills Gold Rush of 1876, Spearfish quickly became a bountiful supplier to local gold mining camps and was incorporated as a city in 1888. The Federal Fish Hatchery (also known as the D.C. Booth Historic Fish Hatchery) was established in 1898. Throughout the 20th century, the city experienced continued growth and development with abundant mining and tourist activity. As of the 2005 census, the city was home to nearly 13,000 permanent residents.

Art & Culture

For those seeking a rich, cultural experience, Matthew’s Opera House has staged hundreds of dramatic productions since it opened in 1906. Spearfish is also home to the Black Hills Passion Play, an outdoor theatrical depiction of Christ’s final seven days. Higher learning is provided by the Black Hills State University, which specializes in education and business programs.

Area Attractions

Its close proximity to the Mount Rushmore memorial, the historic town of Deadwood, and the Black Hills National Forest make Spearfish a popular tourist destination. The city has long functioned as a thriving retail trade center. Downtown Spearfish is renowned for its historical architecture and hometown charm. Locals and tourists enjoy several specialty shops, such as the Dakota Quilt Company, Kathleen’s Unique Boutique, and Cellar Chics. A variety of dining establishments are available, including Bay Leaf Cafe, B & B Lounge, and an authentic English pub. Other area attractions include the whimsical Dolls at Home Museum, Termesphere Gallery, and the Spirit of the Hills Wildlife Sanctuary.

Popular Attractions

The Covered Wagon Cafe

The Covered Wagon Cafe

Murdo

Cook’s Kitchen

Cook’s Kitchen

Brookings

Swiftel Center

Swiftel Center

Brookings

Belle Joli Winery Sparkling House

Belle Joli Winery Sparkling House

Sturgis

Cedar Pass Lodge & Restaurant

Cedar Pass Lodge & Restaurant

Interior

White River Drive-In

White River Drive-In

White River

South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum

South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum

Brookings

Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe

Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe

Sioux Falls

Pints & Quarts

Pints & Quarts

Brookings

Mazing Acres Pumpkin Patch

Mazing Acres Pumpkin Patch

Yankton

1481 Grille

1481 Grille

Arlington

The Handbag Store

The Handbag Store

Hill City

Danger von Dempsey’s Pizzeria & Brewhäus

Danger von Dempsey’s Pizzeria & Brewhäus

Aberdeen

Mad Mountain Summer Adventures

Mad Mountain Summer Adventures

Deadwood

Armed Forces Display & Gifts

Armed Forces Display & Gifts

Wasta

Big D’s Timeout Sports Bar & Grill

Big D’s Timeout Sports Bar & Grill

Huron

Dignity: Of Earth & Sky

Dignity: Of Earth & Sky

Chamberlain

1881 Courthouse Museum

1881 Courthouse Museum

Custer

Great Faces. Great Places.

South Dakota is an incredibly unique state in that each region offers a completely different experience then the others. Check out each of the regions to see what each has to offer!

Badlands

Western South Dakota

Featuring the Black Hills, Badlands, the Sturgis Rally. This region tends to be the most popular.

CENTRAL REGION

This region of South Dakota offers some of the best hunting and fishing in the entire central US. 

Eastern Region

The eastern region is home to the largest city in the state and provides visitors with a true "prairie" experience.