Photograph by Buck Lovell, My Shot
GPS: 44°29'N 103°50'W
Spearfish is buffered by three mountain peaks and sits at the mouth of a 20-mile (32-kilometer) long canyon renowned for fly-fishing. The 1.2 million acre (485,623 hectare) Black Hills National Forest lies just south of the city and is crisscrossed with 450 miles (724 kilometers) of hiking paths and hundreds of miles of primitive tracks for off-roading.
Plan to spend a full day hiking the 3.7-mile (6-kilometer) Crow Peak trail, a strenuous climb to the eponymous summit; you’ll get uninterrupted views of the tallest peaks in the national forest (www.fs.fed.us/bhnf). In winter, rent a snowmobile at Spearfish Canyon Sports Center, and explore 350 miles (563 kilometers) of groomed powder trails through the Black Hills (from $80 for a half day; www.spfcanyon.com).
The Bay Leaf Café will pack a gourmet picnic lunch for your trip into the canyon (www.bayleafcafe.net).
Surround yourself with floor-to-ceiling windows to catch the best views at Spearfish Canyon Lodge. The rustic lodge also has a huge stone fireplace, perfect for gathering around if you see a mountain lion outside (doubles from $149; www.spfcanyon.com).