You'll find no better launching pad for your most memorable family adventures. From Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse to Devil's Tower and Spearfish Canyon, we're only a short drive away from the Black Hills' best attractions. Stop by the front desk of the resort and we'll be more than happy to give you directions, print you a map, or give our recommendations. Although Mount Rushmore is by far a must-see, we've gathered a list of our favorite stops that are lesser known, but just as worth your while. Browse through the collection of Elkhorn Ridge employee favorites, and don't be afraid to ask for a specific recommendation. From steak-houses, to hiking trails, we'll tell you what's the best of the best.
First on the list is the stunning Spearfish Canyon. The entrance is only a five minute drive from the resort and it takes about 30 minutes to drive to the “top”. The best way to see the canyon in peak season, is to leave early in the morning. Then stop at the top for an unforgettable breakfast at the famous Cheyenne Crossing. On your way back down, be sure to park at the Latchstring and follow the trails down to the Spearfish Falls. Don't forget your camera for a waterfall photo op! If you're looking for a half day adventure and crazy beautiful scenery, you can follow the canyon road all the way to Newcastle, Wyoming. No matter what, time spent in the Spearfish Canyon is time well spent.
A trip to the Hills isn't complete without a stroll through the quaint little town of Hill City. Take an afternoon drive through the scenic Southern Hills, past the beautiful Pactola Lake. Just up the road sits Prairie Berry Winery, home to the famous “Red Ass Rhubarb” wine. Do their complementary wine tasting and buy your favorite bottle while you sit on their pretty patio and enjoy the view. After you've had your fill of wine, local cheeses, and jams, head down to the famous Alpine Inn for dinner. There's usually a wait, but it's well worth it! Put your name in with the hostess and stroll the cute shops of Hill City or sample the other wineries near by. In true South Dakota fashion there's only one option on the supper menu… You guessed it, steak. Their legendary filet mignon is served with a wedge salad and a baked potato. Cap your night off by ordering from their extensive dessert menu!
If you're looking to mingle with the locals on your vacation, there's no better place to find them than Crow Peak Brewery. Crow Peak serves the best beer in town; many even argue they brew the best beer in the state. We recommend trying the Pile O' Dirt Porter. You can expect a rustic mountain vibe with a cozy fire pit table to boot. They frequently have live music on the weekends and share a parking lot with another local favorite - Bunky's Barbeque. Feast on freshly smoked pulled pork and barbeque brisket sandwiches, but stop in early because when they're out, they're out. If you're in the brewery mood, head downtown to try out the newest brewery in town - Spearfish Brewing Company.
If you're strolling downtown Spearfish, check out the cute boutiques, including The Wild Rose, Pink 629, The Junk Drawer, and Hudson & Main. Stop by the Spearfish Creek Wine Bar and enjoy a glass (or two) from their great wine selection. If you'd like to keep riding the indulgence train head down the street to Leones' Creamery. Don't let this tiny ice cream shop's size fool you because they pack a big punch of flavor. Their ever-rotating flavors are made with local ingredients like rhubarb and pumpkin. Leones' is known for their unique flavors like London Fog, Frosted Sugar Cookie, and Chocolate Lava Cake. They even do a collaboration with Crow Peak Brewery to create the delicious Pile O' Dirt Porter ice cream. You definitely won't want to miss this sweet Spearfish treat. Did we mention they make their own waffle cones?