Whether it’s hiking, snowshoeing, rock climbing, or biking, Spearfish is quickly becoming the place for the adventurous year-round, or for those who simply want to take in nature. The home to Black Hills State University also has a bustling downtown, the Termesphere Gallery, the Matthews Opera House & Arts Center, and a variety of vegan and gluten-free friendly eateries. Here are just a few of the great things to do in the fast-growing town.
722 ½ Main St.
Located in the historic City Hall building downtown is Leones’ Creamery, which is owned by sisters Hannah Leone and Rebecca Leone Williams, along with Rebecca’s husband, John.
While the quaint, handcrafted ice cream shop is mellow in the off-season*, there are lines out the door during summer months. There are no eye rolls, though, as it’s definitely worth the wait.
“It’s a very small shop, nice and homey,” said store manager Brady Jones. “There are always big smiles from staff and customers coming through.”
The ice cream shop, which has created over 250 flavors, always has eight flavors that change often. While some can be traditional, typically they’re one-of-a-kind flavors, like Mayan Hot Chocolate.
Jones says one of his favorites was the Peanut Butter Curry.
“It’s fantastic. The two flavors really go well together,” he said. “We also have an Avocado flavor. You have to try the weird ones… you might love it.”
He continued with a laugh, “We encourage you to sample flavors beforehand, so you can make an informed decision.”
Almost everything is made in-house, including their gluten-free waffle cones.
“There’s a lot of love put into everything we make,” said Jones.
Their passion for the community is shown with their Scoop It Forward board, where you can treat a friend, family member, or a stranger to a gift of ice cream (you can even make your gift anonymous).
If you’re not in the mood for a cone or dish, try one of their Ice Cream Sandwiches, Sundaes, or Ice Cream Floats.
Want them at your event? Leones’ Creamery caters.
*Open Friday to Sunday 12-9 p.m. until the end of April. Open every day except Tuesday during tourist season, May to September.
The eight flavors when 605 stopped by…
- Sweet Cream
- Birthday Cake
- Blueberry Goat’s Cheese
- Monster Cookie
- London Fog
- Dark Chocolate
- Choconut (Vegan)
- Cinnamon Red Hots
Bicycling Magazine has named Spearfish Canyon one of the Top 50 Scenic Bike Paths in the Country.
Green Bean Coffeehouse
304 Main St.
Owner Aaron Neiman opened Rapid City hot spot Harriet & Oak and Spearfish staple Blackbird Espresso with the third wave of coffee in mind, which he describes as “the purist approach to smaller drinks, and the commitment for quality coffee and espresso.”
“Green Bean Coffeehouse is your throwback coffee shop pre-third wave,” he said. “It’s all of those original coffee shop concepts with a pretty big menu that crosses from breakfast to lunch to desserts to the syrups, blended drinks, and smoothies.”
Green Bean is what he says is more comfortable and approachable in the Midwest, and has a great feel of community in the college town.
“It’s walking that edge of being familiar and not changing, but also being innovative and progressive at the same time,” said Neiman.
Celebrating 10 years in May, the coffee shop (which also has a location in Belle Fourche) is known for not only their drinks, but their sandwiches, like the popular Smokehouse with sliced chicken breast, bacon, tomato, purple onion, provolone, and chipotle mayo on a grilled sourdough bread.
Breakfast items are also available, like yogurt parfaits with homemade granola, scones, breakfast sandwiches, and their famous Biscuits & Gravy.
Their desserts come from another one of Neiman’s businesses, 8th Avenue Bakery in Belle Fourche.
Order their daily special, which is half a sandwich and a cup of soup, or a garden salad and a cup of soup.
If coffee or a latte isn’t doing it for you, try a Shaken Iced Tea or an Italian Cream Soda.
Open Monday through Saturday 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sundays 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Spearfish is the home of Black Hills State University.
High Mountain Outfitters
740 N. Main St.
Didn’t plan on exploring or forgot something? High Mountain Outfitters provides a variety of mountain apparel, footwear, books, maps, and gifts, along with gear for rock climbing, camping, paddling, and hiking.
“We carry everything from kayaks to rock climbing gear to all of the well-known outdoor apparel and footwear companies,” said owner Justin Stephens. “We also have a full-service fly fishing shop next door [Spearfish Creek Fly Shop].”
The “one-stop shop for outdoor enthusiasts” also has locations in Custer and Hot Springs, and they also run The Mountain Store in Hill City.
Along with gear, High Mountain Outfitters offers guided tours, like rocking climbing adventures with certified and highly experienced Buck Wild Climbing Guides. The price includes necessary rock climbing gear for the excursion. New to rock climbing? Have no fear. Try the first-time experience with First-Timers Club and the next level, Ground Control to Major Tom.
If you have climbs under your belt, try Devil’s Tower, Custer State Park Summit Day, or a Custom Climbing Day that can be tailor-made for the climber. Prices for tours range from $95-$365.
There are also helpful tips on the website for hiking trails for a long trip, bird watching, or a quick nature walk, fishing spots, and tourist attractions (as well as what essentials they recommend).
Stephens says he is excited to open their newest venture at the end of April, Black Hills’ first full-service indoor climbing venue, High Mountain Climbing Gym (appropriate for any age).
He said, “Routes will change twice a month, so it will always be a fresh experience.”
Open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
HIGH MOUNTAIN OUTFITTERS RECOMMENDS THESE HIKING HOT SPOTS
This series of three tubs that change are a sight to see, and the hike is only a mile long. Dip into the water at the end of your journey.
A short ¾ mile trail that is a climb of 1,000 feet. This will be a challenging jaunt. The reward is the panoramic view from the canyon walls.
Hiking Iron Creek is perfect for any ability level.
A trail the whole family can enjoy. Check out scenic waterfalls and take a hike that can last the whole afternoon.
Lookout Mountain Park
Mowed trails for hiking and biking. Enjoy a scenic view overlooking Spearfish.
A four-hour hike. Be on top of the Black Hills at the summit.
Spearfish Canyon was the location for several scenes in the movie Dances With Wolves.
Barbacoas Burritos & Wraps
305 W. Jackson Blvd.
One of the biggest misconceptions about Barbacoas Burritos & Wraps is that it’s fast food Mexican, says owner Erin Caton. The restaurant has the same type of ordering procedure by starting at one end of the counter and picking out ingredients down to the register, but it’s the ingredients and options that blow chains out of the water.
While Caton wanted the process to be quick, she strove to provide fresh, homemade ingredients to create a Mexican-American-Thai fusion fast food alternative.
“Everything is from scratch, and then that way I know there’s no BS in my food,” she said. “I try to keep everything as natural as possible.”
Besides the flour tortillas, green chile, and desserts, everything in Barbacoas is gluten free. Caton even pickles everything in-house.
“We also make all of our salsas,” she said. “One of our extra hot salsas, [called] Chuck Norris, is so popular people come in and buy it by the bottle.”
Backing up to the line process, customers start at one end and decide if they want a burrito, rice bowl, salad, nacho, or taco. From there, customers choose what to fill it with (i.e. Veggie, Bean, Chicken, Steak Ancho, Barbacoa Beef, Blackened Salmon). Order a la carte, or choose from their menu, like the popular Pad Thai or Bombay Curry.
Continue to treat yourself with a $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon or a Honey Habanero Brownie.
“There are choices for everyone,” said Caton. “You can be super healthy if you want to be, you can come in and have a fresh salad.”
Barbacoas has several weekly specials, including Burrito Monday, where a chicken, pork, or ground beef burrito is $6, a shredded special on Wednesdays, where Barbacoa Beef or pork is $6, Free-for-All-Friday, where you can add all toppings for only $8, and Breakfast Burritos Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Open Monday through Sunday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Listed mild to hot
- Salsa Fresca
- Southwest Corn
- Tomatillo Verde
- Roasted Red Pepper
- Smoked Chipotle
- Honey Habanero
- Chuck Norris!
- Blue Cheese
- Monterey Jack
- Pickled Jalapenos
- Red Cabbage
- Bamboo Shoots
- Marinated Onions
- Diced Tomatoes
- Red Onions
- Black Olives
- Dried Cranberries
- Candied Almonds
- Spring Mix