While the scenery of the Black Hills is breathtaking year round, autumn is an extraordinary time to experience the area’s grand fall transformation. The region has an abundance of deciduous trees, which are trees that lose their leaves seasonally after the leaves mature and change color, causing the area’s landscape to transform dramatically during the fall season. Below are some of the more popular destinations in the area that are perfect for savoring the gorgeous fall foliage with a cup of hot cider in hand.
The towering cliffs and majestic waterfalls that are viewable from Highway 14 that winds through Spearfish Canyon are always a sight to behold, but during the fall, the canyon becomes a cornucopia of vibrant autumn shades that are particularly jaw-dropping. The colors in the canyon usually reach their peak in late September through early October, and during that time the canyon is a hotspot for those who love striking landscapes and outdoor fun. Throughout the 20-mile drive in the canyon, there are many places to pull your car over and snap some pictures of the scenery, and while you’re at it, do a little exploring. Hiking trails of varying difficulty take you to awe-inspiring scenic points. Fishing for trout in one of the canyon’s many cold streams is a popular activity year-round. It isn’t unusual to see bicyclists riding along the side of the highway, enjoying the crisp air and elegant autumn landscape. Make sure to stop by Roughlock Falls, a must-see for some great photo opportunities with the magnificent waterfall. Spending a day in the canyon is a wonderful way to get in the spirit of the fall season while taking in some fantastic views.
Called Custer State Park’s “crown jewel”, a visit to this gem will show you why it has earned that moniker, and why it has become such a popular destination for weddings and other special occasions. While mostly pine trees surround the lake, the deciduous trees that are in the area add stunning pops of color. A mile-long trail winds around the lake and is an easy walk that the whole family can take part in. A more difficult trail starts near Sylvan Lake and leads to the popular Black Elk Peak, whose summit you can reach by hiking the four-mile long trail. It is a great trek to take during the early fall months, while the temperatures are mild and the view from the summit highlights the beauty of autumn in the Black Hills.
Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park
Located in Rapid City, the Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park has great accommodations for the outdoor enthusiast to enjoy, all while staying within city limits. The park contains the popular M Hill, which is viewable from the nearby busy Omaha Street and provides a chance to hike up to the “M”, where you can witness the city’s fall foliage from a spectacular, elevated viewpoint. There are over 18 miles of trails of varying difficulty throughout the park to hike or bicycle on, giving everyone the chance to get in a great workout while appreciating the awesome fall scenery. If fall is one of your favorite times of the year, the Black Hills is just the place to relish in what makes this season so special. One-of-a-kind views, exciting outdoor activities, and rustic charm make this the perfect area to spend a picturesque autumn afternoon. Whether you explore the canyon, enjoy a brisk walk around the lake, or take in the panoramic view of Rapid City on top of M Hill, you can return to the warm comforts of home at Comfort Suites.