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Color in Spearfish Canyon

  • Reading time:4 mins read
  • Post category:Black Hills

As a landscape photographer, I find myself spending more time with wide angle shots to encompass the grand scene before my eyes. Lately, I have been challenging myself to close in and notice the details.

It’s been so long since I’ve been able to do any hiking by myself. Strapping on a pack loaded with photography gear, water, food and a quiet trail before me is one of life’s greatest pleasures! I have spent so little time exploring what Spearfish Canyon has to offer and was able to get away for a few days near the end of October. I spent the night in Lead at Town Hall Inn, which I highly recommend! It’s clean, historical yet modern, and the beds are the best I’ve ever slept on in a hotel!

I wanted some hikes with views so opted to try out the 76 Trail near Spearfish Lodge. It’s an incline of about 1.2 miles one way. The view from the top is worth the trip!

I also wanted to do some exploring along Iron Creek Trail and enjoyed the vibrant moss on the river rocks.

 In the photo below, I was captivated by the shaft of light that highlighted the middle rocks. I continued this trail for a few miles, part of which I’m not sure was a trail but was up for the adventure. I ended up ascending quite a ways on some possible snowmobile trails. It was so quiet and serene. Just what I needed!


My next hike was Community Caves. I’ve never hiked this trail before and it was highly recommended to by me by Jade, the innkeeper of Town Hall Inn. The trail is a near vertical climb a little less than a mile or so up rocks of a waterfall bed. I arrived to the caves shortly after another group and we struck a conversion and had an enjoyable trek together. Turned out they knew some of my friends from a different part of the state! Community Caves must have a way about building community! 😉

I spent some time alone near the top, but not fully to the peak, where I sat in the sun and enjoyed it’s warmth. As the light moved through the afternoon, a shaft through the canyon hit a patch of golden aspens. I was too late in the season to really find much for color but what I did see was beautiful!

(You can find this photograph, Light & Shadow, as part of the Artists of the Black Hills Great Small Works IV at Prairie Edge Fine Art Gallery until December 31. All art work available can be purchased from the walls.)

I’ve been working on finding colors throughout a scene and enjoyed the almost neon like green of the algae in Spearfish Creek.

Though tired from two almost vertical hikes, this day was very refreshing to my soul!

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Teresa

    Gorgeous photos, Cristen!

    1. Cristen

      Thank you for always being so encouraging, Teresa! 🙂

  2. Gina

    Great pics!!!

  3. Anne Roghair

    Took me a long time to sit and go through emails….love your photos and encouraged that u took time to REST=CONNECT WITH THE LORD, in His beautiful creation.

    1. Cristen

      Hi, Anne! Thank you for being so encouraging! 🙂

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