We should never take for granted the beauty that we have surrounding us. The Black Hills have so many hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered and explored. Many times these natural wonders could be as close to us as our own backyard and we just don’t know that they are there or don’t know where to look to find them. I would like to introduce you to some of these places this summer that might not be listed in any tourist informational packet but as a local of this area you it would be terrible if you were miss out on these natural wonders.
The first place I would like to introduce you too is a limestone canyon about 6 miles from Rapid City it offers an amazing lookout point for an overview of the land. If you are a mountain climber the climbing is on edges and pockets on vertical to slightly overhanging walls that are around 40 feet high. There are toprope anchors on most of the routes, and many are bolted for leading as well.
In order to get there, drive west from Rapid City on Rimrock Highway (SD Highway 44, Jackson Boulevard in Rapid City). Once you are on top of the big hill look sharp on the left for Falling Rock Road, which is marked by a small street sign. Park at the first lot for the north rim routes, and continue on to the next lot for routes on the Peninsula.
Both of the southern and northern pull offs will lead you to another lookout, both of these views will give you a completely different overview of the land. The most popular ridge is the second pull off; from the parking lot you can easily identify the well-worn path that offers a very easy hike that is not to steep and will continue for about 200-300 yards until you get to the lookout spot. From there you will get a fantastic view of limestone cliffs and Rapid Creek flowing in the valley below. Please know that it can be very dangerous to walk along the rim, so be sure to be very careful around the ridge and make sure to not get to close to the edge.
Although this location doesn’t offer a very challenging hike, getting outdoors in the fresh air and getting cardio exercise, even at a moderate pace, is an easy thing to do when you are taking a walk, and where is it more beautiful than out on a trail?
The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of hiking, brisk walking, stair-climbing or other aerobic exercise “most days of the week.” For hiking beginners, it is recommended to start with a mile at three miles an hour pace, which will generally take you about a half-hour. Regular hikers might shoot for 5 to 10 miles a day for a decent workout.
If you have lived in this area for a while or if you are new to the hills, visiting places like this are definitely something you must do and experience while you are here. Not only will it be an amazing site to see but it will do wonders for your body and your state of wellbeing .