We are a family that does not like to sit too still on the weekends. We enjoy the outdoors very much and want to take full advantage of the beautiful area around us in the Black Hills. We happen to have three little girls of varying ages (12, 10 and 6) that we need to think about as we plan our weekend getaways.
Our latest adventure took us out to Wyoming and up to Devils Tower National Monument. Leaving Rapid City, the trip took us about two hours to arrive at our destination. Driving up to the tower is absolutely breathtaking—you are completely dwarfed in its presence. We drove up in our Jeep with the roof off, which made it nothing short of amazing to witness. The closer you get, it almost grows in front of your eyes!
Once out of the car, we decided to embark on the full hike all the way around the base of the tower. Starting the hike, there is a rocky area for anyone to climb on and around rocks that have given way to mother nature. The colors on the rock are like nothing I have ever seen before. The flags placed around the tower from Native Americans for prayer just add to the magic of the scenery. With several breaks under our belt (six-year-old legs can only do so much at a time), the hike took us roughly an hour and a half. Be sure to take plenty of water along as it will be needed.
As we departed Devils Tower, we headed into Spearfish to cool off at the Spearfish Rec & Aquatics Center. Talk about something for everyone! There is a splash pad area with a big bucket that dumps water and a couple of slides attached. A zero-depth pool for the little ones to try their hand at swimming is right up front near the splash pad. The lazy river, which provides the perfect opportunity for everyone to cool off without necessarily getting soaked, is a great way to relax and take a break from the busyness.
At the back is where the big kids have their fun. Huge water slides with or without tubes twist and wind their way into the pool. One side allows sliders to come out and jump onto a rock wall. There are also lily pads and ropes for those little monkeys that like to jump and swing. Keep in mind, the facility charges based on height.
After the waterpark everyone was starving, so we headed to the best pizza joint in town, Dough Trader Pizza Company. A throw back to a different time, Dough Trader takes cash only, has bottled pop, outdoor seating, and great customer service…oh and the pizza? Mouthwatering! It is made with a sour dough crust, and honestly, all pizza should be made that way!
Being a family of five, we are always looking for an inexpensive way to spend family time, get outdoors, and have something for everyone. This day had it all!