Hippie Hole in South Dakota
Hippie Hole in South Dakota


My personal opinion, Hippie Hole is one of the most amazing hikes in the Black Hills!  You can approach the waterfall from two directions, a short hike down Battle Creek from the small parking area found off of South Rockerville Road or from an extremely strenuous hike off of Hwy. 40.

Hippie Hole rock wall
Hippie Hole rock wall


If hiking down to Hippie Hole off of Hwy. 40, take water because you will be dripping in sweat, guaranteed.  There is poison ivy and it is straight down hill.  Only advanced hikers should even attempt this climb.

The hike from the parking lot off of South Rockerville Road is not nearly as extreme.  Stay right, for the most part, on the gravel roads after you’ve found the road to turn on just past the cattle guard on South Rockerville Road.  A dirt trail leads you from the parking lot.  continue down until you’ve reached Battle Creek.  At the creek hang a left (South) and after about fifteen minutes you will come to the top of the waterfall.  Make note of where you turned south on the creek as, speaking from experience, finding your way back to the parking lot can get confusing.

Hippie Hole, the pool.
Hippie Hole, the pool.

Once you reach the water from either direction, it is all worth it.  You can jump from the waterfall, float in the pool, or just sunbathe on the rocks.  As with any hiking experience in the Black Hills, please pack out what you’ve packed in.  Clean up your trash people!  Also, be wary of the rocks and the many dangers of jumping where you aren’t familiar.

The billion dollar question, how do you get to Hippie Hole?

View Hippie Hole South Dakota in a larger map

27 thoughts on “Hippie Hole

  1. it is opened you have to hike up to it but take Mt Rushmore Rd to rockerville take a left into rockerville then foolow the road till you see a turn off parking lot on the right hand side.

    a friend asked, and this is the info that they gave her.

  2. Here are some more specific directions – Take Hwy 16 to Rockerville. Take a left on S. Rockerville Rd and drive 3.1 miles to Forest Service Rd 372. It will be a left hand turn right before a cattle grate. Follow 372 for approx 1.2 miles. The road will Y at this point. Follow the road to the right (still 372 but unmarked) for another .7 mi. Take a right on 372 1E (marked) for .3 mi to a turnaround/parking area. Follow the trail to the west down to Battle Creek. At the creek, head downstream for a couple hundred meters and you’ll hit the Hole.

          1. Not that I’m aware of ? There is just a pull in area off hwy 40 where you can park and hike down and last summer the trail was loaded with poison ivy, so I’m guessing it’s worse this summer.

          2. If you have any more specific directions to the pull-off, I would love them. I will hike it and let you know. If you hike this trail from the south, I would say it is pretty difficult. If you follow the directions that are on this page and access it off of S. Rockerville Road, it is a much easier hike. The first time I went out there, one of the hikers with me did get some poison ivy. This was from the south. Every time since we have went the easier way and nobody has found any.

        1. OK great…I’ll have to ck out this hike in from the north side…have you ever seen snakes on that trail??thanks much for all the info.
          Here’s what I can remember…take Hwy 40 traveling west from Hermosa past Rushmore Cave, go up the steep hill and once on top the pull in area will be on the right hand side, it kinda looks just like a fs road but once you turn in you can see that it ends. Park and you will find the trail that takes you down. the closer you get towards the bottom is where you will run into all the poison ivy…

      1. Definitely NOT stroller friendly! I would say only a mile or so from the parking area, but mostly up or downhill. Climbing boulders, balancing on trees, walking through the creek, not a simple hike.

  3. Just so you know, it is also a dangerous place to be if you get hurt, way too far for medical personnel to get to you before at least 30 minutes. Also, I stepped on a rattlesnake in that area. Be careful.

  4. We hiked down from the west side about 7 years ago and it was a workout. I was some what disappointed because of the stories we were told but with these new directions from the east we might have to try it again. Basicly it was worth the trip once but not sure it is worth a 2nd trip in from the west side. There was vast amounts of Poison ivy and you do need to carry in water. As I remember it we went in on the first parking area past Mt. Rushmore cave but it has been awhile.

  5. Jst wondering where hippie hole is exactly. And do u no of another place is Spearfish canyon that has a cave and a waterfall falling over the entrance. Was told it was jst past bridal veil falls

    1. If you look in the previous comments, there are some pretty good directions to Hippie Hole. I’m not sure of the place in Spearfish Canyon you are referring to. There is Community Cave which is before Bridal Veil Falls and also Devil’s Bathtub which is past Bridal Veil. I imagine Community Cave is what you are looking for as it has a waterfall in the middle if moisture levels are high.

    2. Roughlock Falls? As a child we used to hike up the river and go under the falls, but it is now closed off to conserve the area.

  6. I have visited this site in my youth many times. When I used to go there we were there for days and noone else was there. Since this spot has become advertised I hate going there. The college kids come with their big coolers and their glass bottles and trash it and leave. I’ve literally seen them throw their bottles in the top pool to see how far the bottle would make it down the waterfall. As they were leaving I asked them to take their mess!! Some actually were respectful and did a decent job of trying to clean up. While the whole group of maybe 100 others left all the beer cans and bottles saying “we didn’t bring anything to clean it up with”. That being said it is beautiful as long as everyone stays diligent in keeping it that way.

  7. Just hiked this and want others to know that if you travel from the shorter route,the only way to the swimming hole is to jump (several people there did not realize this and did not wish to jump the cliff). Also, once in the pool, the only way up is either a difficult hike up the rocks on one side or climbing a knot rope that someone left there at the cliff edge. So make sure you save enough energy for the ascent and leave you stuff at the top!

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