REI Community
The Dark Side

Select Area...
Dark Side Wall 
Fast Hair Wall 
Gold Mine 
Hole In The Wall 
Streaker Wall 
Warm Up Wall 
Wild West Wall 

The Dark Side Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 44.29387, -103.87401 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 10,565
Administrators: Andrew Gram, Peter Gram, Greg Parker, Andy Busse, Mike Housiaux, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: BBQ on Jul 29, 2011


77° | 54°

79° | 52°

78° | 53°

77° | 52°

78° | 51°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Climbers taking on Shady Lady (left) and Starfight...


Are you sick and tired of baking in the hot Tatooine sun with these Goody-Two-Shoes who keep telling you that it's not O.K. to get angry and wipe out an entire village of Sand People just because you're having a bad day?

You, my young friend, need to step on over to The Dark Side. This is the premier Spearfish Canyon crag if you are seeking shade and relief from hot, summer days and want to crank on some of the most bullet-proof rock in the area.

Getting There 

Tis best to park in the Sunshine Wall Parking lot which is 18.4 light years (O.K. miles) up Spearfish Canyon if you are traveling from Spearfish or 7.8 miles if you are traveling from Lead.

Either way you're going to go past the Cheyenne Crossing store, which I suggest you stop and get stocked up with water, candy bars and take a bathroom break before heading to the climbing areas past this last outpost of civilization.

After driving away from Cheyenne Crossing (heading towards Newcastle on Highway 85) you will travel for approximately 1.2 miles until you reach a large pullout on the left hand side of the road. Please park far away from the bridge that leads to the private residence.

Get out of your vehicle and start walking down the canyon as if you were heading back to Cheyenne Crossing. Go past a wooden guardrail and past a couple of houses which are located in the valley below the paved road you are walking on. Once you get past the entrance to the private, gravel road, which these houses are located on, start looking down toward the creek. The trail from the highway is hidden within some tall grass. If you can't find this part of the trail from the road, look for a primitive wooden bridge that crosses the creek. Cross the creek carefully and start walking uphill.

Your journey will take you through what appears to be the forest of Endor. There will be tons of ferns and what appears to be acres of lush, green moss that resembles a shag carpet as it spill down the hillsides. Please stay on the trail the best you can! In some sections you will have to go around and over some fallen trees.

This area is a unique habitat for some plants that probably don't grow in many places within Spearfish Canyon. Please respect the flora! Near the top of the trail you'll run into what appears to be piles of rock that form up into a wall. Once you reach the road at the end of the trail, head left to go to the Wild West Wall and The Goldmine...however, if you're a Jedi in training, who is simply pissed at the worlds and wants to get on some stellar climbs...take a right and head to The Dark Side. We have cookies.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.0 miles from here

64 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',14],['3 Stars',43],['2 Stars',7],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Dark Side

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Dark Side:
Princess, I Wanna Lay-Ya.   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 70'   Warm Up Wall
Dead Man's Hand   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 80'   Wild West Wall
E-walk   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 45'   Dark Side Wall
Mister Fister   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 80'   Dark Side Wall
Black Rainbow   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 60'   Warm Up Wall
ChewCocka   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 80'   Dark Side Wall
Power of the Darkside   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 80'   Dark Side Wall
Darth Gaydar   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 90'   Dark Side Wall
Choda   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 90'   Dark Side Wall
death star   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 80'   Dark Side Wall
Admiral Slackbar   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 80'   Dark Side Wall
Prison Bound   5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 70'   Dark Side Wall
Obi-Wan KanBlowMe   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 80'   Dark Side Wall
Shady Lady   5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 70'   Dark Side Wall
Living Water a.k.a. "The Trickle"   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 75'   Streaker Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Dark Side

Featured Route For The Dark Side
Rock Climbing Photo: Choke on this!

Gabba the Nut 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b  South Dakota : Spearfish Canyon : ... : Dark Side Wall
A spectacular crux sequence should draw anybody breaking into the grade to this climb. Climb through the crux of Passover then split right at the undercling/block. Grab a quick shake here then head straight up to the bulge on small crimps. Clip then grab a small left sidepull to initiate the right traverse. The feet are terrible but the undercling cross to the pocket should make you remember why you love climbing. Pull over the bulge and find the 'thank god' clip hold or take the whip. Eas...[more]   Browse More Classics in South Dakota

Photos of The Dark Side Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Brian takes on Stump In The Rump, 5.11b
Brian takes on Stump In The Rump, 5.11b
Rock Climbing Photo: Lee sets up at Dark Parking Lots, 5.12b
Lee sets up at Dark Parking Lots, 5.12b
Rock Climbing Photo: Brian Stampe does battle with Darth Gaydar, 5.12a ...
Brian Stampe does battle with Darth Gaydar, 5.12a ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jamie takes down Sinister, 5.12c  Dark Side Wall, ...
Jamie takes down Sinister, 5.12c Dark Side Wall, ...
Rock Climbing Photo: A scene from The Darkside.
A scene from The Darkside.
Rock Climbing Photo: Yo! Check it out! We gots some bad ass routes all ...
Yo! Check it out! We gots some bad ass routes all ...
Rock Climbing Photo: I wish I had a better pic, of this super good rout...
I wish I had a better pic, of this super good rout...

Comments on The Dark Side Add Comment
Show which comments
- none yet -

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About