Annie Creek is nestled deep in Spearfish Canyon. When you get to the actual creek itself, it really is, quite the beautiful spectacle. Coming upon the actual creek you stand over a towering ravine looking down. There lies the creek in all of it’s beauty. The path leading down there is engulfed in beautiful green moss and aspen trees everywhere. During the fall months this spot is quite the head turner. A giant boulder sits at the mouth of the waterfall, yes a waterfall, and a small area of water, not deep enough to swim in, sits at the base of the rock and the creek flows down from there. The hike there, up Annie Creek Road, is roughly about a mile. It’s a dirt path the whole way there surrounded by trees on either side of the path. You are able to take a vehicle, if it isn’t a
BMW, preferably a 4X4 or a four wheeler would be ideal. Spearfish Canyon sits right in the heart of the Black Hills. They are called the Black Hills because from high up in the air the forest looks black even though the pine trees are green. If you’re venturing through it’s a beautiful spot any time of the year. The green trees light up the canyon and contrast good against the darkness of the Black Hills. Annie Creek sits almost at the end of the drive through the canyon. There is a road sign that says Annie Creek Road.
Many people often ask why is it called Annie Creek. Well first we would have to travel back roughly seventy years. During the gold rush of the Black Hills, truthfully the entire United States, there was a railroad that ran through Spearfish Canyon. Digging through the history books it’s hard to tell how far this railroad went or how many times it intersected with others, but it was long, none the less. The road cars obviously carried gold from site to site. Everyone hoping to cash in on the big pay days. Striking it rich, in the easiest way possible, is by far the, American dream.
Annie was a small blonde haired, greened eyed, nine year old little girl. She lived in Elmore, which was the same town, where Annie Creek Road was located. Her father worked for the railroad and her mother was a stay at home mom. Annie had three older brothers and two younger sisters. You wouldn’t think back in the day they would of had take your child to work day, but at the railroad, they did. Annie’s father went into her bedroom that morning and she was already up and dressed. She had a plaid shirt, overalls and boots on.
Geared up and ready to go for the day. Her father had already packed their lunches had had a pitcher of water ready.
That morning they both traveled two miles up the road to where the train station was. They boarded the gold filled train and went to her father’s spot on the train. The train let out two choo’s and began chugging down the railroad. That day, for whatever reason, they made an unscheduled stop around Annie creek, which at that time, was just another creek. The conductor said they were having an engine problem. Annie told her dad she was going to venture out and explore while they were broke down. He told her not to wander to far and to be safe. Unfortunately….that wasn’t the case this time. She stumbled upon a ledge that over looked a creek. She peered over the top and saw a beautiful stream flowing down below and a waterfall that was pouring over a giant boulder.
As Annie was peeking over the top and suddenly the ground let out below her. She fell down into the creek and rocks piled up on top of her. It had been hours since her father had seen Annie. He went out looking for her down the same path he saw her go. Her father came upon the spot where the ground had given away and saw a rock pile at the bottom with a small boot sticking out of the bottom. Fear and complete sadness came over him. He knew his little girl was gone forever. He named the creek after her in her honor.
Now this area is flooded with tourists. It’s not as popular as many spots along Spearfish Canyon but if you’ve heard of the haunting tales then many people end up venturing there. Not everyone has seen her and she doesn’t always make herself present. Every once in a while if the evening is right just as the sun is going down a small little girl will appear in Annie Creek. She stands by the pile of rocks that sits at the base of the path. She’ll wander around looking for something…an answer. This is the story of Annie Creek.