You have to envy the young folks who grew up in and around Keystone. The rest of us so-called flatlanders cooled off in reservoirs, rivers, stock ponds, lakes (if we were lucky) and city swimming pools. But for as long as anyone can remember, kids in Keystone and the Black Hills have whiled away summer afternoons at Hippy Hole, Devil’s Bathtub and other-off-the-map cool spots.
But if you know how to find them, you too can take the plunge. They’re not exclusive. Just not well-known. Hippy Hole is a few miles east of Keystone on Battle Creek. There’s a big pond, fed by a tranquil waterfall and flanked by rocky crags. (Be careful if you’re thinking of cliff diving. It’s a long hobble to medical attention if a slip or miscalculate.)
To get to Hippy Hole, you’ll need to do some hiking. It’s not one of those paved-parking, stay-on-the trail kinds of places. Ask anyone in Keystone, and they’ll give you directions.