Highslide JS
Highslide JS

Built to serve the growing population of tourist travel though the Black Hills, the L Rancho was built in 1945. Then known as the L Rancho Court, with the motel on the left and a trailer court on the right. After The War people were traveling and celebrating their liberties. Mt Rushmore had only been finished for less than a decade and The Black Hills Passion Play had been attracting tourists since 1939. Wall Drug was making history since The Depression and the interstate wasn’t there, so the traveled route went through the now Historic Highway 14A, up Spearfish Canyon.

The motel was built by the Termes family, which still has their roots planted in The Hills. From the late 1960’s up until 2005 the motel was owned and operated by Norma McKillip, who has earned her place in local history and who’s stories rival those of our Deadwood heroes. Norma lived by her own rules and didn’t take any guff from anyone, and since she travelled between Spearfish and her home in Texas, no one ever knew when the motel was actually going to be opened for the season. One thing was sure though, that she would be there for the Sturgis Rally.

The Basher family bought the L Rancho in 2005 and the motel scenario was re-evaluated. It was decided to turn 6 rooms into apartments and rent those, and the managers house, into year-round living. To continue the L Rancho tradition, we make sure that there is plenty of room for our Sturgis Rally guests, some of whom have been coming every year since 1984. It’s rumored that the motel has played host to such celebrities as Arlen Ness, Steve McQueen, Peter Fonda and Larry Hagman.

Thanks for taking the time to learn about ‘The Ranch”. If you have any stories please make sure the share them on your next visit or via email.

The L Rancho is owned by Stacey & Matt Basher, and Colleen & Barry Basher.

Highslide JS
World record temperature change: Spearfish holds the world record for the fastest temperature change. On January 22, 1943 at about 7:30 a.m. MST, the temperature in Spearfish was -4° degrees F (-20°C). The chinook wind picked up speed rapidly, and two minutes later (7:32 a.m.) the temperature was +45°F above zero (+7°C). The 49-degree rise (27°C) in two minutes set a world record that still holds. By 9:00 a.m., the temperature had risen to 54°F (12°C). Suddenly, the chinook died down and the temperature tumbled back to -4°F (-20°C). The 58-degree drop (32°C) took only 27 minutes
Spearfish Creek, is a fast moving creek that emerges from Spearfish Canyon at Spearfish. It runs roughly south to north through the center of town (parallel to Canyon Street), runs year round. The creek is unusual in that it freezes from the bottom up, instead of icing over.[who?] This unusual phenomenon occurs due to the very fast rate at which the creek flows. This speed prevents ice from forming except along the bottom of the creek bed where friction and turbulence allow the water to slow down long enough to freeze. Since the creek continues to flow atop this ice, the water level of the creek gradually rises as more ice accumulates on the bottom, in some cases causing flooding on the north side of town where the channel is not so deep.
In the 20th Century, the history of Spearfish was tied very closely to mining and tourism. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who visited Spearfish Canyon (located between Spearfish and Deadwood) in 1935, later called the area "unique and unparalleled elsewhere in our country," and wondered "how is it that I've heard so little of this miracle and we, toward the Atlantic, have heard so much of the Grand Canyon when this is even more miraculous"