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Custer State Park, South Dakota

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Entry Sign...
In 1996, my first real foray to the West, I had no plan. Well, yeah, I did have a plan, and that was to out West and drive part of the Montanabahn, before it went away. The second part of the plan, was to see Mount Rushmore. Just because. Everything else along the way would just be a bonus.

One of those places was Custer State Park. A piece of tourist propaganda said to bring a bag of carrots for the burros. See Eye of the Needle. Drive the pigtail bridges.

Custer Map
Reduced map of Custer State Park. Click for a larger view.
Custer State Park
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Iron Mountain Road

Iron Mountain Road
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Game Lodge / Blue Bell

US-16A / SD-87
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Needles Highway

Eye of the Needle...
Bighorn Sheep
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Needles Highway / Eye of the Needle
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Wildlife Loop Road

I was down the Wildlife Loop Road three times, and the bison and burros were in different places every trip. So instead of documenting the road from landmark to landmark, I'm going to document the road from animal to animal...

Wildlife Loop Road
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Prairie Dogs
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Pronghorn Sheep
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Related Links

Black Hills
Black Hills Link The Black Hills, long a sacred area for the local tribes, is now more a tourist destination. You can easily plan a weeklong vacation in the area, with attractions like Mount Rushmore, Wind Cave, Custer State Park, and the Western Towns such as Deadwood.

Just don't go there during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, unless you're specifically going for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally...

Western South Dakota / 11 Images.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Mt Rushmore Link Mount Rushmore National Memorial represents a monument as big as the sculptor's ego. I admit, it's an impressive piece of art and national pride, and if you're in the Black Hills area, a definite must-see attraction. Just do it in the morning if you're planning on taking pictures.

Oh, and don't go there during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, unless you want to go to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Near Rapid City, South Dakota / 40 Images. Visited Sep 1996, Jul 2006.

Wind Cave National Park
Wind Cave Link Wind Cave National Park was originally created to preserve Wind Cave, but was expanded to almost 30,000 acres, preserving the grasslands and other wildlife habitat of the area. There is a sizable bison herd here, as well as the obligatory prairie dogs...

The cave tour (the general tourist one) is very easy and either level or downhill, and best of all there's an elevator at the end.

Near Hot Springs, South Dakota / 40 Images. Visited Sep 1996, Jul 2006.
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Trip Report: Sep 1996, Sep 1998, Jul 2006.

Return to: State Index South Dakota State Page National Parks

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