After we left Jewel Cave National Monument we decided to take the scenic Needles Highway on our way to the Badlands National Park.
The Needles Highway goes through Custer State Park in the heart of the black hills area. We camped in Custer State Park, and we could not believe how huge it was. It also had restaurants and hotels and kind of reminded us of a mini Yellowstone.
The rocky towers in this area are really unique looking. We were glad we went the longer way and were able to see this. The road is windy and narrow and not even maintained or open in the winter.
Can you tell it was a little sunny? lol. I swear my eyes are open.
Probably the worse part of this road is that South Dakota drivers drive so insanely slowly! It is ridiculous, it is like they are terrified of every single curve in the road. Those of us that live in Colorado know what roads that are actually scary are like!
The road had a few of these really unique narrow stone tunnels that you had to drive through. They were very cool to see, but a huge pain in the butt on the road! They are so narrow that cars can only go one direction at a time through them. There is no stoplight or anyone to direct the flow so it is a huge mess! Especially when there are a lot of cars there for a holiday weekend.
We also went to see Mt. Rushmore on our trip. We only had time to go see it at night. This was pretty neat looking to see in person, but it definitely made for some crappy pictures!
Once they lit it up it was so bright compared to anything around it that it was hard to photograph. We got there early to see the lighting ceremony. We thought it was ridiculous cheesy and long. It was a little painful to sit through. We were like will they just hurry up and turn the lights on so that we can stop starting at a dark hillside!
A little bit blurry but still neat looking I think, with the stars around it.
If you got to the black hills make sure you take the time (and pay the money) to drive the Needles Highway! The $20 is a little pricy but at least it is good for a week’s worth of admission into Custer State Park.