Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Western RV Trip Day 15 - Custer State Park & Keystone, SD

Monday was a full day for us and we intended to hit the big highlights of Custer State park beginning with Sylvan Lake and the Needles Hwy (pics from a previous visit).  It is so called because of the needle like spires of rock along the drive – it also has a couple of one lane tunnels and a formation that looks like a needles eye.

From there we went to the new park visitors center and watched a short movie about the park centered around Tatanka (Bison).

Then it was off for a drive on the Iron Mountain Rd, which is supposed to be the prettiest drive in the Black Hills with a turn that makes two complete 360’s.  The scenery was very nice and it has two tunnels that both frame Mt Rushmore in the distance and try as I might, I could not get a decent shot so these are from the web.

First Tunnel. 

Second Tunnel.

We ended up in Keystone where we ate the famous Reuben at Teddy’s Deli and they were very good.

While the others shopped a little (many stores were closed for the season), I just wandered around and snapped a few shots of town which seems to totally exit on tourism thanks to being just a few miles from MT Rushmore.  I like the old west look to the buildings.

We then drove by Mt Rushmore, went back to campground, picked up the pups, and headed out at 5:30pm for an evening drive around the park wildlife loop where we saw pronghorn, prairie dogs, deer, donkeys, and of course bison.

This big bull was just ambling along beside the road.

The light was fading when we saw the larger herds.

The week after we leave is the annual round-up of the 1300-1400 head bison herd.  I thought the park was an awesome display of how this part of America was prior to white men and my main thought was that it should have been several times larger.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


9/18/17 Event Date


  1. What a wonderful area to explore and to see Mt. Rushmore is something we Hope to do one day.

  2. I remember driving that road very slowly. Lol. It really is a beautiful park.

  3. I do like the tunnel shot of Mt. Rushmore. It would probably need a tripod and a high zoom lens and have to be shot at a certain time of day. The bison made me hungry for a bison burger. We can buy bison burgers at our local Safeway. Good stuff.

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  5. I love those rocky spires! Looks like a beautiful place to visit!

  6. I hope you were towing a car to drive through those tunnels, because I don't see that bus fitting through them ;-) Seriously, looks like you've been having a wonderful journey. We also are great fans of the buffalo (western bison); what majestic looking creatures. Too bad they shot the last of the eastern bison around 1790.

  7. I just love your epic adventures Larry. Great photos and beautiful scenery. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Really nice photos Larry. I remember a lot of those Needles shots from a trip there as a kid.


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