Custer State Park,  South Dakota

Custer State Park, South Dakota

Photo by Guimir, Wikimedia Commons

Peter Norbeck Scenic Tour 1 Day RV Itinerary

 Sylvan Lake, Custer State Park - Photo by Jennifer L. Sovanski, Flickr Creative Commons Sylvan Lake, Custer State Park - Photo by Jennifer L. Sovanski, Flickr Creative Commons

Day 1

Start: Custer

Encompassing the southeastern section of the byway, this 73,000 acre state park is part of a scenic drive as well as a land of outdoor recreation. Places like Harney's Peak and the Needles Eye make hiking in Custer State Park Memorable and very photogenic.

Although you probably won't find gold in French Creek like Custer did, you will find a few great fish if you bring your fishing pole. And with a herd of 1,500 bison wandering through the park, the wildlife mascot of Custer State Park is, of course, the buffalo.

Favorite outdoor activities include hiking 7,242-foot Harney Peak, mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, fishing, chuckwagon suppers, and jeep rides to see the bison.

Stop 1: Needles Highway

Directions from previous place:    

Go north on Highway 89.

Driving through rock tunnels and winding past rock spires, the Needles Highway was labeled impossible when it was constructed in 1919. That didn't deter Governor Norbeck, who supplied more than 150,000 pounds of dynamite and the determination needed to construct the roadway.

The Needles Highway curves and winds through 14 miles of magnificent rock formations called 'needles.' One of the most prominent rock formations on the Highway is the Needles Eye, reaching 30 to 40 feet in the air with a 3 foot wide slit.

Stop 2: Norbeck Wildlife Preserve

Directions from previous place:    

Travel north on Highway 89.

Congress established this 35,000-acre Wildlife Preserve in 1920 as a breeding place for game birds and other animals. Many indigenous species of wildlife can be found here, including deer, elk, and mountain goat.

End: Mount Rushmore

After passing the wildlife preserve, you will want to travel east on US Highway 16-A until you reach Mount Rushmore.

Mount Rushmore: America's shrine to democracy. The faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, four of the great presidents of the United States of America, look out on visitors who flock to them from all over the world. As sculptor Gutzon Borglum began this project of carving monumental faces out of a granite cliff, he told reporters:

"I did not and don't intend that (the Memorial) shall be just a damn big thing, a three-day tourist wonder. A nation's memorial should, like Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt, have a serenity, a nobility, and power that reflects the gods they have become."

Totals for Day 1
Total Distance Traveled:     0 miles / 0.0 km
Total Travel Time:                 0 minutes
Total Stopping Time:            0 minutes

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