Our drive home took us through Custer State Park, a wildlife reserve, it encompasses 71,000 acres of spectacular terrain and an abundance of wildlife including 1500 free roaming bison. We were lucky today to see a herd of these buffalo crossing the road.
There are three dedicated drives. The Iron Mountain Road, a part of the Peter Norbeck National Scenic Byway, featuring pigtail bridges and three granite tunnels that frame the Rushmore Memorial perfectly in the distance.
The Wildlife Loop Road twists and turns its way through the prairie and ponderosa pine-studded hills that harbor many of the wildlife species. Where we were greeted by the parks free-loading burros. And lastly the Needles Highway, 14 miles long, the most amazing narrowest road we have driven on so far. It features towering granite pinnacles (needles), man-made tunnels and hairpin curves leading to Sylvan Lake. This is the crown jewel of Custer State Park, it opened in 1922 and is closed in the winter. You will enjoy the video of the Needles Eye Tunnel taken from the open roof of the jeep. This Road is a magnificent engineering feat that was supposedly impossible to be built.