While Mount Rushmore is the most well-known attraction in the Black Hills of South Dakota, there are lots of great things to see and do here. We just scratched the surface on this easy, one-day scenic drive.
Although Yellowstone National Park is probably the most famous place to see bison (buffalo), Custer State Park has one of the largest publicly-owned herds in the world, roaming freely throughout the park and often stopping traffic along the the road.
Connecting Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore National Memorial, the Iron Mountain Road is a work of art in itself. The highway passes through some of the most beautiful scenery in the Black Hills and includes three tunnels that frame Mount Rushmore in the distance. The road is famous for its “Pigtail Bridges” that allow travelers to gain or lose elevation quickly.
The Needles Highway is a spectacular drive through pine and spruce forests, meadows surrounded by birch and aspen and rugged granite mountains. Completed in 1922, the road’s name comes from the needle-like granite formations you’ll see along the way. It also has the longest, and coolest, tunnel!
Of course we visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial too, as no trip to the area would be complete without experiencing this amazing site up close. We hike the easy 6/10-mile Presidential Trail for stunning views almost directly beneath the granite faces.
This is only the beginning of the spectacular scenery in the Black Hills. For the more adventurous, be sure to visit Wind Cave National Park and Harney Peak if you have more time to spend in this beautiful part of the world.
We stayed in one of the many full-hook-up commercial RV parks in the area, but there are lots of State Park and National Forest campgrounds to choose from as well.
If you haven’t yet visited the Black Hills, maybe this quick snapshot of the area will inspire you to add it to your must-see list. The admission price to the Custer State Park is well worth it!