On a too-brief tour of the monuments, the good folks at Holiday Inn Downtown recommended Needles Highway, something not mentioned in many travel guides—perhaps because there is no fee other than accessing Custer State Park. Deemed “impossible” to construct by its critics, the Needles highway—a National Scenic Byway—was completed in 1922 and includes 14 miles of sharp turns, low tunnels, and impressive granite spires.
There’s nothing secret about this road. It lies smack at the heart of the T-shirted darkness that is the Black Hills. You know. Jackpines. Mount Rushmore. A stone’s throw from Sturgis.
Part of the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway, the ride starts just outside of the town of Custer and tears right through Custer State Park. Most riders head to the greatest hits of the area—Iron Mountain Road, Needles Highway and Mount Rushmore—so you might get lucky and have…
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