I first began writing my posts about our trip to South Dakota back in October(!!!) and have yet to finish these posts. The next two weeks will be posts about our trip so I can finally mark this mini-series off my list! 🙂
No trip to South Dakota is complete without a trip to Custer State Park. It was originally established in 1912 as the oldest state park in South Dakota, and became more popular in the 1920s when it was the “summer White House” of President Calvin Coolidge. We took a quick drive through the park as we were heading up from the town of Custer.
We stopped at the lodge to take a few photos (as well as buy our park passes, because the lodge was the only place that could take cards!)
Then, we drove down the famous Needles Highway. It is named “Needles” after the giant granite formations that look like needles that line the highway, but I’d like to think its named after “sitting on pins and needles” because that’s how I felt for the entire drive! Between the sharp hair-pin turns, tunnels that only one car can fit through at a time, and vehicles on the opposite side of the road crossing into your lane because they weren’t confident driving on the side of a mountain, I truly could not wait to get off of Needles Highway.
I will be honest, I didn’t enjoy my time at Custer State Park simply because it was incredibly, incredibly crowded! Driving along Needles Highway was a nightmare because of the crowds and my fear of car wrecks. We also didn’t see but one bison– I’m not sure if that was due to the crowds, the mid-day heat, or a little of both. I wish we had the chance to travel in the “off” season; I think I would have had a lot more fun and been able to explore more.
Have you ever been to Custer State Park?