:: Wind Cave National Park ::
This is my walk through Wind Cave, in Wind Cave National Park. It sits in the southern side of the Black Hills and abuts Custer State Park. These pictures were take on July 25. This cave has over 600 miles of branches with only 158 miles having been explored. The cave has been a part of the National Park System since 1903, a long time as these things go.
:: The Needles District of Custer State Park ::
The Needles District road of Custer State Park winds through the rocky spires in the high part of the park. There are numerous one lane tunnel passages that are beautiful. The road can end up in Keystone and the home of Mount Rushmore.
The Needles Highway is a spectacular drive through pine and spruce forests, meadows surrounded by birch and aspen and rugged granite mountains.
The road's name comes from the needle-like granite formations which seem to pierce the horizon along the highway. Construction was completed in 1922. You will pass through 3 single lane Granite Tunnels on the Needles Highway.
Visitors traveling the highway pass Sylvan Lake and a unique rock formation called the Needle's Eye, so named for the opening created by wind, rain, freezing and thawing.
Another road to drive is Iron Mountain Road. It is a work of art in itself. The highway connects central Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The highway passes through some of the most beautiful scenery in the Black Hills and including three tunnels that frame Mount Rushmore in the distance. The road is famous for the "Pigtail Bridges" or "Cork Screw" that allows travelers to drop or gain altitude quickly.
The highway was constructed in the 1930s under the direction of Governor Peter Norbeck, who is also known as the "Father of Custer State Park." Norbeck said of the Iron Mountain Road, "this is not meant to be a super highway, to do the scenery justice you should drive no more than 20 mph and to do it full justice you should simply get out and walk." Experience the road that engineers once said couldn't be built; you'll be happy you did.
:: Animals around Custer State Park ::
Animals around Custer State Park and some from Wind Cave National Park. There was a heard of Wild Donkeys, with the heard soon to get larger by the looks of things.
:: Black Hills Central Railroad ::
The Black Hills Central Railroad runs about ten miles from Hill City to Keystone, South Dakota near Mount Rushmore.
:: Custer State Park ::
Custer State Park is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is one of the prettiest parks of any kind I have been in. I was in the Area from July 24 to July 28. What follows are landscape shots from around the park.
:: Deadwood, South Dakota ::
Deadwood is famous the the shooting of Wild Bill Hickok. It's a western town with a history much like Tombstone.
:: Devil's Tower Wyoming ::
Close Encounters of the Third kind used Devil's Tower as a backdrop. It's really a very large and impressive piece of rock. Devil's tower is an old volcanic plug. It was formed either in the throat of the volcano or beneath it. The ground around it eroded away from the very hard rock plug over a very long period of time. The plug is now revealed.
:: Mount Rushmore ::
Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota.
:: Crazy Horse Monument ::
Crazy Horse Monument just north of Custer, South Dakota. The Crazy Horse Memorial is a mountain monument complex that is under construction on privately held land in the Black Hills, in Custer County, South Dakota. It depicts Crazy Horse, an Oglala Lakota warrior, riding a horse and pointing into the distance. The memorial was commissioned by Henry Standing Bear, a Lakota elder, to be sculpted by Korczak Ziolkowski. It is operated by the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation, a private non-profit organization. The monument construction was started in 1948, they are taking there time about it. But the tourist shops and visitor center are fully complete and available for your use.
:: Thermopolis Dinosaur Museum ::
The Wyoming Dinosaur Center at Thermopolis Wyoming is one of the best Dinosaur museums in the US. Go there if you can.
:: Buffalo Bill Cody ::
Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody Wyoming visited July 29 2012