Custer State Park
The Mammoth Site
Little Devil's Tower
Southern Black Hills Tour
|| Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park, Wind Cave National Park, Crazy Horse Monument
|| About 4 hours of driving but expect it to take most of a day with stops and tours
|Best Time To Go:
|| This tour will take most of a day. Mt
Rushmore is best seen in the Morning. Animals in Custer Park are
usually more active at sunrise and dusk, try to avoid the Wildlife Loop
at midday or when the weather is very hot as the animals may not be
near the road. Crazy Horse Memorial is best seen in the late afternoon.|
| Other Details:
|| The Mt. Rushmore parking permit is $8 and good for a calendar year.
A five-day pass to Custer State Park is $10 per vehicle in summer.
Wind Cave Tours vary depending on which tour is seleleced. A basic tour is $3.50.
Crazy Horse Entrance fee is $19 per vehicle or you can view the
mountain carving from the highway for free.
Other entrance fees apply for the Mammoth Site and Evans Plunge if you choose to enter
|| Start early in the day. From Keystone follow
US16A west about 1/2 mile to the junction with Highway 244. Follow 244
up to Mt. Rushmore. If you haven't seen Mt. Rushmore already, go in and
visit the Grand Terrace and the Mt. Rushmore Interpretive Center. The
restaurant at Mt. Rushmore's Buffalo Dining Room serves a nice
breakfast. From Mt. Rushmore go west on Highway 244 past Horsethief
Lake to US16 & US385 -- about nine miles. Go south on US16 &
US385 about 1/4 mile then turn left on the Needles Highway. Follow the
Needles Highway (Hwy. 87) up to Sylvan Lake. You will need to pay an
park entrance fee.
At Sylvan Lake get out of the vehicle and walk
on the western shore to the dam. Look for the spot where the trail
passes through the narrow rock opening and then go down a short
distance into Sunday Gulch below the dam. If you wish, you can continue
around the lake or turn back at this point. From Sylvan Lake proceed
south of Highway 87 toward Little Devil's Tower. From the parking lot
it is a short walk to the tower. From Little Devil's Tower proceed
south again on Highway 87 to the Eye of the Needles and past past the
Cathedral Spires. There are frequent pull-outs and stopping places to
get a good look at the sights.
Go east on Highway 16A until just past the
state game lodge then take the wildlife loop south. On the Wildlife
Loop look for buffalo, antelope and Black Hills wildlife. You might
also want to stop at the Prairie Dog village. At the end of the
wildlife loop, turn south on Highway 87 and follow it into Wind Cave
Stop at Wind Cave and take the tour.
From Wind Cave, follow 385 South to Hot
Springs and visit the Mammoth Site. Be sure to take note of the old
sandstone architectures in Hot Springs. If you'd rather not see the
Mammoths, you can always take a dip at Evan's Plunge.
When ready to leave Hot Springs, follow
Highway 385 north again all the way to Custer. If it's late afternoon
or evening and the mood strikes, you can take in the Mountain Music
Show. Or your can catch a glimpse of The Crazy Horst Memorial in the
afternoon sun or after dark when it is lighted. When ready to return to
Keystone, follow 385 all the way back to Hill City then take 16 and 16A
back to Keystone.