On to South Dakota
From Sundance we took I-90 east across the border into South Dakota. We exited on to US 85 South, and then took US 385 six miles south of Deadwood to Creekside Campground.
Just a couple miles from our campground in the Black Hills National Forest, we found a great picnic area to walk the dogs.
Spearfish Canyon Road Trip
This is a scenic byway worth taking.
Bear Butte State Park
Just a few miles north of the notorious Sturgis, we visited Bear Butte State Park, a sacred Indian site. The main attraction is a hike up the butte, however, no dogs allowed. Since there is no drive around, we stayed just a few minutes.
During our time in the northern part of the Black Hills region, we had the chance to tour Deadwood, Lead, and Sturgis. Sturgis is just a waiting place for the annual motorcycle events, but Deadwood and Lead where interesting to tour around.
On to Custer
From our campground south of Deadwood we headed south on 385 to Custer, and then east 3.5 miles to Beaverlake Campground, a short 55-mile trip. This is a wonderful all-around campground, but what makes it unique is that it is home to over 150 (and counting) cute, tame, bunny rabbits. Jack and Mitzy were in total awe when six hare youngsters not only did not run when they approached, but they came up to greet the unnerved canines—how dare they?
Custer National Forest is everywhere, so every morning we took the pups out on an old road or trail seeing deer, elk, and lots of chippers.
Custer State Park
Think mini-Yellowstone as you drive through this 71,000-acre park viewing the wildlife. We saw massive bison, pronghorn, lots of prairie dogs, and burros who solicited from cars on the loop.
We took a road up to Mt. Coolidge Lookout and were rewarded with a great view. We saw the Crazy Horse Carving eleven miles away, and Mount Rushmore 13 miles distant.
Later during our stay, I photographed Rushmore through a tunnel, and then up close.
Along with the 18-mile Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park, we drove the 18-mile Iron Mountain Road and the 14-mile Needles Highway. Here is a shot of from the narrowest part of the Needles Highway, the Needles Eye.
Wind Cave National Park
Adjoining Custer State Park is the 34,000-acre Wind Cave National Park. Like Custer, it is home to lots of wildlife. The cave is known for boxwork, with over 95% of all the boxwork in the world located in the 145 miles of underground maze. I took the Natural Entrance tour, and here is a photo of Ranger Justin standing at the natural entrance to the cave and a photo showing boxwork.
Jewel Cave National Monument
Just twelve miles from our campground is the Jewel Cave National Monument. This cave was more picturesque.
Just east of Sturgis is the town/village/tiny spot call Chip. And adjacent to Chip is Jim’s Salvage—heaven for old truck shooters.
Here are five old trucks from Jim’s.
We really enjoyed the Black Hills and will come back again.
See you next time.