Custer State Park & Deadwood, SD

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The Black Hills area in South Dakota is quiet a special place in the country. It is full of history, adventure, classic scenic drives, and lots of wildlife. We love it there and had to go back for a second visit!

We really love scenic drives and the iconic Needles Highway is one not to miss. It has some great rock formations, winds through tunnels and woods, and takes you up to amazing overlooks. One great stop along the way is the Needles Eye.





Your drive ends with a great view of Sylvan Lake, where you can take a hike around the lake, climb some rocks or have a picnic to break up your drive.The wildlife loop also is a must see at the park. You are pretty much guaranteed to see some kind of animal along the way. We saw buffalo, pronghorn, elk and lots of prairie dogs…I love the prairie dog villages! 

You will also run into the donkeys somewhere along the road, and they will come right up to you, beg for treats, and hold up traffic. Years ago, they had donkey rides in the park and when that was discontinued, they let the donkeys roam free in the park, so they are quite tame and fun to interact with.

Another great highway to drive in the area is Iron Mountain Road, which you can get to on your way out of the east entrance of Custer State Park. When traveling up the highway in this direction, you get to see a couple of pretty impressive views of Mount Rushmore as you go thru the tunnels. So glad we decided to tow our car, no way to see these cool routes in the RV.  Make sure to check out our previous dash cam post of the area!

We took a day to revisit Deadwood also. We spent a whole day there our first time and saw Wild Bill Hickock’s and Calamity Jane’s grave in Mount Moriah Cemetery, toured the Adams House, and walked through the downtown area. We were lucky enough to see the guys from Ghost Adventurers filming downtown at the old Fairmont Hotel. We really didn’t know much about Deadwood on our first visit, but as we learned more through the day, we understood why they chose Deadwood as their Halloween special that year! While walking into the downtown casinos and old hotels, you definitely got some strange vibes…quite creepy at times! I wouldn’t recommend playing the slots there though…we had no luck!






We ended up spending a couple more weeks here this time around at a few different RV parks using our Passport America membership.    It’s just a beautiful and fun area of the country!

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