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Needles Highway, South Dakota

4.9
#4 of 8 in Scenic Drive in South Dakota
The Needles of the Black Hills of South Dakota are a region of eroded granite pillars, towers, and spires within Custer State Park. Popular with rock climbers and tourists alike, the Needles are accessed from the Needles Highway, which is a part of Sylvan Lake Road (SD 87/89). The Cathedral Spires and Limber Pine Natural Area, a 637-acre portion of the Needles containing six ridges of pillars as well as a disjunct stand of limber pine, was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1976.
The Needles were the original site proposed for the Mount Rushmore carvings. The location was rejected by the sculptor Gutzon Borglum owing to the poor quality of the granite and the fact that they were too thin to support the sculptures. The Needles attract approximately 300,000 people annually.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
847 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Drive this road and take your time. It is scenic, with twists and turns and some of the narrowest tunnels ever. Pull over in multiple places to enjoy the views, rock formations and the wildlife...  more »
  • I love the Needles Highway, dear readers. Love it. Sure, it costs 20 bucks if you want to check it out, but that is good for a week and, I think, should be budgeted in for anyone looking to hit the....  more »

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