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Needles Highway, South Dakota

4.9
#5 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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Needles Highway Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
750 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This road will bring you thru tunnels, some hairpin turns and rather 'narrow' sections so not a place for a truck, camper or RV. Vehicles are often 'backed up' in busy times so don't be in a hurry. Al...  more »
  • The views are worth a million however if you do not like driving on roads with 100'S of feet of drops on the sides and without safety barriers...you may want to reconsider the drive. We went just befo...  more »

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