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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Custer State Park, South Dakota, United States

Jul 18, 2019 - Black Elk Peak

Black Elk Peak (formerly Harney Peak) hiking trail is located in Custer State Park near Custer SD and is approached through the Black Elk Wilderness to the summit. Starting at about 6,200 feet, the Black Elk Peak trail gains 1,100 feet in elevation over the 3.5 mile hike to the summit, is the highest point in South Dakota and the highest point east of the Rocky Mountains! One of the best features of this Black Hills trail is the Black Elk Peak Fire Tower at the high point of the hike. This tower provides excellent 360-degree views of the...

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Trip Journal


2019 RV Adventure

Jun 9, 2019 - Custer State Park

Sunday turned out to be a long day. We set out at about 11am on the drive to Custer State Park. The size of the park would be more consistent with a national rather than state park. We started at the visitor’s center, saw a film about the park, asked the ranger for a flat hike, and set out on an uninspired walk from the visitor’s center passed the campground. We walked about three miles and then returned to the car for a road tour. There is a wildlife loop road that passes through the grasslands section of the park and is advertised to...

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May 25, 2018 - Custer State Park, Needles Highway, Mt Rushmore at night

Due to the huge size of the area and the attractions to see in the Black Hills, we found that it will takes at least 3-4 days or longer to see it all. Plan to travel slowly over the many scenic roads and plan at least 1-2 hours per scenic highway section. It is worth the time it takes to see this beautiful country. In the morning, we drove the Needles Highway and the Southern Wildlife Loop of Custer State Park. The Needles highway is AMAZING. You will see many Pinnacles, that have been described as “sky- piercing granite peaks” and drive...

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Sep 30, 2017 - Buffalo Roundup

. On Tuesday afternoon, September 26th, Hazel and left the Minnesota lake cabin and headed west towards Custer State Park in South Dakota, a 700 mile trip. We had things to do before we left, and got a late start, but arrived at the Walmart parking lot in Marshall, Minnesota just after sundown. . The overnight camping is free, but the trip into the store always seems to cost me fifty bucks or so, and it is almost always things we need. Hazel thinks we should stay at more RV parks and save money, and she might be right, especially in hot...

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Jul 4, 2017 - Last Days in the Black Hills

Mon., July 3rd - Mt. Rushmore’s Independence Day celebration was today…they try not to conflict with the local small town events in the area on the 4th. Bruce, Carla and I set off for the day leaving Steve behind as he’s not one for the crowds. Our first stop was at Sylvan Lake where we hiked the lake trail that has a rock climb at the far end. Just as we got back to the truck, the rain cloud we’d been watching opened up with dime size hail bouncing in all directions. We made our way to Mt. Rushmore where we enjoyed sitting under clear...

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Jul 1, 2017 - Mt. Rushmore

Sat., July 1st – Our day started with the Wildlife Loop in Custer State Pk. After seeing buffalo by the herd in Yellowstone, it wasn’t quite as much of a thrill seeing them here. They were plentiful, along with donkeys beside the road, pronghorn, and of course the little prairie dogs. We went on to travel the Iron Mountain Rd. where you see your first glimpse of Mt. Rushmore through the frame of a rock tunnel. Pretty neat! After our picnic, we decided to take in Mt. Rushmore and all the exhibits, Presidential Trail Walk, and ice-cream...

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Jun 30, 2017 - Custer State Park

Wed., June 28th – Today was a long trek across the 2 lanes in the middle of Montana. The good news was, we caught our critter in the trap before we left Glacier. The bad news was, just before we stopped at our campground in the poe-dunk community of Hardin, MT, our ETC warning light came on the truck. Steve had me grab the owners guide to find out what in the world was going on. We called a couple of Dodge dealers but there were no really good answers to the Electronic Throttle Control malfunctioning. So…we prayed we wouldn’t have any major...

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May 10, 2017 - Off to Grand Portage National Momument, MNuntitled

Hello Friends, Im just coming back on line since last sept. Here are some pictures of the Tetons and Yellowstone from that time period. A lot of miles and smiles since then and I'll update to today incrementally. We are currently in Custer State Park, SD on our way to Grand Portage National Monument, where we are going to be intrepretive hosts for the summer. So long for now ...

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Sep 25, 2016 - Custer State Park

2016-09-25.Custer State Park Custer State Park is probably the nicest state park in the country. Big claim right? But seriously, this park has it all. It is close to Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse but is a destination in and of itself. The park is one of the largest in the country and includes mixed grass prairie, the pine forest symbolic of the Black Hills, granite and limestone peaks called needles and a network of highways that lead up and around the park. The Needles Highway with its pigtail curves is the iconic picture shown on the...

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Sep 22, 2016 - Custer State Park, SD - Game Lodge Campground

Our trip from Rozet, WY to Custer State Park, SD covered 112 miles, almost all of it good two lane highway. We passed through very few small towns and also came through Custer, SD which is a very touristy town a few miles west of Custer State Park. We are staying at the Game Lodge Campground inside Custer State Park and have a very large 50 amp back-in site with no water or sewer so we came in with full fresh water tank and empty waste tanks. We have very good Verizon and a clear shot to the satellite in this site. This is our fourth stay...

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Aug 31, 2016 - THE Black Hills, Nemo and Buffalo

“THE BLACK HILLS” three words usually spoken with reverence, to most motorcyclists, it’s the Holy Grail of roads to ride in the US. We are here to say “Hell yeah they are!” Curves of all kinds – sharp, really sharp, sweeping, winding, P-curves, S-curves, C-Curves, U-curves..all the time climbing higher and higher, then you reach the top and say “WOW”. Then you start down, once again, sweeping, gliding, free in the wind. There are single car (barely) tunnels, single lane bridges and sheer drop-offs of hundreds of feet. Needles Highway is...

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Jul 25, 2016 - Custer State Park, South Dakota

120 miles and we arrived at Custer state park, South Dakota. Once we got set up and walked the dogs we set out to find some buffalo. The next day we were off to view Mt Rushmore. Did a lot of sight seeing and spent one day at Crazy Horse. The man (Korczak Ziolkowski) started working on Crazy Horse all by himself in 1948 with only $174. He had to build his own cabin to live there while he worked. Korczak was originally from Boston, Ma. and died in 1982. His wife Ruth (who died in 2014) followed him to the Black Hills to volunteer her time to...

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