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5.0
548 votes

Needles Highway

South Dakota State Highway 87, Custer, South Dakota 57730 USA

$$
Reasonable
Open Now
Sun 12a-11:59p
  • Independent
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair
    Accessible
  • No Wifi
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“A $20/vehicle or $6/person Custer State Park pass is now required for access to the road.”

Deemed “impossible” to construct by its critics, Needles Highway—a National Scenic Byway—was completed in 1922 and includes 14 miles of sharp turns, low tunnels and impressive granite spires. The road lies within the 73,000 acre Custer State Park, just 30 miles south of Rapid City. 

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Reviewed by
sandymik

  • 4 Reviews
  • 5 Helpful
May 14, 2017
Rated 5.0

Well worth the travel. Glad we rented a car, dont think the motorhome would have made it through the tunnels. Do not miss this if you are in the area.

3 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
johille

  • 4 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
March 26, 2018
Rated 5.0

Searching for a hidden gem with photo stops at every turn? The Needle's Hwy IS IT. Plan at 1 full day. For hiking, boat paddling and driving from one awesone stop to the other.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Kate Adam

  • 9 Reviews
  • 4 Helpful
July 27, 2021
Rated 5.0

Absolutely breathtaking drive. You will need to pay a $20 fee to get into Custer State Park in order to access this drive, but it is worth every cent. Leave enough time to stop at each overlook and pull off.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Sam

  • 23 Reviews
  • 8 Helpful
September 19, 2019
Rated 5.0

Wow...how do you even put into words how beautiful this drive was?! Can I just take a second and ponder about how in the heck those motor coach buses fit through those tunnels? Like how? Anyways, yes it was beautiful. I would do that drive over and over again. What a way to get a first glance of Mount Rushmore!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Jennifer

  • 14 Reviews
  • 4 Helpful
July 24, 2018
Rated 5.0

Beautiful drive! Well worth the time. Be mindful of vehicle height/width restrictions, they are not a suggestion. We passed a motor home that was stranded with no where to turn around and talked to a guy in a dually that decided that he didn’t want to chance getting his truck scratched going through the tunnels. Lots of wildlife in the area. We enjoyed this scenic drive so much that we drove it again before we left the area.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
juicejr33

  • 15 Reviews
  • 5 Helpful
June 16, 2018
Rated 5.0

Just amazing to drive through along with Custer state park and badlands!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
danireis

  • 11 Reviews
  • 5 Helpful
October 22, 2017
Rated 5.0

Beautiful and worth the time to go on this road. Needles Eye Tunnel is amazing and worth getting out to take photos. We went off season and had more time to enjoy without a long line of cars.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Bailey Irene.

  • 28 Reviews
  • 3 Helpful
August 28, 2016
Rated 5.0

Got lost and so glad we did. The Needles drive was a highlight of our trip. We got stuck in a hail storm driving through. It was great.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
jgroves80

  • 5 Reviews
  • 3 Helpful
August 01, 2016
Rated 4.0

Very interesting drive. Watch the youtube videos to see what you are in for before the trip. Children may get nauseated by the twists and turns.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Lesli Peterson

  • Blogger
  • 1,213 Reviews
  • 63 Helpful
June 24, 2023
Rated 5.0

Needles Highway is a great place for a scenic drive. The highway winds its way through the Black Hills and offers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. There are also several hiking trails along the highway, and the Needles Eye Tunnel is a popular attraction. The tunnel is just under a mile long and has a vertical opening of more than 100 feet.

If you’re looking for a more adventurous activity, the area surrounding Needles Highway is also a great place to go hiking. There are several trails to choose from, and they offer great views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Black Elk Peak is the highest point in the Black Hills, and it’s a popular destination for hikers. The hike to the summit is about 10 miles round trip, but it’s well worth it once you reach the top.

We think exploring Needles Highway is one of the best things to do in South Dakota!

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Needles Highway

South Dakota State Highway 87
Custer, South Dakota
57730 USA
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Hours

Open 24 hours today
  • Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm

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