The Needles Highway

South Dakota Route 87 forms the Northwest entrance to Custer State Park, and is known as the Needles Highway. The steep grades, hairpin turns, and narrow tunnels make this a very fun and scenic drive. Just that this road exists is amazing.

The first of the tunnels on the highway.

This may be Harney Peak, South Dakota's highest mountain.

Needles above Sylvan Lake.

Approaching the second tunnel and the Needles Eye area.

Nathan got a good picture of the sign explaining how the needles formed, specifically the Needles Eye. [Bigger]

A side view of the Needles Eye.

The Needles Eye.

Looking through the eye of the Needles Eye.

Some very interesting needles near the parking area.

Looking back across the road.

A look through the narrow tunnel.


Amitha is impressed with the scenery.

The Saturn comes through the Needles.

The Saturn coming out of the tunnel.

Amitha and Nathan's Neon coming through the tunnel.

The view from the other side of the tunnel.

The Neon is almost out.

Amitha again cannot resist the urge to climb things.

Yes, that's Amitha up there right above the tunnel.

The cars from a relatively low ledge near the tunnel.

Nathan climbed some too.

Amitha finds another place to look around.

Nathan trying to find a way down which does not involve any broken bones.

Amitha taking the easy way down.

The Cathedral Spires section of the Needles.

These pictures also don't convey what these things look like and how impossible it is to have a road going through it all. You have to go see for yourself again.
Copyright notice: All images are copyright © James D. Teresco unless otherwise specified. Unauthorized use is prohibited.