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The Needles Scenic Highway

51.0 miles: 1 hours, 52 minutes

Seasonal route: The road is subject to closure in winter. Needles Highway (SR 87), which winds its way through Wind Cave National Park and then Custer State Park, features a sampling of nature’s best work—from gently sloping prairie lands to tall granite spires. The road is narrow in areas and has many curves as well as some very narrow tunnels.

flickr/Matthew Paulson

SR 87 starts in open prairie land. Pines and spruces increasingly line the highway as the road climbs into the Black Hills. You’ll begin to see giant gray boulders and outcroppings of rock, and eventually the highlight of the trip—the granite spires for which the road is named—will come into view. The more-than-30-foot Needle’s Eye is a definite photo opportunity.


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