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This page last updated: Sun Jun 05, 2016
 

Custer State Park - Needles Highway

The Needles Highway of Custer State Park takes you near the highest peaks east of the Rocky Mountains. The highest is Harney Peak at over 7400 feet, just outside Custer State Park. It is a 7 mile round trip hike.

Needles

The high rising Needles were originally proposed as targets for a massive carving project designed to bring people to the Black Hills. The original idea was western heroes. Once a professional rock carver was engaged, the idea was changed, since the needles were not the type of rock well suited for carving. The project was relocated to Mt. Rushmore. The subject was changed to something with a national heritage (presidents) rather than a western regional focus.

Needles Eye

The Needles Eye (below and right) is a unique formation with 4 slits through the rock. It is hard to capture more than one in a single photograph.

Needles Eye Needles Eye Needles Eye

Eye of the Needle Tunnel

A grand total of 8 foot 4 inches wide, the tunnel is not bad for a jeep, but our dually diesel pickup needs to pull in its mirrors. This tour bus driver makes the tight squeeze look easy.

 

 

 

Cathedral Spires and Cathedral Spires Trail

The Cathedral Spires Trail is one way to get to Harney Peak. It is a rough trail, but we have seen mountain bikers using it. Cathedral Spires are interesting rock formations at the heart of the Black Hills and Custer State Park.

 

Little Devils Tower Trail

The steepest trail and most challenging short trail we have ever hiked. The views are outstanding. So is the view of Little Devils Tower from outside the park (far left).

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