Last weekend we went to Custer State Park, about a 30-minute drive from Rapid City.
Shortly after arriving, we found a picnic area. We ate our lunch of thawed uncrustable sandwiches and chips there, and our kids enjoyed playing on the playground.
Then we loaded in the van and drove the Wildlife Loop.
We saw buffalo, antelope and prairie dogs.
The prairie dogs were fascinating to watch go in and out of holes in the ground. They made an interesting barking noise as well.
We stopped at a few places along Wildlife Loop, either to get a closer look at animals or to better soak in beautiful views.
We walked some short hiking trails at different viewpoints, and we did see some amazing views.
We have all grown to love hiking the more we travel. We went on walks often prior to traveling, so our kids had already built up a pretty good endurance for long walks.
Even little Bravely loves hiking. I truly think she’d walk the entire time if we’d let her. She loves to walk.
When we finished Wildlife Loop, we headed toward the famous Needles Highway.
Needles Highway is know for its spectacular views and its one lane tunnels, particularly Needles Eye Tunnel. Needles Eye Tunnel is 8ft 4in wide and 11ft 3in tall. To give some perspective, our van is 7ft wide and 9ft 1in tall.
It was pretty awesome driving through the eye of the needle!
We continued through the Black Hills down Needles Highway until we got to Sylvan Lake.
It was crowded at Sylvan Lake, but we stopped to soak in its beauty. It is unique with all the rocks standing in and around it.
South Dakota is beautiful. There are endless things to do and sights to see in the Rapid City area. Out of all the places we’ve visited thus far, this is one we’d all recommend as a vacation destination.