Part 3 of 3: Hiking Cathedral Spires, Kayaking and Needles Highway
This is the last of a series of 3 posts about our road trip to the Black Hills, hiking, site seeing, and more. Follow the links at the bottom of this page to read the first 2 parts.
Custer State Park, Black Hills
We awoke again to another beautiful morning at Custer State Park in the the Black Hills of South Dakota and we were ready for more hiking, another scenic drive and a bit of kayaking. We had again stayed at the historic State Game Lodge in Custer State Park and enjoyed another great breakfast in their dining room this morning. For information on Custer State Park you can follow this link. https://www.travelsouthdakota.com/explore-with-us/great-8/custer-state-park
Cathedral Spires Hiking
We decided to begin our adventures today with some Black Hills Hiking at Cathedral Spires Trail. This trail is about 21 miles West and then North from the State Game Lodge, so a nice early morning drive. We chose that route, hoping to see some wildlife in the early morning. No luck, though.
The Cathedral Spires Trailhead starts at Sylvan Lake where you will find parking areas. This is an out and back trail and is 3 miles round trip. It has a good path and is an easy to moderate trail to hike, although there are areas in which you climb over rocks or through boulders which does make it a bit more technical. I like climbing around so I found it more fun than difficult! Many of the rock formations are slender and almost pointed, thus giving Cathedral Spires Trail its name. We really enjoyed this trail and thought it was a lot of fun to hike and to see the interesting rock formations. For more information on the trail you can follow this link. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/south-dakota/cathedral-spires-trail
Kayaking, Sylvan Lake
After returning from our hike to Sylvan Lake, we grabbed a cold drink and noticed there were kayaks for rent. Since the day had heated up, that was the perfect thing to do next. Since I am not much of a kayaker, we rented one for two of us, which worked great for me! It was so beautiful and peaceful on the lake, there were large rock formations on the opposite side and even ducks swimming around. We kayaked for about an hour. I would get so caught up in looking at the scenery, chatting, and watching the ducks that I would forget to paddle, or not paddle effectively. It is a good thing my husband is easy going and a pretty good kayaker!
Next we headed northwest of town on the scenic Needles Highway. Needles highway is an 8.2 mile road with hairpin curves and more rock formations. Named after a tall rock formation that looks like a needle’s eye. There is a overlook area by the needle’s eye with a great view. This was my favorite scenic drive in the Black Hills. It was also a very slow drive.
We headed the 10 miles south to Custer South Dakota, passing the Crazy Horse Memorial. We roamed around Custer’s Main Street, looking for some souvenirs. Finally, we drove back to our lodge which was 13.5 miles from Custer, basically making a loop of our travels today. We had supper at State Game Lodge, and again, I enjoyed their house Cabernet! Another great day of hiking and site seeing in the Black Hills.
Summary of Black Hills Trip
We had an absolutely wonderful time during our Black Hills trip. We saw so much in the three days we were there. Hiking was one of our favorite things to do, not just in the Black Hills, but the Badlands as well. We also enjoyed beautiful scenic drives, we saw buffalo and other wildlife in their natural habitat, and gazed at the amazing Mt. Rushmore. The State Game Lodge was a perfect place to spend each night as it was close to everything we wanted to see. A great quick little road trip!
Follow the links below to see the rest of my posts on Our Black Hills Hiking and Road Trip.
33 thoughts on “Our Black Hills Hiking and Road Trip-Part 3”
I live close enough yet have not made the trip over to the Black Hills. Thanks for these looks. jerry
It is a fun trip. Surprising how much there is to do!
Will you eventually put all of your spectacular photos in a book? Beautiful!
Thanks! Most are on computer. Maybe when I retire I can work on that!!!
Don’t retire from your adventures! 🙂
Not planning on it!!
Looks like a very enjoyable place to visit & hike!
It was a blast’
I was just talking about going here! thanks for sharing. I’ll have to figure out a way to fit it into the travel schedule!
You should definitely go!! So much to do in a relatively close area!! So much fun!!
I visited the Badlands 30 years ago and my photos have faded. I really enjoyed seeing your photos. Thanks
You are welcome! I am glad you enjoyed the pictures!
Looks like you had a great trip, it’s incredible that the earth formed in such a way
Yea it is! So much fun to get out and explore!
Glad I say your related post links at bottom of the article, Lori! Great traveling & pics! That Needles Highway reminds me of Smuggler’s Notch up in Vermont! 😊
I have not been to Smuggler’s Notch but it sounds like fun if it is anything like Needles!
It’s a wonderful place and since we only visit when we visit Vermont from Texas (my wife’s from Vt), we only scratch the surface, but I love it! 😊
I haven’t traveled East much, but one of these days I will get that way!!
You’d love it! 😊 Or I should say, Vermont at least ‘cause ‘bout the only place I’ve been, but all of New England seems great!
My folks take me on a trip out that way when I was younger but I just remember bits and pieces and I remember it being very pretty!!
My two kids were under ten & it’s always funny what and how they remember parts of the trip vs what I thought was very cool, lol! But we all loved Mesa Verde – I ended up doing several renditions of it in acrylic years later 😊
Sounds lovely!!y kids all loved Mesa Verde too!!
I remember their biggest treat there was imagining themselves in houses built to their size! The people of that time I guess were much shorter!
Mine were all about the climbing!
Love it! 😊
Wonderful photographs of this very impressive Black Hills terrain!
Impressive area., that’s for sure! Fun place to explore!
Liked, shared, and flipped to my Travel Magazine :
Thank you! I wish I had more time to explore some of the other social media out there. I am happy if I can keep up on my blog, Instagram, and Pinterest!!
You’ re doing great. Gen-X.