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. We loved hiking not just 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.