Custer State Park

Activity Date: 

Custer State Park in South Dakota has a variety of landscape and wildlife. It is known for it's bison herds, the Needles Highway, prairie wildlife and wandering burros.


Lake view

The Needles Highway winds through up and through a mountainous area with lots of spires ("needles").


The Highway runs through the mountains with 6 different tunnels. Below are a couple shots of two different tunnel entrances on our way through them.

Tunnel entrance 1

Tunnel entrance 2

And this is the exit as we drove out of one of the tunnels. These tunnels were very narrow and sometimes short. We would definitely not be able to drive our RV through them.

Tunnel exit

As we were driving through the park, we noticed a bunch of burros surrounding a car on the side of the road. Being curious, we pulled over to check it out. You are allowed to feed the "wild" burros at the park. They were a riot.  We happened to have a bag of almonds, so they got good snacks from us. :)  We started out cracking the car window and feeding one burro, but soon a bunch more had surrounded the car. So, we rolled it all the way down and they all ate (nicely) out of our hands. These three were getting some good snacks from Jeff. I had my window up so I could lean back and take pictures of them. The burros on my side of the car were "knocking" on the window, licking it, scratching on the mirror... basically doing what they could to get me to open my window and feed them too!

Jeff with three burros

Here's a real cutie who wanted to stay with us. :) After a bit, we rolled up Jeff's window and switched to feeding the guys on my side of the car. Wow, it was like having a gang do a shake-down! It was quite a job to get the widows rolled back up when we were ready to move on.

Jeff and one burro

Custer State Park also has prairie dog towns.

Prairie dog close up

Prairie dog sitting

Oh, and flocks of wild turkey roam the land. They are hard to get a good picture of. As soon as they hear you or a car, they head into cover. I got this one shot as this fellow was ducking into the bushes.