Iron Mountain Road and Mount Rushmore
Route 16A , also known as Iron Mountain Road, is a very exciting drive on a narrow winding road which climbs through and over Iron Mountain. The drive presents distant views of Mt Rushmore as you exit tunnels and from overlooks along the way.
Iron Mountain Road is only 17 miles long but has 314 curves, 14 switchbacks, three pigtails and three tunnels (pigtails pictured below).
Seeing this monument is far more impressive in person than the photos you have seen all your life. The history is just as fascinating as the entire genesis was to boost an ailing economy by creating a tourist attraction. During the 1920s the mining based economy in the area was ailing. Initially this effort was completely a private endeavor until President Coolidge became a supporter and pushed funding through Congress. Today the monument draws three million people annually so I would have to say that it was a heck of an idea. Fourteen years in the making and not a single worker fatality (obviously a former insurance underwriter)! 0040
Custer State Park
CSP is the largest state park in the United States and would stack up well against many national parks in regard to scenic beauty, wildlife and opportunities for recreation (hiking, biking, horseriding, kayaking, canoeing and ohv). 0038,0039
This 109 mile trail runs through the heart of the Black Hills NF. The trail is the former Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad which came about as the result of the gold rush which started in the 1870s. This particular line was abandoned in 1983.
We biked several sections of the trail and were treated to many spectacular views and the opportunity to bike through rock tunnels and across numerous trestles. 0037