Outbound Collective logo

Drive Needles Highway in Custer State Park

Custer, South Dakota

based on 5 reviews


Added by Ashley Stimpson

A feat of engineering, this 14-mile scenic byway in Custer National Park dives through narrow tunnels, wraps around granite spires, and offers endless instagram-worthy vistas.

Perfect for a pre or post Black Hills/Badlands adventure, Needles Highway is the joyride of a lifetime. 

Entrance to Custer State Park costs 10 dollars, and do be prepared to keep it in low gear behind RVs and motorcycles. Pull-offs for photos and general marveling are frequent. 

Read More

Download the Outbound mobile app

Find adventures and camping on the go, share photos, use GPX tracks, and download maps for offline use.

Get the app


Family Friendly
Picnic Area

Drive Needles Highway in Custer State Park Reviews

Such a perfect motorcycle ride!

If you have the time it is worth the drive just for the tunnels and scenery. However if you’d like to see these formations from a hike rather than a car, I’d suggest the Cathedral Spires trail.

Definitely one of the must-visit attractions if you find yourself in Custer State Park without a huge RV. The road is winding and steep, with some little tunnels that you have to drive through. There are places to stop, hike, and explore along the way.

If you do not have that much time in the Hills to hike and see all the sites, this is a great drive to see the area! you get so many scenic views, and some really up close looks at the granite spires that make this area so unique! You can do it in a short span of time or make it a whole day affair with stopping at trailheads, parking spots and viewing areas!

Really neat drive after a hike in Custer!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


Hike to Little Devil's Tower in the Black Hills

Poet's Table

Cathedral Spires in the Black Hills

Camp at Sylvan Lake Campground

Hike Sunday Gulch Loop

Black Elk Peak and Little Devil's Tower Loop

Go Great Places in South Dakota

In the Mount Rushmore state, travels to South Dakota are full of one-of-a-kind adventure with wide-open spaces as endless as the horizons. Between legendary landscapes and scenic drives, you can always find space that shifts life into park. When you’re ready, go great places.

Learn More