SOUTH DAKOTA: Custer State Park, Crazy Horse, Mt. Rushmore National Park

June 10th ~ South Dakota, just outside of Custer State Park ~

Custer State Park viewpoint

Another full day. We all came back to the RV pretty bushed last night, so now I’m playing catch-up on my blogging. I might just do a condensed version today – or not…


Custer State Park

Originally we had planned on camping in Custer State Park, but since our dates were a bit fluid on when we would arrive, I did not make any reservations. In retrospect, I wish I had just taken a chance on dates, as the park turned out to be a very pleasant surprise to us.

Leaving our RV at the campsite, we spent the day exploring in the Subaru.

Pinnacle rock formations jutting toward the sky

Needles Highway was especially scenic. The cathedral spires and pinnacles are spectacular to see as well as the square cut rock tunnels that we periodically got to pass through.

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Note for RVers: The tunnels are too low for an RV to fit through at only 8 and 9 feet in height. Make sure you plan your route through the park.

Needles Eye Tunnel

Needles Eye Tunnel was one of my favorites. After passing trough the tunnel, there is a small parking area where you can get out to take a picture of Needles Eye Rock.

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My favorite stop of the day was at Sylvan Lake. One of the most beautiful lakes we have seen with the giant boulders for a backdrop.

Sylvan Lake


Crazy Horse Memorial

Tim and I were last here in 2014, and we could not see where any changes in the sculpture have been made in the past five years.

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Here are the intended dimensions for the completed sculpture.

Measurements for each section of Crazy Horse’s head


Entrance to Mt. Rushmore National Park

Just past the park sign is a pullout where you can see a side view of Washington.

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They have a scheduled renovation project for Mt. Rushmore that will last for about two years. One of the changes will be removing the flags on the entry walkway. The museum and theater are already closed.

These flags will be removed during the upcoming renovations

Tim, Shirley and Joanne at Mt. Rushmore

The four presidents

And the photos of Shirley touching her toes at each National Park continues…

Not bad for this great-grandma!

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for the wonderful memories that we are making with Tim’s mom. None of us knows what tomorrow will bring, but for today we are living our best lives and thankful for the time together.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our latest adventure. We hope you will join us!
This entry was posted in National Parks, RV Life, South Dakota, United States and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to SOUTH DAKOTA: Custer State Park, Crazy Horse, Mt. Rushmore National Park

  1. I enjoyed your photos a lot. We traveled to Mt. Rushmore on a trip to Yellowstone in 1992, but I wasn’t as into photography back then. Your photos make me itch to go back for a do over!


  2. mitzybricker says:

    Aren’t those places wonderful! Such fun travels! 😀

    Blue Rock Horses Frederick County, Virginia


  3. exploRVistas says:

    We probably passed each other in the park, Joanne! We were in the Black Hills helping friends on a building project, but we drove the Needles Highway the same day you did. 🙂


  4. I have a similar, less interesting, travel blog ( and this entry inspired me to find the photos from the Mount Rushmore area – especially since I took a photo exactly where Tim and Joann are standing under the monument.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. willmonk says:

    I have a similar, less interesting, travel blog and this entry inspired me to post my photos of the Mount Rushmore area from 2017 – especially since I took a photo in the same spot where Tim, Shirley and Joanne are standing.


  6. Darlene says:

    Incredible pictures! A place I would love to visit.


  7. joliesattic says:

    Nice. I saw those rocks and thought how cool it would be to scale them. lol I guess I’ll always be a rock climber at heart. Pretty country.


  8. Thanks for helping me relive Custer State Park–wish we’d thought to rent a cabin there on our SD visit.


  9. Widdershins says:

    Loving the ‘Shirley’ series. 😀


  10. Now you’re in my neck of the woods! One clarification, tour busses actually fit through some of those tunnels (they may be a bit smaller than some RV’s). There’s a picture in some of the literature from the area of a bus going through the Needles Eye tunnel. I wouldn’t want to drive one through though!


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