We Lived our Dream -- 15 Years on the Road
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This page last updated: Sun Sep 13, 2015

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Destination Dentistry in the Black Hills

Destination Dentistry is Recommended by the Traveling Morgans for any dental needs in the Black Hills. They treated us like family. It is truly a case of world class dentistry meeting small town values. After being their customer the previous summer, we actually traveled here to get dental service from someone we trusted when we left California the following summer.

The Black Hills

The scenery of the Black Hills is stunning.

It is easy to understand the Lakota Sioux attachment to their sacred Black Hills.

Underground carvingis seen in several caves, notably Jewel Cave National Monument and Wind Cave National Park. Note that the above ground part of Wind Cave National Park is as wonderful as the underground, and the wildlife there is as great as anywhere in the Black Hills.
There are also several privately owned commercial caves.

Human story telling in stone on a monumental scale (below) is at its best in the Black Hills.

The Black Hills extend into Wyoming (below) and the area of Devil's Tower National Monument (coming).

Naturally Carved Stone

Natural stone carving is seen through out the Black Hills. Above ground naturally carved stone formations are best seen on scenic drives in Spearfish Canyon and Little Spearfish Canyon, also in Custer State Park, especially the Sylvan Lake area and Needles Highway.
Other areas not pictured with naturally carved rock include Iron Mountain Road and the area around Mount Rushmore (SD 244) and Rimrock Road (SD 44 west of Rapid City).

Little Spearfish Canyon

Little Spearfish Canyon.

Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park is a beautiful mountain lake surrounded by huge naturally carved stone formations that was used for scenes in Natural Treasure: Book of Secrets, the second National Treasure movie.

Needles Eye

The Needle's Eye on Needles Highway in Custer State Park.

The Needles from Mt. Coolidge.

The Needles from Mt Coolidge in Custer State Park.

Cathedral Spires

Cathedral Spires in Custer State Park

Natural Carvings near Mt. Rushmore

Natural Carvings near Mt. Rushmore.

Story Telling in Stone

The Black Hills is known for human attempts to create stunning scenery. This is sometimes called Story Telling in Stone, and in the Black Hills, it is on a Grand Scale. Most people consider these attempts to be quite successful.

Mt Rushmore Avenueh of the Flags.

Mt. Rushmore is already dwarfed by the Crazy Horse Monument. All of Mt. Rushmore would fit in the head of Crazy Horse.

Crazy Horse from the bottom of the mountain. A Night Blast is done twice a year at Crazy Horse, and is a sight you will not forget.

Scenic Drives

A scenic drive that should not be missed is the Peter Norbeck Scenic Drive. This drive includes the Needles Highway and Iron Mountain Road It will go to Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and through the town of Keystone and through parts of Custer State Park. Allow plenty of time to stop and enjoy. On Iron Mountain Road, you will see Mt Rushmore through every tunnel. If it is not in front of you, look the other way.

We will recommend also taking the Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park.

Bridal Veil Falls in Spearfish Canyon

Bridal Veil Falls in Spearfish Canyon just south of the city of Spearfish on US 14A.

Iron Mtn Rd Tunnel

The impact on the mind of three tunnels framing Mt. Rushmore when traveling the Iron Mountain Road is generally disbelief.

Pig-Tail bridge on Iron Mountain Road

A Pig-Tail bridge on Iron Mountain Road;. This one is immediately adjacent to a tunnel with a view of Mount Rushmore from inside the tunnel. One of the great scenic highways in the United States.

Iron Mtn Rd Tunnel

Narrow tunnel with tour bus on Needles highway.

Railroads and Scenic Trails

The 1880 Train was once a branch line serving mines from Hill City to Keystone. It connected to the main line at Hill City.

The main railroad, eventually a part of the Burlington Northern, was important to the Black Hills during the mining hey-day. This is now the Michelson Trail, which follows this old historic railroad line for over 100 miles. With its limited grades, it is good for walking or a bicycle trip. There is a fee that can be paid at the official trail heads or the Custer Chamber of Commerce. You will find interesting geology and fantastic scenery and old railroad tunnels plus get insights into the Black Hills, such as small scale mining that is still in operation.

An old steam train gives an introduction to the stunning scenery of the Black Hills. The 1880 Train runs from Hill City to Keystone.

1880 Train Compound Engine is used when more power is required.

Mickelson Trail Bicyclist passing view of Harney Peak about 5 miles south of Mystic trailhead going toward Hill City.

Mickelson Trail Tunnel

Mickelson Trail Mine

Wyoming Side of the Black Hills

Grand Canyon Road has a name that tends to make one think it is in Arizona. We were curious about the name and have driven the very interesting and poorly documented road and its connecting roads multiple times. Grand Canyon Road has many interesting sites, including an unpublicized natural bridge.

Devil's Tower National Monument, the first US National Monument, is on the north west edge of the Black Hills. More on Devil's Tower at a later time when we create a Wyoming section.


Mountain Goat Billy on Crazy Horse Mountain in a June snow.

Mountain Bluebird is an incredible electric blue.

Begging Burros in Custer State Park.


For the most part, spring, summer and fall in the Black Hills are wonderful. Summer temperatures are quite moderate. You should see the current weather forecast below.

Find more about Weather in Custer, SD
Click for weather forecast

The Black Hills have extremes of weather. From winter at 30 below zero and heavy snow even in May and June to severe thunderstorms with hail (below) in summer. Where there are summer storms, there are also rainbows (right).

May Snow

Heavy snow even in May and June.






Videos--Party with the animals!


The Black Hills are beautiful with friendly people.

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