Exploring south on Iron Mountain Road from Spokane Creek Campground took us into Custer State Park, known for wildlife, especially bison. On our drive from the campground to the Peter Norbeck Visitor Center we saw a white-tailed doe and fawn and lots of bison.
From the Norbeck Visitor Center we drove the Wildlife Loop Road in Custer State Park.
|Peter Norbeck Visitor Center|
|Pronghorns enjoying the shade.|
|Wild turkeys at the Visitor Center.|
|Pronghorn next to road.|
|Wild burros in the road...|
|...looking for a handout.|
|Momma and baby.|
|Believe it or not, we resisted this begging face.|
|And this one...|
Next on the Wildlife Loop Road were the prairie dogs.
|Sounding the alarm--"Intruder alert! Intruder alert!"|
|Prairie dog going for a dandelion.|
Who would have thought that we'd see a parade of about fifty tractors of all kinds out in the middle of the Wildlife Loop Road? But there they were, coming down off a hill out of the forest and parking at a rest area. Pretty cool. It was one of those spontaneous moments that you can't plan.
When we turned north on the Wildlife Loop Road, about two miles from the Rest Area, we encountered road construction. While we sat there for 20 minutes, we enjoyed the local scenery.
We finished up the Wildlife Loop Road, then headed nine miles into Custer City to fill up with diesel. From there, we went to The Needles Highway to check out the narrow, winding scenic road, small tunnels, and Cathedral Spires. The drive truly is beautiful. One tunnel was 8'4" wide so we had to pull in the rear-view mirrors to get through.
|Way in the back of the photo are more tractors coming down a gravel road.|
We came to a lovely lake in the mountains, Sylvan Lake. It was so inviting, we stopped and walked part-way around the lake. We didn't have time to do a full-on hike, so I added the Sunday Gulch Loop Trail to my bucket list.
|This is one of the larger tunnels.|
|Go ahead, Bob. It'll feel refreshing!|
|Top of dam.|
|Bob heading to top of dam.|
|Trail through rocks to bottom of Sylvan Lake Dam.|
|Bob at top of dam.|
From Sylvan Lake, we headed higher up the mountains to the Eye of the Needle.
|Gorgeous scenery. I love rocks and trees.|
|Another dramatic tunnel.|
|The Needles Eye formation.|
|The Needles Highway.|
Cathedral Spires Trail is on my bucket list now too. We finished up the Needles Highway and headed back to the 5er for lunch.
|Spokane Creek Campground office, store and cafe|
|My friend, Flicker, outside our 5er at the campground.|
We spent the rest of the day relaxing in the 5er. It was great to take half a day off.
Travel Bug out.
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