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Old 05-26-2015, 05:03 PM   #1
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Custer state park

Hey all,
Traveling next week to Custer St. Park from Colorado Springs. Has anybody made this trip before? Its our first time and i kind of like to know what im getting myself into before leaving. Are gas stations along the way plentiful? We have reservations at Custer State Park in the Grace Coolidge camp area. Also, wondering about the tunnels in the park? Anybody have issues in the past as I am hoping to avoid that Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-26-2015, 05:13 PM   #2
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We've been there, but did not camp. The park is really big, with lots to see. Lots of animals. I would not, however, tow your trailer thru the tunnels.
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Old 05-26-2015, 05:15 PM   #3
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There are plenty of fuel stops along the way. Taking I-25 to Cheyenne. Then Hwy 85 to Torrington, 85 miles. Then Hwy 85 to New Castle or turn off at the Edgemont intersection.
I would not tow my coach on the roads in the park with tunnels. Be sure to check the clearances if you do.

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Old 05-26-2015, 05:17 PM   #4
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Thank you both for the quick reply. No tunnels for me!
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Old 05-26-2015, 05:32 PM   #5
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There is no real reason to try to take your trailer through the tunnel roads - you do not have to take any of them to get in and out of the Black Hills - after setting up a base camp somewhere (lots of choices) then go and explore the tunnel roads - they are incredibly scenic - pretty much "must see".

Having said that - we did see a tour coach going through one of the tunnels last time we were there - don't recall which tunnel - it was impressive to see - not much of a "fudge factor" in the clearance - and I'm really glad I wasn't the driver .....

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Old 05-26-2015, 06:14 PM   #6
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We were there in September years ago. So many swarms of bugs we didn't stay.
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Old 05-26-2015, 07:10 PM   #7
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Went 3 years ago starting in Arvada CO. I detest interstates so I went up 76 to sterling, then 113 to Sidney Neb. We the took 385 north and spent the night in Chadron in the Nebraska National Forest. It was like camping on a golf course, incredible. The museum of the fur trade was small but cool. Continue up 385 to Hot Springs and stop at the mammoth digs there, it is worth the stop. From there just a short drive to Custer. All the campgrounds are accessible without going through the tunnels. We spent a week there and could have spent more. We went to the Devils Monument from Custer. Great trip
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:37 PM   #8
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Hey Dee,
Check the road conditions before you head home. The bridge at Lusk has been washed out and you will have to return by way of New Castle. We spent most of a day detouring the floods. Lots of rain,thunder and hail. Karen and I really enjoyed meeting your group, wish we could have stayed longer.
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:06 PM   #9
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Check the Wyoming DOT webpage maps. Basically any main road leading to Lusk, WY from north, south, east or west has been closed, at least as of last night.
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:47 PM   #10
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We stayed at Custer on our way to the Balloon Festival a couple of years ago. We came in from the east so our trip was different than yours. We were there at the end of September and the weather was perfect. Really liked it and ended up staying a third night so we could drive all the loops and go through all the tunnels.

Here is a link and you can find a downloadable map to help you.

SD GFP | State Parks | Directory | Custer State Park

The park is laid out in a figure 8 configuration with a north loop and a south loop. You can enter the park from both directions and avoid the tunnels. Once you get set up in camp you can explore and drive through the tunnels if you want. I would suggest seeing Mt. Rushmore and both loops. The southern loop is much different than the other with lots of grassland and wild animals. The northern loop is very scenic with hills and magnificent mountains. A great place to spend some time.
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Old 06-07-2015, 02:50 AM   #11
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Watch 16A in the park, "Pigtails" not good, also Needles highway, long narrow tunnel. Park service can answer many questions. Grew up in that area and worked for the Forest service years ago. Much to see, you need a minimum of three days to catch the best sights and a week to it all justice. Simply set up campsite and drive the park.
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Old 06-07-2015, 04:21 AM   #12
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Terrific state park. MUCH to see and visit. I would avoid Needles and as Luigi123 said Needles. We visited a number of times on motorcycle and then motorhome, DID NOT go on the "scenic" routes with the motorhome.

Mt Rushmore nearby. Stop in at the Alpine Inn in Hill City for a steak dinner - $10.95.


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Old 06-08-2015, 10:47 AM   #13
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We go down that direction often and love the area. Do NOT tow your trailer on either Needsles Highway or Iron Mountain Road. But DEFINITELY drive both if you have the time after you unhook of course! I would recommend driving Iron Mountain Road from the south entrance east of Custer to the North towards Rushmore. You'll get the full experience of the tunnels traveling north! You will have no troubles getting to and from the Grace Coolidge campground if you come in on 16A from Custer.

Also, as Tim, Gary and others indicated check the conditions of the route through Lusk, WY.

We also really enjoy the productions at the Black Hills Playhouse. Their cast and productions always amaze us. It is a very small theater so try and reserve seats if you can. As of this weekend, they were also having issues due to lightening and their phones and internet was not working on site. There is a note on their website about it right now.

If you want some adventure and want to do some hiking we love the hike to Harney Peak. The trailhead is at Sylvan Lake (another must see). The lookout and the view from the top is quite amazing!

Have fun and enjoy the hills!
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