Overall Route Rating
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4.68 out of 5 Rider Rating 4.68
44 Reviews

Motorcycle Route Author

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By Guest (0 McR Points) on Mar 31, 2008

Rider Reviews

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Guest
August 14, 2009
Best ride in the Black Hills! If you ride early…
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Guest
October 7, 2008
I did this route on an Electra Glide the week…
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Written Directions

This route begins and ends in Keystone, SD. Begin by taking Hwy. 244 west toward Mount Rushmore (also called Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway). After about 10 miles, this road ends at Highway 385 where you will turn left (South) for a few hundred yards and make another left onto Hwy. 87 toward Custer State Park. Follow 87 about 5 miles to a "Y" in the road (Jct. 89). Turn left here to continue following Hwy. 87 and enter the park. Ride past Sylvan Lake and continue on 87 (also called Needles Highway). After about 15 miles, Hwy. 87 ends at Hwy. 16. Turn left (East) and follow Hwy. 16 for about 8 miles to Iron Mountain Road (Hwy. 16 North). Turn left and follow Iron Mountain Road all the way back to Keystone (approx 16 miles).

Scenery

From the quaint, historic town of Keystone, past world famous Mount Rushmore, through scenic Custer State park, this route packs more scenery per mile than arguably any other road in the world. Plan to stop often so you can enjoy the view safely, and for heaven's sake don't forget your camera!

Drive Enjoyment

This route is a motorcyclists dream. Incredible twisties, switch backs, pigtail bridges hills and valleys, and even a few short tunnels, all complimented by excellent pavement that is well maintained through the non-winter months.

Some of these roads are narrow with tight turns and many elevation changes. It may not be well suited for beginner riders. Riding this loop in reverse is a nice alternative the second time!

Notice George Washington's profile at the top of the photo.

Tourism Opportunities

Check out the shops in Keystone, visit Mount Rushmore, camp/hike/fish in Custer State Park or several other locations along the way.



Photo contributed by a visitor in July 09: "The Needles Hwy tunnel."

Photo contributed by a visitor in July 09: "Some tight turns on Iron Mt.Rd."

Photo contributed by Dale in Aug 09

Photo contributed by Dale in Aug 09

Photo contributed by Dale in Aug 09

Photo contributed by Dale in Aug 09

Photo contributed by Dale in Aug 09

Motorcycle Road Additional info

- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather .

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Trapper
November 28, 2011
57 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Cruiser
It is the rides around Sturgis like the Needles Hwy., Iron Mountain Hwy., Custer Park, etc., not Sturgis that drew me back there for the last three years. Excellent Riding!!!!!!
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4 riders found this road review useful
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Guest
March 17, 2011
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Other
Riding the Needles Highway was a thrilling time! Constant elevation changes as you wind you way through the mountains, with some switchbacks having a 5 MPH speed limit made it a very technical challenge. The views as you go higher and higher are nothing short of spectacular. Several tunnels along the route are so narrow that two full dressers might have trouble going through at the same time. Road Quality Rating is a 5! The road is in good repair with drastic changes in both direction and elevation all along the route. I had to clear my ears multiple times. There is not a straight piece of road along this route. The surface in the later afternoon does have a shine to it that at times makes it difficult to see ahead of you.
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4 riders found this road review useful
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Guest
June 8, 2010
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Touring
My partner and i attended the Sturgis Rally in 2009 as part of our 12000 mile road trip around the US, without a doubt the Black Hills was a highlight of the trip that we will remember for years to come. Stunning scenery and outrides, even in our home country of South Africa we would be hard pressed to find a comparison.
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4 riders found this road review useful