Cathedral Spires Trail and Needles Highway, SD


On Saturday June 4th we hiked the stunning 1.4-mile Cathedral Spires trail at Custer State Park. The road leading to the trail head is scenic Needles Highway. A 14 mile stretch with most stunning views. You will see granite rock formation that look like needles. There is a lookout just before the tunnel. You’ll have to resist the urge to stop every few minutes or you’d never reach your destination.

The trail was moderate with an ascent of about 500 ft at the beginning then it levels out. It is popular for good reasons; the views are simply spectacular. You will be in awe of your surroundings as you hike “behind the spires, their jagged peaks jutting into the sky like sharp teeth.” Make sure to check out the views behind the spires at the end. We saw a mountain goat on the way back. I do believe it posed for me. This trail is a must do in Custer State Park.


References AllTrails, Black Hills Visitor, Needles Highway



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2 thoughts on “Cathedral Spires Trail and Needles Highway, SD

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  1. So beautiful. I keep asking myself why didn’t I hitch my wagon to yours and go in this adventure too!!!

    1. So many places to explore in our beautiful world, we can certainly go back together when/if we run out of places new to both of us.
      South Dakota is just beautiful!

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