Needles Highway and Norbeck Scenic Byway

Check out the most scenic route in the hills! The Norbeck Scenic Byway has been placed as the number 2 of 10 favorite scenic drives in America by a survey of members of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). You won’t find any Black Hills lodging closer to the byway than the Roosevelt Inn; we are only a mile awayFrom Keystone, the first leg climbs to the top of Iron Mountain on US Highway 16A, which goes over the world-famous "pig-tail" bridges, and three one-lane rock tunnels. Each tunnel frames Mount Rushmore in the distance. The road has several scenic overlooks with pull-offs offering majestic views of the Black Hills. Coming down from Iron Mountain, the road enters Custer State Park and turns West. (Many visitors choose to take the Wildlife Loop through the park.)

The scenic byway continues west to State Highway 87, called “Needles Highway". Follow the needles north through the Cathedral Spires region and into the Needles and Little Devil's Tower area. Stop by Sylvan Lake and eventually you'll follow a series of switchbacks down from the mountain to US 385 between Custer and Hill City. The route follows SD Hwy 244 back to Keystone.

Contact us today if you have any questions about the Norbeck Scenic Byway or if you are in need of Black Hills lodging.



Distance from Roosevelt Inn: 1 mile to Iron Mountain Road

Time Needed: 2 to 4 hours (or all day)

Best Time To Go: Morning

Directions: US16A west out of Keystone about 1 mile. 

Cost: Iron Mountain road is free, but the drive in Custer State Park requires a park entrance fee 

Highlights: Spectacular scenery, wildlife, and views of Mount Rushmore

Description: The Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway passes about a mile from the Roosevelt Inn and runs approximately 70 miles. The route is circular and may be joined at any point. It includes Iron Mountain Road; Needles Highway; and Custer State Park.