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Our trip to Wyoming included two days in the Black Hills of South Dakota and it's officially been added to my "Return with a better lens bucket list." I had never seen so many different types of wildlife all in one area. Custer Park and the Badlands were among our favorite. From mountain goats to buffalo this area will not disappoint.
Since our time was short we opted to drive Iron Mountain Road instead of going to the actual park at Mount Rushmore. We had read that Mount Rushmore was viewable in many locations along the drive. While the monument was cool to see the 17 mile drive on Iron Mountain Road was the real treat! We climbed 5,500 feet, drove through stone tunnels that framed Mount Rushmore, and crossed over three pig-tail bridges. Awesome drive!
We also drove through Custer Park that is ranked one of the top ten places in the world to see wildlife and that was no lie! From mountain wildlife down to the open ranges of elk and buffalo, it is a photographers dream come true. I've been itching for a better wildlife lens and if I return to South Dakota I'm going to scrounge pennies to buy or rent one.
Our third stop in South Dakota was at the Crazy Horse Memorial. Located in the beautiful Black Hills and under construction since 1947 the Crazy Horse Memorial is the world's largest mountain carving currently in progress. It is completely funded by admissions to the park and contributions. No federal or state funds are used. Stop for a visit and show your support to this amazing project.