Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Custer State Park \ Wildlife Loop

Custer State Park has become one of my favorite scenic drives. I know it isn't listed anywhere as a scenic drive which is just wrong. The scenery doesn't compare to the Badlands, the Rockies or many other parks but the variety of wildlife one encounters makes it a must go location. What's great is there are so many other things to do within a couple hours of Custer State Park that you can make a week of it easy.
The main thing everyone does here is the Wildlife Loop; an 18-mile loop around the park. Some of the critters you will encounter along the way are Bison, prairie dogs, 'begging burros', pronghorns and if you are lucky you may also run across mountain goats, bighorn sheep and elk. On our 'road trip' around the loop we saw more bison than we could count, in fact, we were stopped more than once by bison crossing the road. The pronghorns were one of my favorites and I would find them all throughout South Dakota and Montana. Actually we came across so many that I got in the habit of flashing my headlights to cars in the other lane so they had time to slow down....always trying to avoid 'road kill'
I actually decided not to camp here because I thought the number of animals might have been just too much for the Bean Dog to handle.