Custer State Park Exploring
On the first day, we drove through Custer State Park. It was a quick drive through. Today, is Custer State Park exploring day. We will spend time really going through the park. Exploring what it has to offer that we may have missed on the first go and anything else that looks interesting on the way back to our rental.
Spearfish Canyon and Pactola Lake
Spearfish Canyon and Pactola Lake were locations I secretly waited for. Spearfish Canyon held waterfalls and I positively adore waterfalls! Plus, My new Vu Filter system was screaming for attention. I was itching to explore some of the options of new filters I had brought along.
As we approached, my husband pointed to the clouds of smoke billowing off the mountain top. I believe that is our destination. It proved true.
Click on any photo on this page to view larger size or order a print
Certain parts of the park were closed because they were battling wildfires. Others, under a heavy haze. It didn’t make the scenery any less appealing to your eyes. The pictures I had planned, they were just not going to happen. At least not today.
Bridal Veil Falls is the easiest of the three waterfalls in Spearfish Canyon to locate. It can be seen from US Hwy 14A. The 60 ft waterfall is stunning. I am thankful for the Topaz Dehazing tool. By using it, I was at least walk away with some usable pictures. The smoky haze was picked up on all my pics.
We hiked back to another waterfall. The walk back was shaded by tall trees and along the route, people were ditching their shoes and wading through the ice cold streams.
Our park trip was short lived. They started to direct traffic out of certain sections as the fire spread. The haze in the sky was becoming more noticeable. In lowland areas the smug started setting in fairly heavy. Traveling between locations became more difficult. One lane traffic in many parts of the park had traffic at a standstill.
We decided to just head out of the park. If we had additional days in South Dakota, we would have stayed in the park longer and battled the traffic. We all agreed. There was more we wanted to see and experience in South Dakota. Waiting in traffic is what we do back in Green Bay. Not on vacation in South Dakota.
Pactola Lake was a beautiful place to get out and stretch. It seemed like you could see for miles.
The lake is what I like to call a sport lake. People boating, fishing, kayaking and having fun.
The lake has a hue to it and appears to be extremely clean and clear from the bluffs looking down.
The tall pines surrounding the lake gave us shade from the 90 plus degree weather and allowed us time to do a little hiking along the top of the lake.
There were eagles flying above the lake and a few additional birds of prey that I wasn’t able to get a close up of to identify.
Back to Hill City. We have to stop off at the store for meat to grill back to our rental house. Tomorrow, we plan on heading back to revisit a few places.
Thanks for tagging along with us on our travels to Spearfish Canyon and Pactola Lake.
Deadwood and Sturgis
Plenty of road travel time and interesting spots to stop off at today. Deadwood and Sturgis are where we are setting our sights today.
Sorry for the long break in the middle of our trip. I ran out of storage space to hold all my photos. I’m back on track now to finish out the remaining blogging days for the trip.
Feeding begging burros Custer State Park, South Dakota. You can read about our 11 day family trip by starting with DAY 1 HERE.
We are never without a few laughs whenever my husband is around. The man had it in his head we had to go back through the park for a second time just to feed the burros. Video proof, he got his wish. We did.