I had done a little bit of research on the roads around Custer State Park. One of the drives was "Iron Mountain Road". This is Highway 16A, designed by Peter Norbeck. This road boasts of 17 miles, which takes 45-60 minutes to drive.
- 17 MILES
- 314 CURVES
- 14 SWITCHBACKS
- 3 PIGTAIL BRIDGES
- 3 TUNNELS
- 4 PRESIDENTS
- 2 SPLITS
But this was the way my Google Directions had sent us, so off Iron Mountain Road we went.
It was awesome!!! I was the driver. It was a bit nerve wracking, I will give you that. The one laned tunnels had kind of freaked me out, with the You Tube Video I had viewed about the road:
We got through the first tunnel, and even though I am driving, I can glance up from the road, to see Mt.. Rushmore framed (as Norbeck) had planned in the square of the tunnel:
|Not my picture, but a representation of the experience!|
There were also two spots in the road, where the two lane road splits into half! And you drive down a very narrow single lane road. This was designed to impact the landscape as little as possible.
There was so much thought put into this road. I was really taken with the beauty and scenery (although I was the driver). And, I am happy to say, South Dakota uses GUARD RAILS!! (Unlike Colorado, I was not concerned about the switchbacks over some steep precipes.)