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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Black Hills Tour The Iron Mountain Road

We arrived in South Dakota on Wednesday afternoon.  I had asked Google for Directons from the airport to our hotel, the President's View Resort in Keystone.  Google was sending us on some curvy backroads, and then I noticed we were turning onto Iron Mountain Road.

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.

There are:

  • 17 MILES
  • 314 CURVES
  • 14 SWITCHBACKS
  • 3 PIGTAIL BRIDGES
  • 3 TUNNELS
  • 4 PRESIDENTS
  • 2 SPLITS
I had broached this to my husband and he emphatically said NO, he did not want to be on this road.

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!

My next experience I got excited about was the pigtail bridges.   These are spiral bridges, where this corkscrew takes you around and under the bridge.  These bridges were made out of huge timbers.


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 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.)




1 comment:

  1. I love the over/under part. Wish I had known that when I was out there years ago. Don't forget to stop at Wall Drug for your free water!

    ReplyDelete

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