Larry & Lee Ann's Journey travel blog

A glimpse of the elk moving up the hill...

A pretty view...

A good pic of Dick & Lou...

We're here too!

A pretty little doe...

The bridge at the Blue Bell picnic area...

Looking back up the river...

A little CCC info for you...

Looking back at our traveled road...

This little bunny was just sitting to our right, on the road,...

I just like this pic...

Behind us the sun looked like this...

And just ahead was this pretty guy...

A closer look, nice coloring on this one...

A bit farther we admired the red soil among the many shades...

The sky is still playing around...

I love clouds, but you already knew that didn't you!

Indulge me, one more shot okay, lol...

We've located the herd...

Losing daylight fast...

Love the little ones...

One big boy!

A head shot...

Beautiful way to end our day, hope you enjoyed the ride....


After dinner the four of us decided to take an early evening drive on the 18-mile Wildlife Loop Road. The drive took us through open grasslands and the pine-speckled hills that much of the park's wildlife call home. Our goal was to catch a glimpse of the bison, pronghorn, whitetail & mule deer, elk, coyotes, burros or prairie dogs. Of course morning & evening hours are the best times to view the wildlife, as the animals are most active then. And they didn't disappoint us this evening.

Our first stop was at the ranger station at the entrance to the park for our annual pass. We've traveled Hwy 16A from our home to Rapid City, traveling through the park, but a pass isn't required if you aren't making any stops or side trips along the way. Now that we plan to visit the lakes for fishing & will be making day trips on Needles Highway & Iron Mountain Road it will be necessary to have one.

We hadn't traveled far before noticing several cars pulled off to the side with blinkers flashing. That means 'wildlife ahead'! Unfortunately we arrived a few minutes too late, but still in time, to get a quick glimpse of about 7 elk moving up the hill. They were in the trees & moving away from us so our pic isn't very good. We actually saw about 8 more on the end of our drive this evening but it was after 9pm by then & too dark for a pic! Ahhh, the elusive elk. But I'm sure they'll be around another time. We usually only see 1 or 2 at a time in this area, and not every year. As you know this is our 6th year here in Custer, and I have to say, we still enjoy being amongst the wildlife as much as we did the first year we arrived.

Moving along, we stopped for a short break at the Heddy Draw Overlook and again at the Blue Bell picnic area. Onyx had a great time, nose to the ground, as we checked out the lighting & the bridge crossing French Creek. We saw a couple of deer as we moved along, as well as a rabbit, several blue birds and a prairie dog colony. The sun was playing around bouncing pretty colors through the clouds and we had to take several pics of that of course. Another traveler stopped us to tell us that the bison herd was ahead on Fisherman Flats Road so to be sure and make a left at the visitor center.

We didn't travel far before we were in the midst of them. I don't know how many were there for sure but easily several hundred. Numerous large bulls with their harems and babies galore. It was amazing! It was about 8pm by the time we arrived and our light was going fast. And of course, the 'buffalo' always have the right-of-way on these roads & they take full advantage of it, sauntering along like the own the place, lol! It took awhile to make our way out of the herd. The temperature hit 69 about that time which made for a lovely drive with the windows down. We arrived back home about 9:15pm, three hours later. The brochures all say you can make this drive in about 45 minutes but I don't think so!!! If you get in this area, plan to spend at least a week or more, and take your time exploring these beautiful Black Hills. You won't be sorry....



Advertisement
OperationEyesight.com
Entry Rating:     Why ratings?
Please Rate:  
Thank you for voting!
Share |