Threading the Needles Hwy to Sylvan Lake – Custer SP

Disappearing into the mountain wall!

Disappearing into the mountain wall!

The Needles Highway is a spectacular 14 mile road that gets its name from the needle-like granite formations which seem to pierce the horizon along the highway.  Getting to our campground located at Sylvan Lake, which was at the end of the Needles Hwy, was an experience that we will never forget.

The tunnel as seen from the other side.

The tunnel as seen from the other side.

There are two one lane CCC tunnels that need to be traveled through and since we knew there were  switchbacks to be manoeuvred we had disconnected and I was following behind Leonard.  Up we climbed, the road got steeper and narrower and there were fearful looks upon the faces of those coming in the opposite direction.  Then we reached the first tunnel and Leonard seemed to barely squeeze into the hole in the mountain.   When he reached the second tunnel, he decided to take in his mirrors before advancing.  It was a sight to behold,  Trixie is 96″ wide and the tunnel was 100″ wide.  To view an amazing video, click here.  Wow,  it was thrilling once but we didn’t want to do it twice.   We found out that there was another way down without going through the tunnels and we took that way out the next day.

Area know as Cathedral Spires

Area know as Cathedral Spires

Granite peaks on the Needles road up to Sylvan Lake.

Granite peaks on the Needles road up to Sylvan Lake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sylvan Lake is beautiful;  surrounded by massive granite peaks and at 6300′ the air was cool and scented with pine.   We only had one night there and then we moved on, but we will never forget that tunnel experience.

 

 

 

5 responses to “Threading the Needles Hwy to Sylvan Lake – Custer SP

  1. Leonard should have piloted the shuttle instead of working on it. I noticed there were no rvs at the other end; were there any behind? Needles is certainly picturesque. It was there I first saw bighorn sheep. By the way, is that a western bluebird in the cathedral spires image?

    • sunandsandtravelers

      No RVs before or behind us but to our complete shock we saw a Gray line bus
      go through it the next day!
      No bighorn sheep there but Leonard saw 3 on a hike he was on yesterday. They blocked the path and wouldn’t let him by.

  2. Oops, I forgot… I love your new banner!

  3. Wow! That’s all I can say. Wow!

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