|Image Type(s):||Rock Climbing, Hiking, Scenery|
The Cathedral Spires of South Dakota's Black Hills are a portion of one of the most spectacular areas of giant granite formations in this region of the USA. Located in Custer State Park, the spires are considered the northern part of The Needles - an area of granite towers, columns, spires and pillars that are very popular with rock climbers.
The three areas with the greatest concentration of routes would be The Needles area along the Needles Highway, Cathedral Spires (further north) and the Sunday Gulch area downstream from Sylvan Lake. The Cathedral Spires Trail is frequently used by not only rock climbers, but photogrpahers and hikers as well. The trail is a link to the Black Elk Wilderness trail system. The SummitPost page on The Needles offers an excellent overview of what rock climbers can look for.
The Black Hills Climbers Coalition has worked hard in the development of responsible climbing in the area for many years. The nearby Sylvan Rocks Climbing School has also been a major help in developing responsible climbing throughout the Black Hills. Mountain Project also has a well-developed list of routes in Custer State Park that will help climbers in their choices.
The photos in this album are ones I have taken during my explorations of The Needles/Cathedral Spires area over the years. If you are planning a trip to the Black Hills, don't miss this area!