If you ask a local for their favorite drive in the hills, there’s a good chance they’ll recommend Iron Mountain Road. It offers everything that makes the Black Hills great: meandering roads, towering ponderosas, presidential views, and daring engineering.
Originally designed as a scenic way to introduce travelers to Mount Rushmore, Iron Mountain Road was once declared impossible to build. To add to the challenge, one of the men instrumental in its design insisted only rustic wood trestles be used on any elevation changes in the road; no concrete or steel would be allowed. Luckily, South Dakotans aren’t easily deterred, and in 1933 construction was completed, including 314 curves, 14 hairpin turns, 3 wooden pigtail bridges, and 3 mountain tunnels.
About halfway up this momentous drive nestled in the pins is the Iron Mountain Road Visitor Center and Store. Serving as a cozy watering-hole to travelers, the visitor center and store has a great selection of souvenirs, food, and locally-roasted coffee. Stop in to grab a cup of joe from the “best little coffee shop in the trees” and peruse their offering of unique t-shirts and gifts. They also offer patches and pins commemorating the Sturgis Rally every year, for those brave enough to take the twists and turns of Iron Mountain Road on two wheels.
While the store–like Iron Mountain Road itself—is open only seasonally, their website offers travelers the chance to grab swag they may have missed on their visit. This is especially handy if you visit during peak season and miss a particular size or color of shirt, as the owners are happy to mail you what you seek if they still have it in stock.
Not only can you stop and rest, grab some grub, and find that perfect souvenir, the Iron Mountain Road Visitor Center and Store is co-located with Spokane Creek Cabins and Campground. Pull up your RV or put down your kickstand and stay awhile!
No matter what brings you to Keystone and the Black Hills, Iron Mountain Road is the perfect way to immerse yourself in everything that makes our area great. The road was specifically designed to make travelers slow down and enjoy nature all around them, while the Iron Mountain Road Visitor Center and Store is a perfect stop for travelers looking for refreshments, souvenirs, or simply a friendly South Dakota welcome.