A group of campers found themselves in hot water at Custer State Park recently, when they tried to take their RV through Needles Eye Tunnel – a granite passageway that's barely wide enough for one vehicle at a time. Tour buses squeeze through regularly under the control of experienced drivers (though even they sometimes get stuck) but it's just too tight for inexperienced holidaymakers with a camper.
Needles Eye Tunnel is just 8'4" wide, and there are warnings clearly posted before driver reach it. This group decided it try it anyway, and eventually had to give up before their vehicle became wedged.
A video of their misadventure (which you can see below) was posted on Instagram account TouronsOfNationalParks, which has recently shared footage of people holding a ukulele singalong on the rim of the Grand Canyon, and leading a small child out onto rocks over a raging waterfall.
A photo posted by on
This incident was embarrassing, but could have been worse. Visitors occasionally get completely stuck, and earlier this year YouTube channel Down 2RV shared a video of a less careful RV owner, who decided to press on and drive all the way through, ruining their paintwork in the process, and adding more than a few dents en route.
The tunnel is found on the scenic Needles Highway – a 14-mile road through spruce forests, meadows, and stunning granite formations. The 'needle' in question isn't actually the tunnel, but a distinctive rock formation with an unusually spindly loop created by centuries of erosion that does indeed resemble the top of a needle.
You need to pay the $20 admittance fee to Custer State Park before you can hit the road, but if you don't like the idea of squeezing through the tunnel, you can book a guided tour instead. There's no guarantee the bus will make it through, but at least you won't be stuck with a repair bill.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.