U.S. Route 16

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U.S. Route 16

US 16 highlighted in red
Route information
Length540 mi (870 km)
Major junctions
West end US 14 / US 20 at Yellowstone National Park entrance
Major intersections
East end
I-90 / I-190 / US 14 / US 16 Truck in Rapid City, SD
CountryUnited States
StatesWyoming, South Dakota
Highway system
US 15US US 17
WYO 14WY US 18
SD 15SD SD 16

U.S. Highway 16 (US 16) is an east–west United States Numbered Highway between Rapid City, South Dakota, and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. The highway's eastern terminus is at a junction with Interstate 90 (I-90)/US 14, concurrent with I-190, in Rapid City. The western terminus is the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park, concurrent with US 14 and US 20. US 16 used to extend all the way to Michigan but has been truncated in favor of I-90 and I-96.

Route description

  mi km
WY 471 758
SD 68 109[1]
Total 540 870


US 16 begins at the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park, along with US 14 and the eastern segment of US 20. From the park, the three highways run concurrently to Cody and Greybull. In Greybull, US 14 splits off to the east, while US 16/US 20 heads due south to Basin and Worland. In Worland, US 16 splits off from US 20 and heads east over Powder River Pass on its way to the city of Buffalo. After passing Buffalo, US 16 arches north to the community of Ucross, meeting US 14 again, before arching back south to Gillette. US 16 then runs east concurrently with I-90 between Gillette and Moorcroft before heading southeast to the towns of Upton and Newcastle. The highway then heads east to the South Dakota state line. For most of the way through the state, the highway is a two-lane road.

South Dakota

US 16 is also known as Mount Rushmore Road in western South Dakota. From the state line, the highway travels near Jewel Cave, the third-longest cave in the world.[2] The highway goes through the city of Custer and shares alignment with US 385. East of Hill City, US 16 splits off US 385. It then becomes a four-lane divided highway, with the two roadways separated by up to a half-mile (0.80 km) in some places, including the old gold-mining town of Rockerville, which is contained entirely between the two roadways. In Rapid City, a truck bypass runs along Catron Boulevard and Elk Vale Road up to exit 61 on I-90.

The South Dakota section of US 16 is defined at South Dakota Codified Laws § 31-4-138.[3]


US 16 in the Tensleep Canyon, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

US 16 originally connected Detroit with Yellowstone National Park, including a ferry link across Lake Michigan between Muskegon, Michigan, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In Michigan, the route was in use long before automobiles and was known to white settlers as the Grand River Road, and prior to the designation of U.S. Highways in 1926, had been designated as M-16 in the 1920s from Detroit to south of Muskegon. In 1938, reflectorized discs were placed on US 16 every 100 feet (30 m) from Detroit to Lansing, resulting in fewer nighttime traffic accidents. Other states would later do the same on their roads.

US 16 initially crossed the South DakotaWyoming state line west of Spearfish. U.S. Highway 216 (US 216) was commissioned in 1930 as a loop off US 16 to the south between Rapid City and Moorcroft, crossing the state line west of Custer. In 1934, US 16 was moved to the US 216 alignment, while the former US 16 became part of an extension of US 14.

In Michigan, most of US 16 was superseded by I-96 and a segment of Grand River Avenue in Detroit ultimately became M-5. US 16 was later decommissioned in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and eastern South Dakota to its present termini.[4]

Between Rapid City and Dexter, Minnesota, it has been supplanted by I-90. In Faribault County, Minnesota, the highway took on another number as there was already a county highway numbered 16. Residents of the county continued referring to the road as "16" or "old 16" and eventually the county renumbered it as County Road 16 (CR 16). From the county's western border with Martin County, US 16 continued east through the city of Blue Earth as part of 1st Street and Leland Parkway until it briefly combines with US 169/Grove Street. One-half mile (0.80 km) south of that point at the intersection of Grove and 7th streets, CR 16 followed 7th Street and continued east to the border of Freeborn County. Most of the stretch through Faribault County was a relatively narrow two-lane highway with wide gravel shoulders that has been widened at least two times since US 16 was decommissioned. East of Dexter, it is now Minnesota State Highway 16 and State Trunk Highway 16. In South Dakota, it was replaced by various state highways (including South Dakota Highway 38, or SD 38, and SD 248) and county roads: generally, in West River, the old alignment was transferred to county responsibility entirely, while, in East River, it remained a state-maintained highway.

An older US 16A in South Dakota has become SD 240.

In South Dakota in 2009, the South Dakota Department of Transportation designated US 16/US 385 between Custer and Hill City, which passes by the Crazy Horse Memorial, now being carved in the Black Hills, as the Crazy Horse Memorial Highway. This segment of US 385 is also a part of the George Hearst Memorial Highway.

Major intersections

Mileage resets at the state line crossing.

WyomingYellowstone National Park0.0000.000Yellowstone National Park East EntranceNational western terminus of US 14 and US 16; western end of US 14 and US 20 concurrencies; US 20 resumes in Montana at the park's west entrance
ParkCody49.41079.518 WYO 291

US 14A east / WYO 120 north – Powell
Western end of WYO 120 concurrency
WYO 120 south – Meeteetse, Thermopolis
Eastern end of WYO 120 concurrency
Big Horn85.056136.884
WYO 30 east – Burlington
Western terminus of WYO 30
WYO 32 north – Lovell
Southern terminus of WYO 32

US 310 north / WYO 789 north – Lovell
Western end of WYO 789 concurrency; southern terminus of US 310
US 14 east
Eastern end of US 14 concurrency
199.27320.69 WYO 36 (Golf Course Road)
Basin196.42316.11 WYO 30
185.52298.57 WYO 433
Manderson184.35296.68 WYO 31

US 20 east / WYO 789 south / WYO 432 south
Eastern end of US 20 and WYO 789 concurrencies; northern terminus of WYO 432
Ten Sleep26.4242.52 WYO 434
30.0448.34 WYO 436
33.9054.56 WYO 435
I-25 BL / US 87 Bus. / WYO 196 (Main Street)
Western end of WYO 196 concurrency
I-25 BL / US 87 Bus. / WYO 196 (Main Street)
Eastern end of WYO 196 concurrency
100.61161.92 I-25 / US 87I-25 exit 299
2.123.41 I-90I-90 exit 58
US 14 west
Western end of US 14 concurrency
54.7288.06 WYO 341
Campbell102.07164.27 WYO 59Western end of WYO 59 concurrency
Gillette114.86184.85 WYO 50 (Skyline Drive)
113.10182.02 WYO 59 (Douglas Highway)Eastern end of WYO 59 concurrency
I-90 west / WYO 51 ahead
Western end of I-90 concurrency; I-90 exit 128
I-90 east
Eastern end of I-90 concurrency; I-90 exit 153
153.56247.13 WYO 51
US 14 east
Eastern end of US 14 concurrency
WestonUpton219.83353.78 WYO 116Western end of WYO 116 concurrency
220.13354.26 WYO 116Eastern end of WYO 116 concurrency
Osage233.29375.44 WYO 451
245.67395.37 WYO 450

US 16 Bus. / US 16 Truck

US 16 Bus. / US 16 Truck
249.82402.05 US 85
Wyoming–South Dakota state line
South DakotaCusterCuster26.4642.58 US 385 / SD 89Western end of US 385 and SD 89 concurrencies
26.9643.39 US 16A / SD 89Eastern end of SD 89 concurrency
Pennington37.4960.33 SD 87 (Needles Highway)
37.6960.66 SD 244
Hill City40.5165.19

US 16 Truck / US 385 Truck

US 16 Truck / US 385 Truck
45.0072.42 US 385Eastern end of US 385 concurrency
50.6081.43 US 16A
RockervilleInterchange; left exits and entrances
Rapid City64.19103.30
US 16 Truck
SD 44 (Omaha Street) to I-190
Eastern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Related routes

Special and suffixed routes


  1. ^ Office of Transportation Inventory Management (January 2017). State Highway Log: Rapid City Region (PDF). Pierre: South Dakota Department of Transportation. pp. 23–24. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 9, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  2. ^ "Jewel Cave National Monument". National Park Service. Retrieved May 18, 2008.
  3. ^ South Dakota Codified Laws. South Dakota Legislature. Retrieved April 4, 2023.
  4. ^ Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering (June 29, 1978). "Route Numbering Committee Agenda Showing Action Taken by the Executive Committee" (PDF) (Report). Washington, DC: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. p. 3. Retrieved September 2, 2015 – via Wikimedia Commons.
  5. ^ Transportation Statistics (November 2004). Reference Marker Book (PDF). Cheyenne: Wyoming Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 17, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
  6. ^ Office of Transportation Inventory Management (January 2011). State Highway Log: Rapid City Region (PDF). Pierre: South Dakota Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 10, 2011. Retrieved April 13, 2010.

External links