U.S. Route 16

U.S. Route 16 (US 16) is an east–west United States Highway between Rapid City, South Dakota and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. As of 2004, the highway's eastern terminus is at a junction with Interstate 90/U.S. Route 14 (I-90/US 14), concurrent with I-190, in Rapid City, South Dakota. The western terminus is the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park, concurrent with US 14 and US 20. U.S. 16 used to extend all the way to Michigan, but has been truncated in favor of Interstates 90 and 96.

U.S. Route 16 marker
U.S. Route 16
US 16 highlighted in red
Route information
Length540 mi[citation needed] (870 km)
Existed1926[citation needed]–present
Major junctions
West end US 14 / US 20 at Yellowstone National Park entrance
Major intersections I-25 / US 87 in Buffalo, WY

US 85 in Newcastle, WY

US 16 Truck in Rapid City, SD
East end
I-90 / I-190 / US 14 / US 16 Truck in Rapid City, SD
StatesWyoming, South Dakota
Highway system
WYO 14WY US 18
SD 15SD SD 16

Route descriptionEdit


US 16 in Wyoming crosses through the towns of Newcastle and Upton before joining I-90 near Moorcroft. It runs concurrently with I-90 to Gillette, where it splits off north and then arcs back down to the town of Buffalo. From Buffalo it goes over the Powder River Pass on its way to Worland. In Worland, it turns north and overlaps US 20 through the towns of Basin and Greybull. In Greybull, the two routes combine with US 14 and go west to Cody and into Yellowstone National Park. For most of the way it is a two-lane road.

South DakotaEdit

US 16 is also known as Mount Rushmore Road in western South Dakota. The highway enters South Dakota east of Newcastle, Wyoming. It travels near Jewel Cave, the third-longest cave in the world.[1] 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 (0.8 km) in some places, including the old gold-mining town of Rockerville, South Dakota, 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.[2]


US 16 originally connected Detroit with Yellowstone, 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 US Routes 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 Dakota – Wyoming state line west of Spearfish. U.S. Route 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.[3]

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 16. Residents of the county continued referring to the road as "16" or "old 16" and eventually the county renumbered it as Faribault County 16. From the county's western border with Martin County, 16 continues 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 south of that point at the intersection of Grove and 7th Streets, County 16 follows 7th Street and continues East to the border of Freeborn County. Most of the stretch through Faribault County is a relatively narrow 2 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 Wisconsin Highway 16. In South Dakota it was replaced by various state highways (including SD 38 and 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 Alternate US 16 in South Dakota has become South Dakota Highway 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, the Crazy Horse Memorial Highway. This segment of US-385 is also a part of the George Hearst Memorial Highway.

Major intersectionsEdit

Mileage resets at the state line crossing.

WyomingYellowstone National Park0.0000.000 
US 14 begins / US 20 begins
Western terminus of US 14, US 16, and eastern segment of US 20; western end of US 14 and US 20 concurrencies
ParkCody49.41079.518  WYO 291
51.90083.525   US 14A east / WYO 120 north – PowellWestern end of WYO 120 concurrency
54.11987.096  WYO 120 south – Meeteetse, ThermopolisEastern end of WYO 120 concurrency
Big Horn85.056136.884  WYO 30 east – BurlingtonWestern terminus of WYO 30
85.655137.848  WYO 32 north – LovellSouthern terminus of WYO 32
99.197159.642   US 310 north / WYO 789 north – LovellWestern end of WYO 789 concurrency; southern terminus of US 310
Greybull204.05328.39  US 14 eastEastern 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
WashakieWorland0.000.00    US 20 east / WYO 789 south / WYO 432 southEastern 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
SheridanUcross17.6428.39  US 14 westWestern 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
127.57205.30   I-90 west / WYO 51 aheadWestern end of I-90 concurrency; I-90 exit 128
CrookMoorcroft153.41246.89  I-90 eastEastern end of I-90 concurrency; I-90 exit 153
153.56247.13  WYO 51
200.00321.87  US 14 eastEastern 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

See alsoEdit

Related routesEdit

Special and suffixed routesEdit


  1. ^ "Jewel Cave National Monument". U.S. National Park Service. Retrieved May 18, 2008.
  2. ^ South Dakota Codified Laws
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Reference Marker Book" (PDF). Wyoming Department of Transportation. November 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 17, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
  5. ^ "State Highway Log — Rapid City Region" (PDF). South Dakota Department of Transportation. January 2011. Retrieved April 13, 2010.

External linksEdit

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata