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South Dakota

South Dakota State Parks

USA Parks
South Dakota
Black Hills & Badlands Region
Custer State Park
Custer State Park © Dawne Olson
Custer State Park © Kelly Harvey
may 2009
13329 US Hwy 16a
Custer, South Dakota   57730

Phone: 605-255-4515
Reservations: 800-710-2267
Custer State Park in the Black Hills encompasses 71,000 acres of spectacular terrain and an abundance of wildlife.Within the park, you?ll discover a world of adventure!

Favorite outdoor activities include hiking 7,242-foot Harney Peak, mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, fishing, chuckwagon suppers and jeep rides to see the bison.

The park boasts scenic drives such as the Needles Highway (SD 87), which twists and turns its way past towering rock formations and through narrow tunnels. At the end of one tunnel stands the Needles Eye, a granite spire with a slit only 3 to 4 feet wide but reaching 30 to 40 feet in the air.

History and culture also abound. Walk the banks of French Creek, where Custer?s expedition first discovered gold in 1874. Take in a theater performance at the Black Hills Playhouse. Or, visit the log cabin that was home to Badger Clark, South Dakota?s first poet laureate.
Custer State Park does not have the basic one-room camping cabins that are available in some of the other state parks. Other types of cabins, historic lodge rooms and motel units are available.
Custer State Park can serve as the headquarters for your Black Hills stay. You?ll find Resorts at Sylvan Lake, Legion Lake, Blue Bell and the State Game Lodge, all located within the park. Each resort has its own flavor, ranging from the stately Game Lodge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, to the mini dude ranch at Blue Bell. (See Black Hills section and Statewide Services Directory for details.)
campgrounds offer a variety of scenic sites. Set up camp along a flowing stream, in the midst of pine forest, or near a mountain lake. The choice is yours! Camping fees range from $13-18 per unit. None have hookups.

Custer State Park?s 71,000 acres offer a lifetime of hiking opportunities. Besides the designated trails described in this information, hiking is allowed anywhere in Custer State Park. Some areas may be posted closed due to resource management concerns.

Other Trail Activities:Mountain biking is allowed in Custer State Park, some areas may be posted closed for resource management concerns. A brochure describing biking opportunities may be found at the Visitor Centers.

Horseback riding is allowed in most areas of Custer State Park, except in those areas posted which include the Sylvan Lake watershed and the Grace Coolidge Walk-in Fishing Area. Other areas may be posted closed due to resource management concerns. A map of marked horse trails may be found at the Visitor Centers.
Nature Programs
The park offers many educational programs and family activities. For example, park rangers lead guided nature walks and gold-panning excursions. Living-history demonstrations, such as candle making and woodworking, take place at the Gordon Stockade. Evening campfire programs feature slide shows, outdoor-cooking demonstrations and films. For the kids, the Junior Naturalist Program teaches them about the outdoors through hands-on activities.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
July 3 wildlife loop
Recently on my way back to Minnesota I drove to Custer State Park because I wanted to go on the wildlife loop. I had to pay $20 just to drive thru because they do not have 1 day passes, only 7 day passes. I am a senior, they should have a senior discount or a 1 day pass. Just saying...
June 19 Beautiful by Linda
Breathtaking, beautiful, gorgeous, must see!!My mom and I traveled the U.S.A. from Georgia and this was a memorable stop along our trip.
August 21 Buffalo everywhere!
We rode thru on our motorcycle and the buffalo walked right by us! It is like being in a movie!


South Dakota

South Dakota State Parks