Black Hills National Forest, Custer

4.7
#2 of 19 in Wildlife in South Dakota
Explore the pristine nature of one of North America's most scenic wilderness areas at Black Hills National Forest. Covering over 5,000 sq km (1,931 sq mi), the forest offers breathtaking views, miles of waterways and hiking trails, abundant wildlife, diverse landscapes, and everything else you need for a great time outdoors. The area also features several historical sights, numerous camping grounds and picnic areas, as well as fishing reservoirs. If you don’t have the time for a longer stay, you can enjoy the scenery just as much by driving the forest's scenic byways. Entering the forest area is free of charge, but there are fees for using certain facilities. Put Black Hills National Forest and other Custer attractions into our Custer online travel planner , and watch your holiday take shape.
Create an itinerary including Black Hills National Forest
map
Black Hills National Forest Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
694 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • If you are traveling through South Dakota, please visit the Black Hills area of the state. The wild buffalo/bison roam the area and there are great photo opportunities. Please stay in your car though.  more »
  • The Black Hills National Forest covers an enormous area where the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Crazyhorse Monument and Devils Tower NM. On the Crazy Horse Monument after I find all really worth to visit. The impressive quarried rock formation with the Governors, the separate landscape of the Badlands and the Devilstower (on the road here is also a great prairietown) are very special to see. We have the Crazy Horse Monument seen only from afar and have found it to be similarly sufficient (it's not done yet).
    View original
  • We actually entered the Black Hills on trail 4 to 9 through Custer State Park on the way to Harney Peak. It is beautiful, the trees and rock formations. So many picture opportunities. It is something ...  more »
Google
  • We loved our visit, but I wish it wasn't so populated. It is very big, so plan ahead. Roads are not always well marked. Still, an amazing, beautiful place.
  • This is such a beautiful area ! You've got to visit Pactola Lake while there , it is an amazingly beautiful, crystal clear lake, surrounded by rugged mountains. --- a true jewel. This is a very large area, but has good access to the scenic areas. Lots of wildlife throughout. Highly recommended !
  • Very beautiful. Well taken care of but there are a lot of houses throughout the forest which takes away from the experience. Water is not filterable so bring plenty with you.
  • South Dakota is severely underrated. Exploring this protected area is for anyone from the extreme backpacker to the new day hiker. Explore Black Elk (Harney) Peak and see the highest point in SD! The entire area is packed full of history and will not disappoint. Can't wait to go back and experience the magic of the Black Hills.
  • Black Hills National Forest is located in South Dakota. We stopped here on the way to Sturgis. The park is overflowing with buffaloes, who commonly come on the street and block traffic. Please stay away from them, as they can be aggressive . There are several small lakes all over the place with lots of rivers and creek… many other animals too. The National Forest in Park area is so large, there are several small towns in it so there are plenty of places to stay and plenty of places to visit. We stayed in Hill City. If you get the chance to visit, it is definitely worth the time.

Plan your trip to Custer

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans to Black Hills National Forest by other users

16 days in South Dakota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Rapid City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in South Dakota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Sturgis BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Custer BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in South Dakota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in South Dakota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in South Dakota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in South Dakota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Sturgis BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in South Dakota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in South Dakota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans