Experience over 28,732 hectares (71,000 acres) of rugged wilderness deep in the Black Hills at Custer State Park. A popular site for recreation and leisure, the park boasts dozens of hiking and driving routes, as well as a number of resorts and campgrounds for overnight stays. Drive along the 29 km (18 mi) scenic Wildlife Loop Road to take in the lush green landscape and wildlife sightings, including a herd of 1,300 bison, one of the largest publicly owned herds in the world, and over 186 species of birds. Keep in mind that the entrance fee is valid for 7 days if you would like to return to the park or extend your stay. Our Custer travel route planning website makes visiting Custer State Park and other Custer attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
Custer State Park reviews
This is a beautiful area, wildlife visible - especially buffalo, scenic beauty. Very nice relaxing drive.
This is a beautiful area, wildlife visible - especially buffalo, scenic beauty. Very nice relaxing drive. more »
We really enjoyed seeing the bison UP CLOSE and personal!! Take time to drive the whole wildlife drive and when you get surrounded, remain in your car and enjoy the sights.
We really enjoyed seeing the bison UP CLOSE and personal!! Take time to drive the whole wildlife drive and when you get surrounded, remain in your car and enjoy the sights. more »
$20 is fair admission for how much there is to see here, and is good for a whole week. I took the wildlife loop twice so the number of cars and people dwindled down. There were more bison in one place than I've ever seen (remember to not get out of your vehicle - they are dangerous, even when just grazing). A lot of people brought carrots and fruits to feed the burros. There are a bunch of pull-outs so you can stop for photos. The lakes are breathtaking but lots of people. If you like the water, consider staying at the lodges. The overlooks are beautiful. There's a good amount of signage. Park rangers do patrol in case you need help. Needles Highway requires patience. Read your maps so you know if your vehicle can make it through. I've visited Sylvan Lake before so I skipped it this time and went to Legion Lake instead. The Bison Center is finally open and, though small, packed with information and people willing and able to answer your questions. Please come and learn why conservation for the wildlife here is so important.
Custer State Park is hands down the greatest state park in the United States. For my money, it has more attractions than some of the national parks. In the south, do not miss the Wildlife Scenic Road to view the largest bison herd outside of Yellowstone. Along the road you may spot wild turkeys, pronghorn and elk. In the fall, try to visit during the bison roundup, that is quite a site to see. In the northern part of the park be sure to drive the spectacular Needles Highway. From Sylvan Lake you can hike one the incredible trails to the best area in the Black Hills and South Dakota. Cathedral Spires, Sylvan Lake Trail, Sunday Gulch and Little Devil's Tower are incredible hikes to see. This park is worth 2-3 days for a more extensive visit. The campgrounds in the park are also very nice for being close to the sites of the park. The Needles Highway is closed during the winter so check conditions.
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