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Custer State Park, Custer

4.8
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.
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Custer State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
4,854 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • This was one of our favorite spots on our 2 weeks trip out west. In hindsight, we probably would have spent at least 2 days (instead of one full day). This place offers a taste of everything. From wil...  more »
  • This was a repeat trip for us to Custer State Park. In the past we have seen quite a lot of wildlife but this time we saw a couple of bison--that's it. It was still a nice, relaxing drive and we enjoy...  more »
  • We had 4 generations & everyone enjoyed the scenic byways, wildlife & selection of eateries & souvenirs. The visitor centers were exceptional.  more »
Google
  • This is the Wilderness Trail. It was magical. I was within 10 feet of a mama and baby buffalo. We also saw prairie dogs, wild donkeys, and a couple different goat species. Absolutely beautiful views. Careful on the Needles Highway. It's not for timid drivers.
  • If you have never heard of this park, you are missing out on one of the greatest adventures of your life. There are mountains, wildlife, forests, long hiking trails, and fair camping rates! They open up reservations one year in advance for a reason; the campsites fill up fast and reservations rarely get cancelled. My favorite part of the park? Climbing up to Black Elk Peak after a jaw dropping ride along the Needles Highway. I cannot recommend this park enough!
  • Custer State Park is beautiful! Several years ago on a trip to the Hills my grandpa told me the must see place in the Black Hills is the Needles Highway in Custer State Park. He was right and we visited again this year on a trip to the Hills. Breathtaking stunning spires and the suspense of driving through narrow tunnels in the rock, what a great adventure! The kids loved it, especially being able to touch the rock walls of the tunnel out the open window as we crept the truck through the tunnel!
  • Beautiful park with gorgeous hiking trails and views. You should really spend an entire day here to really soak up what it has to offer. Driving through it in one go is not the best way to enjoy the park. I would highly recommend any hike in the Needles and a wildlife loop drive around dawn or dusk. The $20 seems like a lot and it would be nice to have a cheaper day pass, but most people spend more time around the area so it turns out to be a good deal. In regards to wildlife the only animal I have not seen in the park is a mountain lion. Some days the animals are more active than others, but the park does not control this, so they should not be marked down if they do not wrangle up thousands of bison daily for tourists to gawk at.
  • I always love driving through Custer State Park when in the Black Hills. You're very likely to see buffalo, antelope, and donkeys (bring a bag of carrots!) as well as wild turkeys, and prairie dogs. And if you're lucky you may even see elk and bighorn sheep. If you're very lucky--like I was last week-- your vehicle will actually be briefly surrounded by a passing buffalo herd; awe-inspiring. Just don't get out; buffalo are faster than a horse and can be very dangerous (take pictures from INSIDE you vehicle)! And you can spend as much- or little - time as you want driving through the various areas of the park as you like. Also, there is an excellent visitor center, restaurants, Coolidge Lodge, campgrounds, guided tours... plenty of choices for a day of adventure in the Southern Hills.

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