Known as the crown jewel of Custer State Park, Sylvan Lake offers views of the Black Hills that showcase the sweeping pine forest as a backdrop for dramatic rocky outcroppings along the lakeshore. Created in 1881 when Theodore Reder built a dam across Sunday Gulch, the lake offers swimming, paddle boating, fishing, and picnicking, along with access to rock climbing and hiking trails. The lake sits at the base of Harney Peak, the highest point east of the Rocky Mountains; you can use it as a starting point for excursions to the peak and the park's drive along The Needles highway. Film fans may recognize the site, which was featured in the 2007 movie "National Treasure: Book of Secrets." Plan your visit to Sylvan Lake and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Custer vacation planner.
Sylvan Lake reviews
We had a great visit here. It was a little crowded so we kept walking around the corner. It was a little rocky but nice to be with fewer people. Be prepared the water is chilly so if you are going.... more »
This was a great stop! Best stop in the Black Hills in my opinion. We had enough time to enjoy a few things, but I could spend a day or two here. It is simply beautiful! The kids loved climbing... more »
A beautiful setting. We had a great day climbing and hiking and swimming.
Great lake for the family! Bathrooms, grills around the lake, great fishing from shore, and a clean beach.
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