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Sylvan Lake, Custer

4.8
#2 of 16 in Parks in Custer
Water Body · Nature / Park
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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.
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Sylvan Lake reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
1,984 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Stunning. This lake is tucked away and toward the end of the "ride" but when you get to it - just gorgeous! The water is so blue and the rock formation and land around it - is just like a postcard.....  more
    Stunning. This lake is tucked away and toward the end of the "ride" but when you get to it - just gorgeous! The water is so blue and the rock formation and land around it - is just like a postcard.....  more »
  • We stopped by just to get a few pics of the lake, as it was already relatively crowded. We squeezed in for a quick stop and snapped a few shots. I must say, they are some of the most beautiful... 
    We stopped by just to get a few pics of the lake, as it was already relatively crowded. We squeezed in for a quick stop and snapped a few shots. I must say, they are some of the most beautiful...  more »
Google
  • It takes around 30-60 minutes to walk around the whole lake, depends on how much time you take photos and breaks. Very scenic lake.
  • Hard to beat Sylvan Lake when exploring Custer State Park in the Black Hills. Sylvan Lake was created when Theodore Reder built a dam across Sunday Gulch Creek in 1882 and offers wonderful picnic areas, rock climbing, small boat rental, and beautiful rocky vistas. Also a great base camp to explore Black Elk Peak and The Needles. Check it out!

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