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Sylvan Lake, Custer

4.8
#2 of 16 in Parks in Custer
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 5.0
1,663 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • We stopped and ate our lunch here. The rocks/boulders on the lake are stunning and you can climb them.  more »
  • You can just sit and enjoy the view or take a hike around the entire lake. Not strenuous. Again great photo moments.  more »
Google
  • Beautiful place! I loved it. It was a great place for rock climbing. (Took this pic on top of a huge rock I climbed.)
  • Beautiful campground, which was accommodating to our large group (at our site was 4 adults, 2 kids, and a large dog. We stayed at an electric site but used a large tent), and my aunt and her son were at a nearby site. The bathrooms were clean, showers were warm, and the bugs were few. We stayed in August, but the weather was a bit chilly, especially at night. The lake is gorgeous, and makes for a nice short walk.

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