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 only had a short time in Custer on our way west so we made sure to stop at Sylvan Lake and we are extremely glad we did. We took the trail around the lake and climbed some of the rocks. We could.... more »
This was absolutely beautiful! We saw it this morning in the water was a smooth as glass. I love taking photos were you could see the reflection. 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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