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51 votes

Custer State Park

13329 US Highway 16A, Custer, South Dakota 57730 USA

Open Now
Thu 12a-12a
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
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“71,000 acres of wildlife”

The clear mountain waters are inviting, and the open ranges are waiting to be discovered. Bring your family to Custer State Park, and let yourself run wild.Custer State Park in the Black Hills encompasses 71,000 acres of spectacular terrain and an abundance of wildlife. Within the park, you'll discover a world of adventure!

A herd of 1,300 bison roams freely throughout the park, often stopping traffic along the 18-mile Wildlife Loop Road. The herd is one of the largest publically-owned herds in the world.Bison can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds. Historically, the animal played an essential role in the lives of the Lakota (Sioux), who relied on the "tatanka" for food, clothing and shelter.Besides bison, the park is home to wildlife such as pronghorn antelope, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, deer, elk, wild turkeys, and a band of friendly burros.

Custer State Park boasts several scenic drives that explore the diversity of the area. From the granite spires of Needles Highway to the bison along WIldlife Loop Road.

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Reviewed by

  • 7 Reviews
  • 7 Helpful
July 22, 2014

Iron Mountain Road and Needles Road were amazing drives to see the scenery!

4 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 11 Reviews
  • 11 Helpful
July 19, 2015

The drive into Custer State Park was amazing; winding roads through the Black Hills, tunnels, pig-tail turns, scenic look-out points. Absolutely STUNNING scenery! Gorgeous!! A must see!! Once in the Park there is a lot to do, however my husband and I just drove through. We saw burros and got out and fed them cause they were blocking the road. The rangers told us these were the ancestors of the original burros that used to carry people up the mountain. They are the only animals which you are allowed to feed in the park. Little prairie dogs popped in and out of their holes. Deer were prancing across the road. Buffalo were grazing off in the distance in several spots. As we were getting ready to head out we were dead stopped by an oncoming stampede of buffalo. It was so incredible. I was hanging out of our sunroof taking video and snapping pics. It was a once in a lifetime event!! WOW!!

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Stephen Rees

  • Road Warrior
  • 273 Reviews
  • 226 Helpful
September 3, 2014

Custer has some of my favorite points of interests in the Black Hills. Sylvan Lake is beautiful and has some awesome hiking, and the Wildlife Loop is such a cool way to see some Bison up close and personal. But my absolute favorite thing to do in Custer is to hike up to Harney Peak (the highest elevation between the Rockies and the Alps) from Sylvan Lake. The views of the Hills are incredible, and it's just challenging enough to make you feel accomplished while still being surmountable for most hikers.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • Blogger
  • 131 Reviews
  • 20 Helpful
September 22, 2015

My fiancé and I are on a road trip from New York to California and crossed through the Black Hills of South Dakota as part of our travels. The Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park is a must see! The experience takes about 45-minutes and we drove in hoping to see a buffalo or a prairie dog. We saw at least 40 buffalo—herds of them grazing right up to the road. Wild donkeys come right up to your car. It was exhilarating and incredible. The Needles highway which takes you down to the loop from Hill City is also really impressive. Take a walk break and hike Sylvan Lake on your route down. Check out more from the whole experience on my blog.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
September 26, 2016

$20 entry fee. Was a really nice drive. Saw a lot of wild life. Did the wildlife loop then left via the iron mountain road to mt Rushmore. Was beautiful!

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Reviewed by

  • 32 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
September 25, 2016

Just phenomenal. Wildlife, scenery -- this place has it all. Wish we had gotten a faster start and taken less time at Rushmore to spend longer here! We were running out of daylight as we rounded the last curves of the needles highway. A definite highlight of our entire trip.

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Reviewed by

  • 6 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
September 9, 2016

Beautiful clean campground! We had a buffalo block the road at 11pm as we tried to find our way to the site. We just waited for him to make his way to the side of the road so we could get by. Awesome experience! Very friendly folks run the place.

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Reviewed by

  • 6 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
August 5, 2016

Place is beautiful. Enjoyed seeing the Buffalo, prairie dogs and Antelope. Be sure to leave yourself lots of time for the State Park.

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Reviewed by

  • 6 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
July 9, 2016

The park is beautiful. We stayed in the Bluebell cabins and they were really nice. We were in cabin #15 and it was right by a bathroom. You do need to bring your own sleeping bags or sheets. Driving around the park, we saw a bunch of wildlife. We stopped and watched a stampede of buffalo come running through the park across the road. The burros are great. Don't forget to bring something for them to eat. The park is in a great location to see all the sights around... Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Iron Mountain Rd, and so much more.

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Reviewed by

  • 4 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
July 9, 2016

There is lots to do in Custer state park from paddle boating to swimming in the lakes to horseback riding. We enjoyed seeing the buffalo roam around, and hiking around legion lake, and roasting marshmallows at our modest cabin within the park.

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Custer State Park

13329 US Highway 16A
Custer, South Dakota
57730 USA


Open 24 hours today
  • Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 12:00 am

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  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
  • Outdoor Seating
  • No Wifi
  • Private Parking

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