The Best Things to do in Custer State Park

Custer State Park is an absolute gem located in South Dakota. The park is a must-visit for anyone who loves the great outdoors. With breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and endless recreational activities for visitors of all ages it is the perfect get away for families and individuals alike.

Below is a series of stories we have exclusively posted on the best activities in Custer State Park. Click on the links below to learn specific details about these special places and our personal experiences along the way.


A Tranquil Morning on the Custer State Park Cathedral Trail

On a morning in September, the stone spires on the Cathedral Trail in Custer State Park stood tall and imposing. Contrasting the towering rock was a vivid blue-sky background draped with fluffy white cumulus clouds. We were on the trail at the break of day and the picturesque landscape in front of us was stunning. […]

Black Elk Peak is the Best Hike in Custer State Park

Hiking the Black Elk Peak Trail is considered by many to be the best hike in Custer State Park. The 7.5-mile loop starts near Sylvan Lake and winds its way through the Black Forest Wilderness area. At the summit, hikers stand on a 7,242-foot granite mountain that is the highest point in South Dakota. Perched […]

The Remarkable Scramble to Little Devil’s Tower

Little Devil’s Tower was one of our favorite hiking destinations when we visited Custer State Park in South Dakota. On our second day in the park, we met a local couple who strongly suggested we climb the rock tower. They were very knowledgeable about the park generally and convinced us we should add the hike […]

The Narrow Tunnels of the Needles Highway

At the heart of Custer State Park lies 14-miles of winding pavement called the Needles Highway. Built in the 1920s, the road is an engineering marvel that’s located within the South Dakota Black Hills. Known for its three narrow tunnels, steep climbs, and hairpin turns the 2-lane road offers park visitors an unforgettable driving experience […]

Stunning Sylvan Lake Offers Something for Everyone

Nestled inside the stunning Custer State Park and the Black Hills of South Dakota, Sylvan Lake offers visitors an opportunity to experience nature at its best. The pristine lake is surrounded by towering granite cliffs and lush forests, creating a breathtaking backdrop for nature lovers. After a long hike to Black Elk Peak, a swim […]

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