Custer State Park
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Oooo, Give me a Home~~~Where the buffalo Roam~~~and the deeeeer and the Antelope Play~~
I always want to sing this song when visiting Custer State Park!

Why we L-O-V-E Custer State Park!

We adore CSP (Custer State Park) and our family gets up there every chance we can in the summer! We think it is one of the most amazing places on the planet, and it can hold it’s own with any other Park in it’s beauty and amenities offered.

Needles Eye Custer State Park

Custer State Park sprawls out over an amazing amount of land at 71,000 acres! Landscape varies from the rolling beauty of the plains, to the rugged, solid granite cathedral spires.

Several scenic drives will take you through the beauty of the rolling plains and through the windy narrow roads that will take you through the majesty of the needles, over old railroad bridges, and through long narrow tunnels. Amazing!

At Custer State Park you can find various activities like hiking, fishing, camping, rock climbing, wild life viewing, horseback riding, swimming, beach lounging,exploring and photography opportunities galore!

The Wildlife at Custer State Park!

Wildlife viewing is a favorite here and one of our favorites is the buffalo herds, many times found right next to the road!

But don't let the buffalos big beautiful brown “doe” eyes fool you, these are mighty and powerful creatures that are very aggressive and can be mean. Stay in your car if they are real close.

One of the things we love about living in this area is the fact that we don’t have much for predatory wildlife. You can camp anywhere without worries of bears, as we have none. We do have Mt Lions, altho they are rarely seen in the Hills. All you really need to watch out for are the rattlesnakes, which again, are out there, but not seen regularly. You make noise and they will do their best to get out of your way before you ever even know they are there.

The Custer State Park "To Do" List!

You can spend several DAYS in Custer State Park and not see everything!

I know, sad but true!

Here is a list of OUR favorites, the list of "Don't Miss" if you are only here for a half day, doing a quick drive thru.

  • Drive the Needles Hwy
  • Stop and feed the Chipmunks (video on right side bar)
  • Drive thru the longggg tunnel and take pics of the Needles Eye
  • Stop at Sylvan Lake, take the 30 minute Sylvan Lake trail around the lake
  • Grab an ice cream cone at the Sylvan Lake General Store
  • Drive the Wildlife Loop Rd. Take bread with you to feed the "beggin" burros
  • Take plenty of pictures of Buffalo on Wildlife Loop Rd
  • Stop in at the Peter Norbeck Center
  • Drive Iron Mountain Rd and experience the beauty of the pig tails. Take a famous picture of Mt. Rushmore thru the tunnel.
  • Relax and enjoy the beauty of the Hills!
Sylvan Lake Custer State Park

Capitalize on our sunshine while you are here!

Go Power! GP-RV-95 95-Watt Solar Kit with 25 Amp Digital Regulator

Longer than half a day to spend here?

Then do all of the above and consider adding:

  • Hike Harney Peak allow 5-6 hrs. (We rate this a 5 on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the hardest. This is a long and strenuous climb)
  • Go on a horseback ride at Bluebell Stables
  • Drive up to see the Mt Coolidge Lookout (recommend!)
  • Hike Little Devils Tower allow 4-5 Hrs. (Rated a 5 by us, this is slightly below Harney Peak Elevation and Harney Peak can be seen from here)
  • Visit the old Badger Clark Homestead
  • Stop at Gordon Stockade for some rich history of the area (Free)
  • Tour Wind Cave
  • Try a guided rock climbing class for beginners (fun!)
  • Hike the Sunday Gulch Trail just to the bottom (when you are out of the gully, where it starts to level out) this is the prettiest and coolest part of the hike. Allow an hour (otherwise about 3 for the whole trail). Rated a 4 on our scale (5 is the hardest and an example of that would be Harney Peak).

Custer State Park Wildlife Watching Continued------->

Related Articles:

Hiking Harney Peak

Secret Caves

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Hi, I am Jo. Welcome!
I have lived and played in the Black Hills all my life. I grew up camping, fishing, hiking, kickin it up at the Motorcycle Rallies and touring our area attractions. I want to show you the locals Black Hills, our secret  places to play, visit and eat! Please stay and browse around, and come back often too, I am always adding new reviews. Thanks for stopping by.

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