“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. Custer State Park also has 9+ campgrounds. Check website https://gfp.sd.gov/csp-campgrounds/
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!!
$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!
Iron Mountain Road and Needles Road were amazing drives to see the scenery!
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.
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.
This is a must stop! We had such a great time traveling through the park. We got up close to burros and buffaloes. Bring a bag of carrots for the burros!
Wow, just a great stop, if you planning to drive through the whole park for the wildlife, plan 2-3 hours for that. Definitely go up to Mt Coolidge, the views are spectacular. Feed the burros, get some good pics of buffalo, and also try a picnic by the river, it's very scenic and soothing.
Drove through on our way to Mount Rushmore. So glad we did. It was so beautiful we saw lots of buffalo. Plan on driving back through on our way home. So worth the extra time, miles and money!
I wish we planned more time to spend in this Park. We did the wildlife tour and Needles highway. Once we got to Sylvan lake we had lunch and played but we could have spent the whole day at the lake! Families were swimming kayaking and playing on the beach.
The bison are amazing and the landscape is everything you would expect and more. Watching people get their cars licked by the bison was amusing, but we were scared off of it by our tour guide at Crazy Horse who said they have been known to break mirrors and windows.
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Custer State Park
- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
Credit Cards Accepted
- State park or forest
- Sites Count
Campground, Parking, Dining, RV Services