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“Beautiful lake” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake
Custer, SD
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Ranked #2 of 20 Attractions in Custer
Type: Bodies of Water, Outdoors
Activities: Fishing
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Attraction details
Owner description: Popular lake in Custer State Park.
2 reviews
“Beautiful lake”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013

After driving through Custer State Park, we took the Needles Highway and stopped at the lake. There are hiking trails, fishing, a gorgeous lodge all on-site. Would absolutely recommend a stop here!

Visited May 2013
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Loveland, Colorado
Top Contributor
215 reviews 215 reviews
77 attraction reviews
Reviews in 78 cities Reviews in 78 cities
875 helpful votes 875 helpful votes
“Sylvan Lake is not to be missed if you are near Custer, S.D.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

It took two tries, but we finally got a good look at this natural and man made marvel. We were doing the usual touristy things in the Black Hills, but Sylvan Lake is a breathtaking site not to be missed if you are in the area.

A huge rock formation and a little help from man has provided one of the most scenic lakes I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing. The relatively small man-made dam is barely distinguishable among the gigantic rocks and the combination of blue water and skies is breathtaking.

This lake is at about 7200 feet, so when we visited the first day it was cold, rainy and very windy, and this was around June 1. Fortunately we returned the next day and were rewarded with blue skies and lighter winds.

Be sure to take the trail around the lake. It is not that difficult and there is only one spot where you have to climb among the rocks, but it is manageable. Don't miss the portion of the rock formation that is man-made, you cannot tell unless you get very close to the base. On the other side, fishermen were pulling in gorgeous looking trout, so the lake is functional. There is also a restaurant on the south side.

Directions are to go through Custer to Highway 89 and then north to the lake. Please be advised that as of June 1, 2013 there is heavy construction with long delays on that highway. An alternate route is to go east off of 16/385 just south of the Mt. Rushmore turnoff. This road is also under construction and very steep and winding, but the payoff is certainly worth it. Once in the area, there is a restroom right by the parking lot.

NOTE: If you visit Custer State Park (the southern part), this area is also located in the Park, so keep your windshield tag because it is good for 7 days. Otherwise you will have to pay.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cozad, Nebraska
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Beautiful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

Stopped here on my bike ride to hill city. This is one beautiful lake. Took some great photos and walked some steep trails. Will return here to do some fishing .

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Decatur, Illinois
Top Contributor
163 reviews 163 reviews
79 attraction reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“great place for a stroll”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

This is a small lake that you can walk around. The walk is very easy and very pretty. This is on the Needles scenic byway. A great place for a break and stretch your legs.

Visited May 2013
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Scarborough
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
54 attraction reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“Very scenic”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

Sylvan Lake is but one small piece of the greater area and though it is very scenic and definately worth visiting, there is so much more to see in the area. When we visited the area was being prepared for a wedding with rows of white folding chairs by the edge of the lake on a perfect sunny day. Lucky couple!

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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