Custer State Park

Custer State Park: Address, Phone Number, Custer State Park Reviews: 5/5

Custer State Park
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About
A 73,000-acre wilderness that draws comparisons to Yellowstone National Park when it comes to spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife.
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< 1 hour
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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5.0
6,060 reviews
Excellent
5,134
Very good
739
Average
131
Poor
30
Terrible
26

JBH
301 contributions
Jul 2021
This is a wonderful park. We can recommend Lake Sylvan, the visitor center and education center, the wildlife loop, and Needles Highway. You can spend days here. We only were able to visit half the sites, in the day we were there. There is an entrance fee for visitors $20 for up to a week.
Written August 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Stephanie A
Allentown, PA4 contributions
Sep 2021 • Friends
Absolutely beautiful park with incredible facilities. Take the time to really explore all of the different portions of this magnificient place. Entry is only $20 for a pass that is good for up to 7 days. Stay on property if you possibly can, or there are a number of places outside the park that are also family friendly.
I had the best luck with the wildlife early in the mornings before the crowds build and roads get busy. Therefore, planning your visit accordingly will help immensely.
The helpful visitors guide (you will receive one from the park attendant) will point you in the direction of the various drives and trails available on the site.
Written September 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jerri L
Johnston, IA1,843 contributions
May 2021 • Couples
Custer State Park has so many amazing sites and trails. We have visited before, but every visit is different. The park fee of $20 for a week is worth it! We spent time around Sylvan Lake hiking. There is a gift shop and restrooms, and you can rent paddle boards or kayaks. There were people fishing and a few brave souls swimming when we were there over a Memorial Day Weekend. The Sylvan Lake trail is 1 mile and is a fun, not too difficult, very scenic hike. There are other longer, more difficult likes nearby. Needles scenic Highway is another great drive! The granite spires are amazing and the views are spectacular! It takes about 45-60 minutes to enjoy. And throughout the park you can glimpse wildlife if you are watching. We saw pronghorn antelope, coyote and bison on our day trip.
Written May 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mary J
33 contributions
May 2022 • Solo
This review is only for Twin/Twin room. I pd $125.00 for this room that didn't even have a table or lamp next to the bed because there wasn't any room. The sheets were the cheapest available; the mattress needed to be replaced; the blanket was so small and scratchy material(disgusting); the coverlet looked like it was an old curtain. The coverings barely covered the bed. There was only one pillow per bed so it was impossible to sit up in bed to read or watch tv. Only one person could watch tv because the other bed had no capacity to see the tv. And of course, you can't read in bed because there is no light. The sink was in the bedroom, not for style, but because there was absolutely no room in the bathroom. The shower was so small and the glass door was broken so it just sort of waved back and forth. Probably dangerous if it fell off the top track. This room (and again I'm not reviewing all the rooms, just the "Twin/Twin" room) is disgusting and a dive. Don't stay here. For the price that the lodge is charging, it should have nice accommodations.
Written May 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Fondue4two
Madison, WI1,106 contributions
Sep 2020
This is one great state park - on par with some of the national parks. I am glad I had done my research so that we allotted enough time to see more than the highlights. The $20 entrance fee for seven days is worth it.

We started with an early morning drive through the wildlife loop where we saw plenty of bison and not much else wildlife. We also drove up to the fire tower on one of the peaks (I forget the name) from here you can see Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse. We then went on a great hike to the Cathedral Spires.

The only downside is that it being a Saturday in mid-September, despite or in spite of Covid, the park was jammed by late afternoon especially at Sylvan Lake and the Needles highway.

We came back on a Monday and drove the Iron Mountain highway which was fun given the tunnels, pig tails, and views of Mount Rushmore. We also stopped in the visitor center where it's friendly staff was helpful. Given it was so hot that day we went on a shady walk at the Badger Hole. It was a bit less crowded on this day.

Two pieces of advice - there is much to do so give yourself multiple days and arrive early in the day to dodge the crowds.
Written October 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ELKW
United States11,496 contributions
Aug 2020
there are 3 scenic drive in the park, the Needle highway (you can see the eye of Needle, and pass through 3 tunnels, and see the pillar rock formations), the Iron Mountain road (you can see the Mt. Rushmore when you drive from South to North, pass through 3 tunnels, 3 pig tails road), and the wildlife loop drive (you can see many bison, and some other animals if you have luck), Besides the scenic drives, there are also several lakes, some of them with spectacular rock formation, you may have some leisure walk along the lake shore, and some lakes have playground or picnic area, sand beach. There are also some historical sites and view points in the park. It is recommended to spend at least a whole full day in the park. Actually, the park admission fee ($20) is valid for 7 days, so you can spend 2 days or more in the park, and this park admission fee is also valid for other state parks, so you can go to more state parks within these 7 days.
Written February 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Patrick F
Louisville, KY34 contributions
May 2022
I hope our visit of Custer State Park is a one-off experience. Our first day visiting we drove the Wildlife Loop which was half closed for some reason. Then on the map we saw the Bison Corral which looked cool but ultimately is still under construction and not open to the public. The frustrating part is that is still listed on the map and the staff didn't inform us that it wasn't open.

The second day we visited we stopped by the visitor center trying to get some advice on where to camp and the visitor center staff, we spoke with couldn't really provide any helpful info. We then went to Little Devil Tower which had conflicting signs whether back county camping was permitted or not. The maps they provide said to camp around the French River area however the visitor center staff said to avoid that area.

Custer State Park is probably great in the summer when its fully staffed and has the staff around with the knowledge that we needed. However, that wasn't our experience this time. We were left trying to work with either dated or wrong information which left a sour taste in our mouth.
Written May 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lara C
4 contributions
Jun 2022 • Friends
I never expected South Dakota to be spectacular! I am now telling anyone who goes to Mount Rushmore to devote at least a half day to simply driving through Custer State Park! I’ve been to a lot of National Parks, and this matches anything I ever saw in the bigger parks! Do not miss the drive through the Needles, which is absolutely amazing. Sylvan Lake is also very pretty. As you go through the park you’ll see forests, prairies, rock formations, wildlife, you name it. And some distant views of Mount Rushmore if you want them! Very much worth the trip!
Written June 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Amanda M
868 contributions
Jul 2020 • Family
Went to the park today. We spent the majority of time around Sylvan Lake which is very crowded.

There are a lot of trails around it and a small beach to swim.

Renting any kayak or canoe is $22 per person per hour.

There is a gift shop and restrooms. Again it’s very busy. Finding parking can be tricky.

We didn’t realize how large the park is. Some of the other lodges and lakes are 20-40 minutes from there. There’s a lot of scenic roads and one way tunnels. Definitely don’t forget your camera!
Written July 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

derrickwg36
Colorado Springs, CO3,426 contributions
Oct 2020 • Family
Custer State Park is a must see if you visit the Rapid City or Black Hills area. The entrance fee is $20 but it covers 7 consecutive days of visits within the park. This park is quite vast, so I highly recommend planning a few days to visit the park. If you enjoy outdoor activities this is the place for you. There are numerous hiking trails with various levels of difficulties, from the novice short trails to the longer hard to maneuver trails. There are also several lakes and several places to fish. Custer State Park is a great place to visit even if you do not want to hike or perform outdoor activities, due to the amazing views and scenery. This is especially a great place to visit with your family and a great place for outdoor activities to involve your children. I highly recommend Custer State Park, you will not be disappointed.
Written October 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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