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Sylvan Lake

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Address: Custer, SD
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

Popular lake in Custer State Park.

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,192 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 921
  • 193
    Very good
  • 30
  • 2
  • 2
Beautiful scenery and nice hike around lake

This place was recommended by a friend that lives out there. So glad we took the walk around the lake. Beautiful scenery and an easy hike around the lake. Would have liked to... read more

Reviewed July 18, 2016
Renae J
Fargo, North Dakota

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1,192 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,148: English reviews
Fargo, North Dakota
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2016

This place was recommended by a friend that lives out there. So glad we took the walk around the lake. Beautiful scenery and an easy hike around the lake. Would have liked to stay a little longer and check more of it out, but were on a time schedule.

Thank Renae J
Level Contributor
68 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2016 via mobile

Very beautiful Lake great place to swim can swim out to Big Rock breathtaking views right in Custer State Park but expect a lot of people

Thank jim H
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2016 via mobile

Absolutely gorgeous and a great place to spend a day. The french fries at the restaurant were delicious! After a short snack, we hiked all the way around the lake with an age range of 3 to 66 and everyone did amazing. The scenery is breathtaking and it was great fun for everyone.

Thank Linda L
Canmore, Canada
Level Contributor
31 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2016

Sylvan Lake is a beautiful and sacred place to many Native Americans and Indigenous peoples from Canada. Sadly, like the Black Hills themselves, American tourists have overrun this place the same way Custer and the 7th Cavalry charged into battle. If you want loud screaming children, crazy tourists and ridiculous numbers of people in rented plastic canoes paddling aimlessly, then... More 

1 Thank JanTanton
Lodi, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
127 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2016

What a breathtaking place! This should be a definite stop on anyone's trip to Custer State Park. It's a little bit of a drive from the park proper, but well worth it to see this and also to drive on the Needles Highway.

Thank Jenn S
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
36 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2016 via mobile

We got to the lake around 4:30 after the Wildlife Loop, Needles Hwy., and a great lunch at the Game Lodge. As soon as we arrived (late in the day) I was sad that we didn't have an ENTIRE day to enjoy all the lake activities. There is canoe/Kayak rental available and a great visitor center for ice cream, beer,... More 

2 Thank bootlegger4
Rapid City, South Dakota
Level Contributor
120 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2016

This is our go to place in the Black Hills where we take all of our visitors. The walk around the lake is pretty, and lots of things to look at, and many picture opportunities. The walk is about a mile, and most people can negotiate it. When I had my granddaughter, I just did not take the stroller around... More 

Thank plains16
La Vista, Nebraska, United States
Level Contributor
45 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2016

Starting out at Sylvan is a tradition for us before we take needles highway. We walk around the pristine lake taking time to fish for trout if you have a pole. Just before you reach the spillway you will find a patch of boulders to climb on your left. Climbing these and then scaling the seem between the large rock... More 

Thank Cory J
Maryville, Missouri
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2016

We stopped by Sylvan Lake on a whim, and were so glad we did. A beautiful lake with large rock formations, clear and cold water, and hiking and swimming. Would love to come back with a canoe.

Thank tyeparsons
Ankeny, Iowa
Level Contributor
33 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2016 via mobile

Went here with my two young children (8 & 4) and my parents (in 60's) and we all loved it. The scenery is awesome, great rock settings, several opportunities for novice hikers just wanting a quick fix as well as children. A good hour hike around the lake. Will go back for sure.

Thank speedORcomfort

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