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“Awesome time in an Awesome location” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sylvan Rocks Climbing School

Sylvan Rocks Climbing School
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Don't let you Black Hills vacation be boring. Go rock climbing with us! Adventures for ages 5+(with a participating adult). No experience needed. All rock climbing gear is supplied. Join us at Custer State Park, South Dakota. Call for a reservation and we will meet you at Sylvan Lake for your guided rock climbing tour. Locations at Mount Rushmore and Devils Tower, WY for more experienced climbers. Please reserve as far in advance as possible so that we can best plan to serve you.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
66 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Awesome time in an Awesome location”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 5, 2014

We booked this tour almost last minute. I called a couple days before and we were going to do the 6 hour tour but changed our mind to the 4. He said he didn't have anyone else going the day we wanted to go but that he'd call us back if he could make it work. He called us back that day and said we could go.
My boyfriend and I were on this tour with a woman and her three little kids. We did the 4 hour tour due to time and money. It was my second time and my boyfriend's first time climbing outside. We met at Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park. Like they say, bring food or eat ahead of time. The store there eventually opened and we were able to get something before we went but they don't have much. Cheyenne was one of our guides (I can't remember the girl's name who we worked more with). Cheyenne worked more with the little kids and mom while the female (Adrian?) worked with my boyfriend and I. I was glad we had two of them there or we wouldn't have been able to climb as much. They teach you about different ways to climb and let you practice. They will also teach you how to belay (hold the rope) so you can do that while someone else climbs. That was very helpful since there were 6 of us on the tour. The mom belayed her kids and my bf was able to do it for me and for the kids a few times. Since we had a little bit of experience it was pretty easy for us. There were a few times I wanted to stop but they encourage you to keep going and it worked.

The only bad thing I can say is that they don't take American Express. When I asked over the phone if I could pay in cash when I got there I was told I could. When I went to pay he said he charged a $100 deposit to my debit card and that it would be hard to credit it back. I really wanted to pay cash but just left the charge on my debit card to make it easier.

If you want to try rock climbing, go with these guys. Maybe you can even ask for Cheyenne.

Visited May 2014
Thank msu_gurl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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246 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Saratoga Springs, New York
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Devil's Tower Climbing Trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2014

After having other local climbing outfitters flake out, we contacted Sylvan Rocks and got hooked up with as good of a guide as you can get! There are local outfitters, but don't shy away from these guys because of their location...they climb at the Tower all the time! Cheyenne Chaffe is the perfect guide who is continuing to lead and expand his resume and certifications. He's top notch and a very cool dude to boot!
I flew into Rapid City from upstate New York and met my dad there who was traveling that way for the last month. The communication between outfitter and client was top notch. My dad (who is 69) and myself climbed for two days on the tower, topping out on the Durrance Route the second day. We have been taking annual trips and working with new guides each year...We had OK weather and had to go back & forth between rain the first day (we climbed in mid-May), but got in several climbs between and Cheyenne ready to go always...we climbed well into the evening.
We had a great trip, the climbing was a challenge, but the place is amazing.
I would recommend these guys as top choice for any climbing in the area...if they are not available (and only if), go with Frank Sanders, who is a great local dude/climber!
Thanks again guys!!

WARNING: Stay away from Andy Petefish and his whole operation...nightmare!!!

Visited May 2014
1 Thank Pepper W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stisser, Owner at Sylvan Rocks Climbing School, responded to this review, June 4, 2014
Wow...I did not realize your pap was 69. Not bad, but he is going to have to keep it up another few seasons and come back for a rematch if he wants to contend for the record. http://sylvanrocks.com/_blog/SR_Climbing_School_Blog/post/oldest-summit-climber-on-devils-tower/

Congrats on the summit and thanks for the review. Glad it all worked out. As you know found out... the tower is something you gotta want and work for if you plan to enjoy the view from the top!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“Climbing @ Palisades, South Dakota”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2014

Had a most excellent time climbing in Palisades State Park, South Dakota, with our guide Jeff Johnson. Proactive about finding out our skill set, had 3 climbs pre-set for toproping before we arrived, was well prepared, entertaining, encouraging, and educational. Highly recommend Sylvan Rocks, Jeff Johnson, and the experience they offer. While you're at it, pick up a copy of Jeff's book Palisades State Park, A Climbers Guide.

Visited May 2014
Thank Todd M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
“Great Time!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2013

This was our first foray into outdoor climbing and we could not have been more pleased. Daryl could not have been more helpful and he really made sure we got what we wanted out of the experience. We learned a lot and can't wait to come back.

Visited October 2013
Thank Pozepy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“By far the best part of our trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 5, 2013

During our family trip to the Black Hills, we booked the 3 day Devils Tower blitz for the family members who climbed before (our 11, 13, and 16 year old plus dad) and the 2 days with a guide for the ones with very little experience (mom and our 9 year old). Everyone loved it and had the best time! The area is great for climbing at all levels, and Sylan Rocks is fantastic. They supplied all the equipment and our guides/instructors (Tony and Reggie) were excellent. They provided a very safe atmosphere for us, gave great instruction with a lot of encouragement, and were a lot of fun to be with. I am amazed that they could cater to such a diverse group of individuals and ability and ensure everyone had a great time. We all loved it and it was easily the highlight of our trip - and our kids have a fantastic memory for life! I highly recommend climbing with Sylvan Rocks if you are in the area, and trying Devils Tower. Tony and Reggie can make it happen!

Visited August 2013
Thank Lytsk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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