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“Hike. Paddle. Camp. Run”
Review of Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake
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$249.00*
and up
Custer State Park Safari Jeep Small-Group Tour
Ranked #5 of 39 things to do in Custer
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Popular lake in Custer State Park.
Reviewed July 20, 2013

I've been to Sylvan Lake 3 times and it never disappoints. There are plenty of interesting hikes and the views from Harney Peak are amazing!

This last trip my wife and I rented a small cabin at the Sylvan lake Lodge and we basically stayed in the park for 4 days. I managed to get in about 15 miles of trail running, a few hikes and some stand up paddle boarding on Sylvan Lake. It was a great time! We also decided to do this trip a little less rugged, so we ate at the lodge and had some great elk and bison meals.

This is a 10 hour drive each way for us but still worth it!

1  Thank Adam S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"paddle boats"
in 51 reviews
"national treasure"
in 52 reviews
"harney peak"
in 82 reviews
"easy trail"
in 19 reviews
"rent kayaks"
in 16 reviews
"custer state park"
in 125 reviews
"nice walk"
in 14 reviews
"on the rocks"
in 43 reviews
"general store"
in 45 reviews
"needles highway"
in 96 reviews
"swimming beach"
in 15 reviews
"sunday gulch trail"
in 29 reviews
"nice trail"
in 15 reviews
"black hills"
in 95 reviews
"gift shop"
in 47 reviews
"mile hike"
in 18 reviews
"hiking trails"
in 34 reviews
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Reviewed July 19, 2013 via mobile

You can hike, boat, rock climb, swim or just relax. A great way to spend the day with the family. We packed a picnic and enjoyed a amazing hike then a quick dip in the lack. A great way to spend a day doing free activities,

Thank ST051674
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2013

So much opportunity here as already pointed out, such as: guided rock climbing, watercraft rentals, swimming, and fishing. Simple one mile trail around the lake that mostly anyone could enjoy (not handicapped accessible though). Plus there are trailheads for more difficult hikes, including two we did: Sunday Gulch and Harney Peak. Harney Peak hike was spectacular. Took us about 6 hours with a somewhat reluctant hiking nine-year-old. Spectacular vistas throughout the hike and at the firetower at the summit. Highly recommended.

Sunday Gulch, on the other hand, is a victim of the pine beetle infestation. Beginning of the trail is superfun, ambling down big boulders. This hike would have been great as an out-and-back, stopping at the bottom of the boulders. Instead, we followed the trail, which was very exposed because of the dead trees, and, as a result, h-o-t! Plus, that part of the trail is close to the road and has lots of power lines nearby, Wish we would have skipped that part.

We ended up returning to Sylvan Lake three times on our trip because we were smitten with it!

1  Thank ILoveFerns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2013

What a great place. Just love this little lake with the amazing views. The beach area is fun. The photos don't even begin to do it justice. Just nature at its best.

Thank Robert M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 16, 2013

We planned to Kayak at Sheridan Lake but it was so rough with white caps so we decided to try Sylvan. It was a homerun! The Kayaking was fun tooling around the lake. The lake looked like glass and was just perfect. We also watched people jump from rocks. After we turned in our Kayaks, we also did that. There are countless signs that say $100 fine but we jumped then called it a day. Earlier in the day, we hiked Harney Peak...if you are doing that then this do afterward. Picnics and swimming are exactly what this lake is about, families. If you are bored then you can easily climb rocks without fear and there is a nice trail around the lake. The store there was also stocked with tons of shirts and other items. This place is not a hidden gem so go in knowing there are going to people there.

2  Thank trip_haz_consultant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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