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Custer State Park - Things to do at Custer Park

BY: Travel Lover | Category: Travel | Post Date: 2009-08-20

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Located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Custer State Park is a wild reserve and one of the first and largest state park of South Dakota. It has spectacular landscapes and is home to historical monuments. Custer State Park is also home to a unique collection of meadows, pine trees, historical monuments, ample wildlife and spectacular parkland. Custer State Park houses a wide variety of wild life, the most popular being the free roaming Bison herds which are found in largest number in this part of the world. Some of the other popular wild animals here are elk, pronghorn antelope, deer, wild turkey, donkey, bighorn sheep and mountain goats and more than 200 species of birds. If you are lucky, you might come across some of these wild animals that may stop your way while you are on the Wildlife Loop Road. Don't get scared and just enjoy them while they cross the road. However, do not try to feed them or pat them since they can get dangerous if you do so. The park enables nature lovers to roam around freely amidst nature.

Custer State Park has some of the most incredible rock formations, a drive on Needless Highway enables the visitors to see the towering rock formations. The road goes through several granite tunnels and sharp turns providing a very scenic views, it is also very popular amongst the sightseers and motorcyclists.

Another popular place in the park is Crazy horse memorial which is also known as the fifth face of the black hills of South Dakota. It is here that carvings of the legendary Lakota Chief Crazy Horse were started in 1948, the work still continues and it is estimated that once the carving is complete, it is going to be the largest sculpture of the world. The head of the chief has been completed whereas the horse is still being sculpted. The memorial is dedicated to the American Indians. Tourists can watch the structure being carved. In the visitors complex there is a remarkable collection of American Indian Artifacts at the Indian Museum of North America which is also open to the visitors.

It is a very lively place where the local tribe men also put up little performances including tribal dancing and singing.


For hiking lovers Sylvan Lake Shore, Sunday Gulch, Cathedral Spires and French Creek Natural Area trails are the most popular. Harney peak is also very popular hiking destination since it is the highest peak in the park and offers mesmerizing views of the state from its peak. A complete round trip can take up to a few hours so carry enough water and snacks.

Located in the heart of Black hills, Custer Park is very popular for camping specially during the summers. It is amongst this 71,000 acres of natural beauty that campers are able to discover the renowned treasure of this part of South Dakota. Some of the popular campgrounds within the boundaries of the park are - Sylvan Lake Camp, Game Lodge Campground, Blue Bell Campground and Center Lake Campground. It is always recommended to get your reservations done in advance.

Other outdoor activities at Custer State Park

Other than hiking and camping, there are several other outdoor activities for the tourists at Custer State Park including boating, snowmobiling, fishing, swimming, Kayaking, canoeing horseback riding, mountain biking and rock climbing. Tourists also have the options of renting a bike or taking guided jeep rides to see the bison. There are endless outdoor activities here along with scenic campgrounds and comfortable lodges.

Some of the popular tourist attractions near Custer Park are Mount Rushmore Memorial, Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, Crazy Horse Memorial, and Badlands National Park. The best time to visit the Custer State Park is summer time between May to October but always carry warm clothes since the temperature can fall drastically in the evenings after sun set.

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