You’ll see the trailhead your left, on the south side of the road. Beautiful trail that takes you behind the Needles and Cathedral Spires on the way to Black Elk Peak. AllTrails has 23 great hiking trails, views trails, wildlife trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. It's a great place to start your hike to Black Elk Peak or begin a hike around the lake for an easier experience. Custer State Park is home to four lakes that are fun for water sports, beach play, fishing and camping. But don’t sleep in or you’ll have to follow Yoda’s advice, “Choose you must.”. There is nothing like tales of Lewis and Clark’s … (Or any day, because buffalo do what they want.) This 2.8 mile-loop and has some moderately strenuous terrain. Highway 89 will be a bit a faster, around 30 minutes. Learn more at [CDATA[ This is one of the most popular hikes in Custer State Park, so expect to see plenty of people. There is a $20/vehicle weekly parking license. The park is open 365 days a year and 24 hours a day. Park License is Required. The loop takes approximately 3 hours, though it can be done in 2.5 hours if you’re motivated and don’t spend half an hour on the perfect Instagram shot. //]]>-->. Eventually, you’ll end up where you started around 5:15 pm. Custer State Park hosts guided snowshoe hikes in late winter and early spring. Users are required to register. You may also notice different birds, including the meadowlark which enjoys the prairie habitat rather than the granite heights. Custer State Park is known, with good reason, as South Dakotas premier family destination. if (document.context) document.write ("&context=" + escape(document.context)); Follow the trail along the through the Custer State Park seasonal housing and join the Creekside Trail where you can turn right and continue back to the State Game Lodge Schoolhouse parking lot. Once again, keep an eye out for buffalo since this area is a favorite hang-out. Snowshoes are available, but you must pre-register. Much of the park's wildlife can be spotted here, including bison, pronghorn, whitetail and mule deer, elk, coyotes, prairie dogs, eagles, hawks and a variety of other birds. Short on time but want to experience varied views and terrain? "From Little Devil's … There are trail offshoots along the trail to Poet's Table, Little Devils Tower, and Cathedral Spires for those looking to add a little more adventure to their hike. She has spent the majority of her career in communications and marketing in the nonprofit sector. State Park: Custer State Park. You’ll also hit a couple more creek crossings and come to Hay Flats. You could head down Needles Highway (Highway 87) to Highway 16, take a left and head toward the Custer State Park Visitor’s Center and State Game Lodge, but this will take about 45 minutes. '':''); Looking for one that are moderate to difficult and are 3-4 hours round trip. But you are riding in the best State Park in the nation. “These hikes are a whole new experience with the sights and sounds of the winter season. First Day Hike. — The Custer State Park Winter Trail Challenge kicked off November 27 and will run through April 5. “The Winter Trail Challenge is a great way to enjoy the trails of Custer State Park,” said Parks Regional Supervisor, Matt Snyder. Trails in the Black Hills National Forest … We stayed in two different campgrounds in Custer State Park. Custer State Park Sylvan Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the Midwest. Expect to see varied plant life on this trail as it’s much more open, not the timber you’ll experience in the first two hikes. And if you happen to need a Band-Aid or a granola bar, she’ll probably have one for you. The annual "First Day Hike" at Custer State Park will take place Wednesday, starting at 1 pm. if (document.MAX_used != ',') document.write ("&exclude=" + document.MAX_used); Winters bring out the best of Custer State Park. You’ve definitely earned a burger and beer! Skip to Content ... Now and then, we can reach as high as 50 degrees or more at the State Game Lodge, offering brisk but enjoyable winter hikes and peaceful opportunities for wildlife watching. ... Top Family Destination in SD. United States - Hikes in Custer National Park - Any recommendations for hikes in Custer Nat'l Park? © Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association. Longitude, -103.4. Custer State Park was named one of the best family destinations in South Dakota by MSN. Custer State Park has two visitor centers that are open every day except Thanksgiving, December 25 and Easter. There are 14 moderate trails in Custer State Park ranging from 1 to 12.8 miles and from 3,727 to 7,221 feet above sea level. After that initial climb, the terrain levels off a bit. Long pants are also a good idea, unless you enjoy scratching. Dogs on leashes are okay, but be prepared to carry your dog at the start of the hike, as there are many areas that they need to jump down from. The park offers excelle… var m3_u = (location.protocol=='https:'? Also, at times you’ll hear Needles Highway but you can’t see it. Please dress for the weather. #9 - Custer State Park Wildlife Scenic Byway. When she’s not pursuing outdoor activities, she enjoys writing about the outdoors, reading and hanging out with her family and two dogs. There are through highways crossing Custer State Park, so you can actually see some of its sights from the road without a park pass. In spring or in wet years, there can be water running over the trail, so it prepare for wet feet or bring a pair of sandals for this initial section. Custer State Park, Rapid City, South Dakota This is the 1st detailed post from our baby/family friendly road trip post the other week. Any other time, … 94 reviews. You can also see the remains of the Galena Fire from the late 1980s. The park is also beautiful and offers many opportunities to camp, fish, and view wildlife. Trail also offers a few great views of Black Elk Peak along the way. Eventually, you’ll end up where you started around 5:15 pm. With a variety of family activities, there's plenty for everyone to enjoy during a family reunion, weekend trip, or summer road trip.. A Custer State Park pass is required for entrance into the park. For the last eight years she has called Custer area home, living just minutes from Custer State Park and the Peter Norbeck Wildlife Refuge. Locals have known about Devil’s Bathtub for quite some time, and usually do their best to keep Spearfish Canyon’s best… At the start there is a very rocky downward hike, the park service has provided handrails as you would likely struggle to climb down without them. For current information and to register, call the Park Office. These trails begin in Custer State Park and enter the Black Hills National Forest and Black Elk Wilderness on their way to the summit. CUSTER STATE PARK, S.D. Black Elk Peak offers a gorgeous 4 State view (South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Nebraska) on a clear day and is the tallest mountain peak in South Dakota and the tallest peak east of the Rocky Mountains and west of the Pyrenees Mountains in France. Driving times may vary based on traffic in the park. Immediately, you’ll cross a small creek where you may get wet feet in the spring. Little Devils Tower trail. More than 1.5 million visitors visit Custer State Park each year. As you hike, expect to go through a couple of gates in the buffalo fence. Directions. document.write ("<\/scr"+"ipt>"); Custer State Park is a truly wild place where a herd of 1300 bison and other wildlife roam free and bikers, hikers, and cars share the roads with these magnificent beasts. Besides the designated trails described below, hiking is allowed anywhere in Custer State Park. This part is beautiful with the water running along the trail. if (document.referrer) document.write ("&referer=" + escape(document.referrer)); Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time! From Lovers’ Leap, head east on Highway 16 about one mile. Several of these trails are shared by hikers, horse riders and mountain bikers. #8 - Black Elk Peak via Little Devils Tower Trailhead. Driving times may vary based on traffic in the park. From Custer, take U.S. Highway 16A east to enter Custer State Park. Location: Custer State Park Visitor Center. Keep an eye out for her and her Rhodesian Ridgeback on the trails in the Southern Hills. All Rights Reserved. CALL BEFORE YOU RIDE. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time! The Centennial Trail is marked with gray diamonds and brown fi berglass posts. Families enjoy buffalo safari tours, chuck wagon cookouts, and trail rides.. MSN said the following about Custer State Park: If you want the overview, head over there ! Looking for a great trail in Custer State Park, South Dakota? This lake i… Just after the Coolidge General Store, turn left to park at the south end of the lot for the nature center. Black Elk Peak via Little Devils Tower Trailhead. Good views. Enter to win a $500 travel voucher to customize your perfect vacation to the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota. The town of Custer may not seem like much, however, this small town in South Dakota is an excellent base for anyone who want to explore the Black Hills National Forest of the United States and the surrounding region. You’ve definitely earned a burger and beer! document.write ("&loc=" + escape(window.location)); Please be polite to all that you meet and pay attention to postings due to natural resource management concerns. This trail, which is a little more than a mile long, can become very busy during the summer. You’ll get a short hike along the Sylvan Lake trail as you head to the trailhead behind the dam. The area is also home to some of the best things to do and attractions in the state, such as the Jewel Cave National Monument, Custer State Park, the Needles, the 1881 … The Custer State Park Winter Trail Challenge kicks off today, Nov. 27 and will run through April 5. “The Winter Trail Challenge is a great way to enjoy the trails of Custer State Park,” said Matt Snyder, Parks Regional Supervisor. Custer State Park is a beautiful Place and a wonderful spot for a family vacation. Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association(605) 355-3700 (Information Center)(888) 945-7676 (Booking Information). Also at the top of the ridge, you’ll see that famous sign inviting you to sit on a log and get your sanity back, but don’t sit too long—you’re on a schedule. You’ll also hit a couple more creek crossings and come to Hay Flats. For a Custer State Park trails, click here. Gavin’s Point Nature Trail // Lewis and Clark Lake. GPS Directions: Custer State Park 13329 US HWY 16A Custer, SD 57730 Latitude, 43.760274. Skip the long hike up Black Elk Peak and bag these three shorter hikes in one day. Once at the trailhead, descend down into the gulch over boulders; these can be slick even when dry, but there are handrails. Start your year off right with a hike! You can walk along the trail back to the trailhead and be back at your car around 2:15 pm. if (document.mmm_fo) document.write ("&mmm_fo=1"); Hustle back to the parking lot and head down Highway 89, Sylvan Lake Road, to Highway 16 and take a left. After you cross the last crossing, you’ll come out along the Creekside Trail near the Grace Coolidge Store. The first was at Legion Lake. Lydia Austin is the Interpretive Programs Manager at Custer State Park and says the hike is family … document.write (document.charset ? if (!document.MAX_used) document.MAX_used = ','; Also, to save time, use the facilities at Sylvan Lake. Bagley is a native South Dakotan who has lived in the Black Hills for more years than she cares to admit. Watch for buffalo again, as they are known to hang near the creek on hot days. document.write ('&cb=' + m3_r); In wet years, prepare for wet feet; however, sandals aren’t recommended because there is an abundance of poison ivy. '&charset='+document.charset : (document.characterSet ? There are 14 moderate trails in Custer State Park ranging from 1.6 to 20.6 km and from 1,136 to 2,201 meters above sea level. January 1, 2021 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM. Eventually you'll come to a gap in the trees that gives a good look at the overlook from below. Sunday Gulch – 7:30 a.m. Start in the morning at Sunday Gulch, which is located at Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park. Ready for some activity?