Top 5 Tourist Attractions In Custer, South Dakota

Last Updated on April 16, 2023 by Nikki Jain

Custer is the oldest city in the Black Hills of South Dakota surrounded by many of the Black Hills best attractions including Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Memorial, and so much more. The city was originally named Stonewall in 1875, but was changed to the current name shortly thereafter. Here are the top 5 tourist attractions in Custer, South Dakota.

Things To Do in Custer

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1: Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park is approximately 71,000 acres filled with fabulous granite peaks, open spaces, and numerous wildlife. There are multiple scenic drives inside Custer State Park, including the eighteen-mile Wildlife Loop Road. Visitors should not be surprised when they see a bison or two while visiting the park because at least 1,300 of them are roaming freely. In September, the park holds an Annual Buffalo Roundup, and people can watch the bisons being rounded up and driven to another area.

Address: 13329 U.S. 16A, Custer, SD 57730

Also Read: 25 Best State Parks in the United States

2: Crazy Horse Memorial

Crazy Horse Memorial
Flickr/faunggs photos

The Crazy Horse Memorial was created to honor the culture, tradition, and heritage of the Northern American Indians. Oglala Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear invited sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski to carve the memorial. The carving of the entire memorial is 641 feet long and 563 feet high. However, the carving is still a work in progress, and the dimensions could change as the work continues.

Address: 12151 Ave of the Chiefs, Crazy Horse, SD 57730

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3: Jewel Cave National Monument

Jewel Cave National Monument

The Jewel Cave is the third longest cave in the world, and more than 180 miles of passages can be explored. Multiple tours are available at Jewel Cave, including the Scenic Tour, Discovery Talk, Historic Lantern Tour, and the Wild Cave Tour. Visitors are also encouraged to take a hiking tour during the warmer months to learn about the pine forest surrounding the cave.

Address: Black Hills National Forest, U.S. 16, Custer, SD 57730

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4: Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake is known as the Crown Jewel of Custer State Park, and this lake was created when Theodore Reder constructed a dam over Sunday Gulch back in 1881. Most people will want to go swimming and enjoy a picnic lunch at the lake. However, others will want to enjoy the fantastic rock climbing and hiking opportunities. Sylvan Lake is the best starting point for hikes to the Black Elk Peak and The Needles.

Address: Sylvan Lake, Custer State park, SD

5: Needles Highway Scenic Drive

Needles Highway Scenic Drive
Flickr/Amy Meredith

The Needles Highway Scenic Drive was planned and created by former South Dakota Governor Peter Norbeck, who personally marked the entire road as he rode on horseback and walked the route. This scenic drive was constructed in 1922, and now millions of people can drive along the fourteen-mile road to see views of the mountains, forests, and low-lying meadows. This scenic drive is only open from the spring until the fall, so visitors will want to plan accordingly if they want to venture there to catch a glimpse of the Needle’s Eye, which is a rock formation that was created by wind, rain, and the freezing and thawing of the rain and snow.

Address: Needles Highway, Custer State Park, SD

Also Read: The Most Scenic Drives in the USA

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