United States Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Custer State Park

Jump to last reply

I am in the early planning stages for a trip to the Black Hills. A must for us is Custer, and I was curious as to how many days to allow for this area. Thanks!

  • Report Abuse

    We spent a day but didn't get there till 11:30 because we were moving hotels and checking in (at Hill City). Had lunch at Sylvan Lake Lodge, walked around the lake a few minutes and then drove the Needles Hwy. with a few stops. Went from there to Wildlife Drive since we were mainly there for the animals. After that we stopped by the main VC but didn't stay long since a tour bus had just disgorged a million people. Then drove 16A back to Mt. Rushmore, arriving there about 8:30; this gave us time for a bowl of mediocre chili but not time to get a seat for the evening lighting program. But this was fine because it wasn't too long to stand and we could see fine. (Probably could have found a seat if we'd wanted to try.)

    Custer was something of an afterthought since I hadn't heard of it till hunting something else on this forum, but luckily I had built in an extra day because Custer was our favorite of the SD itinerary. We liked it so much - great animal viewing - that after we went to Wind Cave the next morning, we drove back through Custer on the Wildlife loop and on to Mt. Rush. again on 16A. We had hoped going earlier in the day would give us better views of Rushmore through the tunnels and lookouts on 16A but the atmosphere was a little murky. Nevertheless, that's a nice trip. We got to Rushmore this time about 6PM and had time to walk around the base, see the studio before dark. (Didn't stay for the evening program again, headed back to Hill City for dinner in a restaurant.) This was sufficient for looking around but if you want to take some hikes or do any of the other things in the park, you'd have to cut some of the drives or add time. If we'd had more time, we probably would have gone back for at least half a day. (You can check Days 3 and 4 of my (overly long) trip report from June. ("Sixteen Days in Yellowstone, WY, SD, MT")

  • Report Abuse

    You could do Custer State Park in one day, but if you have time I'd give it two days, possibly a bit more if you work in a cave tour. This will allow you to explore some of the side roads which always lead to nice surprises & views.

    The town of Custer has a few things to do too- the 1880 Courthouse Museum comes to mind. There's also Jewel Cave & Wind Cave National Parks in the area.

2 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

View all United States activity »
  1. 1 Mystery of Death Valley's 'Sailing Stones' Solved | Moving Rocks
  2. 2 Vegas hotels for families
  3. 3 Lake Huron Circle Tour
  4. 4 Scouting trip for possible move to SoCal -- advice on itin, please
  5. 5 best area to stay in san diego
  6. 6 Lake Tahoe to Yosemite: advice needed
  7. 7 East Coast trip including DC, New York and surrounding areas.
  8. 8 San Antonio Hotels
  9. 9 San Francisco-Coventry Inn??
  10. 10 Trip Report Bears and Traps. Our Grand Alaska Sea & Land Tour
  11. 11 Do I need to buy tickets in advance for Chicago Art Institute?
  12. 12 Santa Barbara Itinerary Help Needed
  13. 13 Finally!!! Santa Fe/ Albuquerque Family Christmas Break 2014
  14. 14 Studio-size Apartments, Guest Houses for rent, Ojai and Ventura
  15. 15 Trip Report A weekend in Boston area with Friends (including 2 teenagers)
  16. 16 Two airports to choose from?
  17. 17 Palm Desert California recommendations for dining
  18. 18 Beaufort, NC or Wilmington, NC?
  19. 19 Sonoma and Napa Wine Country - How bad is it after the quake?
  20. 20 San Francisco - mid October
  21. 21 A few NYC questions about 9/11 memorial tours and more.
  22. 22 Key West Dry Tortugas
  23. 23 Trip Report Part Three of an 18 Day RV trip - Seward
  24. 24 Pizza Recs in the Bronx Area
  25. 25 Where to go to hear good Hawaiian Music in Kauai?
View next 25 » Back to the top