Custer State Park

Encompassing 71,000 acres in the Black Hills, Custer State Park is home to abundant wildlife and adventure; camping, hiking, biking, swimming, fishing, or relaxing, there’s something here for everyone.



TEMPORARY ENTRANCE LICENSE - $20/vehicle (1-7 consecutive days)




Custer State Park offers a variety of camping opportunities as well as modern lodging. The park has 9 campgrounds all with a variety of scenic sties. All camping requires a reservation which can be made by visiting or calling 1.800.710.2267

The park is also home to four private historic lodges which offer restaurants, guided wildlife activities, and modernized cabins or hotel rooms as part of Custer State Park Resort. More information can be found at



Custer State Park is one of the few places in the world to see an abundance of wildlife in their natural habitat. Visitors may encounter a variety of wildlife throughout the park’s 71,000 acres, including along trails, in the campgrounds, and beside the road. Wildlife Loop Road is particularly known for its common sightings of buffalo, pronghorn, and prairie dogs, but keep an eye out for white-tailed and mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep, and a host of birds and smaller wildlife as well. For the best results, travel the loop during the early morning or later in the evening when wildlife are most active.



Needles Highway (SD Hwy 87 North)

Distance: 14 miles


Needles Eye Tunnel (Near Needle's Eye), 8' 9" wide by 9’8" high;

Iron Creek Tunnel, 8' 9" wide by 10’10” high.

The Needles Highway is a spectacular drive through ponderosa pine and Black Hills spruce forests, meadows surrounded by birch and aspen, and rugged granite mountains.

The road's name comes from the needle-like granite formations, which seem to pierce the horizon along


Iron Mountain Road

Distance: 17 miles

Expected travel time: 60+ minutes


Doane Robinson Tunnel, 12' 0" wide by 11' 4" high;

C.C. Gideon Tunnel, 11' 6" wide by 10' 9" high;

Scovel Johnson Tunnel, 10' 9" wide by 11' 0" high.

The Iron Mountain Road is a work of art in itself. The highway connects Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore National Memorial and passes through some of the most beautiful scenery in the Black Hills, including three tunnels that frame Mount Rushmore in the distance. The road is famous for the "Pigtail Bridges" that allow travelers to drop or gain altitude quickly.


Wildlife Loop Road

Distance: 18 miles

Expected travel time: 1 hour 30 minutes—travel time is dependent on “wildlife jams”.

Wildlife Loop Road twists and turns its way through the prairie and ponderosa pine-studded hills that harbor many of the park's wildlife species. On most days, guests will come face to face with the number one inhabitant of the park, 1,350 free roaming buffalo. White-tailed deer, mule deer, and elk are most visible early in the morning and late in the afternoon; if you're lucky, you may see big horn sheep, burrowing owls, coyotes, or even a mountain lions. Two of the most colorful characters along the way are the prairie dogs and a band of the park’s feral burros.

When to travel: The best time to view animals along the Wildlife Loop Road is early morning or late in the evening, just before sunset.  The road is open year-round but does require careful driving during winter conditions.



The sights throughout Custer State Park offer several unique viewpoints and historic buildings and landmarks. You will also find miles of trails to explore and discover. The park is home to 4 lakes, numerous fishing streams as well as the historic Black Hills Playhouse. There is something for everyone at Custer State Park.  

Make sure to visit the park website or call for more information on these activities.


13329 US Hwy 16A, Custer
Visit the website


615 Washington Street
Custer, SD 57730



M-F  8am-5pm                                       

Sat   Closed
Sun  Closed

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