10 Things to know about the Buffalo Roundup
Written by Marcus Heerdt
September 23, 2019

This year is the 54th Anniversary of the Governor’s Buffalo Roundup at Custer State Park in South Dakota. The event will take place this year from September 26-28, with the actual buffalo being rounded up on Friday, September 27.

The American Bison once faced extinction, but currently number about 500,000 and can be found all across North America. Custer State Park is home to over 1,000 bison. Every year, the herd is rounded up and sent into the corrals for a count. Hundreds of bison are then auctioned off, with the remaining bison released back into the park.

What visitors need to know about the Buffalo Roundup:

  1. There are two viewing areas: North and South

  2. North and South Viewing Areas have their own parking lots

  3. Bring folding chairs, cameras, binoculars, layered clothing, rain gear, water, snacks, and sunscreen

  4. Parking lots open at 6:15 a.m.

  5. Parking lots close at 9 a.m.

  6. The roundup will begin at 9:30 a.m.

  7. No drones are allowed

  8. All vehicles must exit the same way they entered

  9. Driving campers and RV’s to the event is discouraged

  10. Leaving your pet at home is a good idea

The three-day event also has an arts festival, a pancake breakfast, and a BBQ cookoff.

Kobee Stalder is the Visitor Services Program Manager at Custer State Park. He says, “Each year, the Custer State Park staff works diligently to ensure the thousands of spectators from around the world enjoy this one-of-a-kind event in Custer State Park. It is truly amazing to view the park’s 1,400 bison thunder past you as horseback riders push them across the prairie to our corrals. It is as is you travel back in time to witness the Old West come alive. Though it primarily is a herd management tool, the roundup is something everyone in your family will enjoy. The roundup, along with our three-day arts festival with more than 100 arts and craft exhibitors means that there will be no shortage of entertainment this year. We hope you see you out in the park this weekend!"

If you are not tired after all of this, participate in the hike to the top of Crazy Horse on Sunday, September 29! This 6.2-mile round trip takes you to the top of the world’s largest mountain carving!

Photos by: Kobee Stalder/Custer State Park

Helpful Links

Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup: https://gfp.sd.gov/buffalo-roundup/

Crazy Horse Volksmarch: https://crazyhorsememorial.org/visit/special-events/volksmarch

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