Custer Bucket List Challenge
Written by Dolsee Davenport
June 15, 2020

While we recommend spending several days in the Black Hills and traveling throughout the entire area to see all the sites, the Custer area is where you’ll want to spend the majority of your time.  Downtown Custer is literally minutes from all the major things you came to the Black Hills to see.  Why spend all your time driving when you can spend that time seeing the sites and enjoying yourself?!

Here are a few of the things to do that are either right in Custer or within a few minutes’ drive:

Custer State Park - Home to a large roaming bison herd, this 71,000-acre park features scenic drives, fishing, swimming, hiking, camping and four outstanding resorts in a must-see setting.

Crazy Horse Memorial – This memorial is the world’s largest mountain carving in progress.  Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski & Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear officially started Crazy Horse Memorial June 3, 1948. The Memorial's mission is to honor the culture, tradition & living heritage of North American Indians. 

Four Mile Old West Town - Step back in to yesterday and experience the old west as it really was. 

Pleasant Valley Farm and Cabins - They are engaged in agritourism and welcome everyone to enjoy the Black Hills and their visit to a sustainable farm.  They raise commercial meat goats, pigs, chickens, and other farm animals.

Grizzly Gulch Adventure Golf - 18-hole Mini Golf Course, fun for the whole family!

Scenic Drives within Custer State Park:

Needles Highway
– This 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 the highway.

Iron Mountain Road - 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 – This 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 lion. Two of the most colorful characters along the way are the prairie dogs and a band of the park’s feral burros. 

1881 Courthouse Museum (currently closed due to COVID-19) - Housed in the original Dakota Territory courthouse, the 1881 Courthouse Museum explores the history of the Black Hills and Dakota Territory from 1874 to present day.

For even more fun ideas, check out our Southern Black Hills Adventure Bucket List!

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