Custer State Park
If you are looking for the greatest trails, wildlife and nature preserves, and recreational areas near your Black Hills lodging, Custer State Park is what you are looking for. Located just over 15 minutes away from Keystone and the Roosevelt Inn, Custer State Park preserves the natural beauty of the Black Hills. The park itself consists of two distinct areas: (1) the northern (upper park) which is like a panhandle for the mountainous areas, Needles Highway and the Sylvan Lake area; and (2) the southern (lower park) which includes most of the park facilities and the Wildlife Loop road.
You would be wise to spend at least one full day in Custer State Park. Although famous for having one of the largest buffalo (bison) herds in the US, the park is also home to a wide variety of other wildlife. (Yes, this is where deer and antelope play, along with mountain lions, elk, prairie dogs and wild donkeys.)
The mountainous north is famous for it's spectacular scenery while the rolling hills of the south are home to most of the wildlife. Both the north and south areas have many hiking trails. Northern trails are common route into the Black Elk Wilderness and Harney Peak, the highest point in South Dakota. The south consists of a large (73,000 acre) wildlife reserve which is largely undeveloped except for the Wildlife Loop road that brings visitors right into the wildlife habitat.
The park also has numerous concessions such as the Buffalo Safari Rides and a fly fishing school. Activities are scheduled throughout the summer months. See also sections about the Needles Highway.
Are you looking for Black Hills lodging near Custer State Park? Check out our modern and comfortable rooms that are perfect for families, couples and large groups looking to explore the Hills.