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Places Welcoming You

gs logo Chris' Camp & RV Park
Spearfish, South Dakota
gs logo Beaver Lake Campground
Custer, South Dakota
gs logo Oasis Campground
Chamberlain, South Dakota


Mere minutes from unforgettable outdoor adventure, the small town of Custer is the perfect jumping-off point for exploring one of the country’s last truly wild places—  the Black Hills National Forest. Spanning over a million acres of wilderness, the park overflows with extraordinary vistas, stunning wildlife and historical treasures, many of which can be explored by foot, bike or from the comfort of your car. From the highest peak east of the Rockies to limestone caves that run for miles underground, surprises abound in this one-of-a-kind American landscape.

Fab Four

Sometimes called the “Shrine of Democracy,” Mount Rushmore has been wowing visitors since the early 1940s. Featuring the faces of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln, the imposing edifice required more than 400 laborers spanning 14 years to carve the 60-foot-tall faces, from 1927 to 1941. Although the monument was never truly completed, it stands as one of the most astonishing examples of sculpture in the world. For a close-up view, try the half-mile Presidential Trail, which loops around the base of the mountain.

A herd of buffalos crossing the streets

Crazy Statue

Fifteen miles away, the largest mountain carving still in progress, the Crazy Horse Memorial, honors the legacy of Native American culture and tradition. See the on-site Indian Museum of North America for more insight into the work, as well as artifacts and educational experiences. Comprehend a different side of the landscape with a visit to Jewel Cave National Monument, the world’s third longest underground cave system. Don’t skip on a guided tour of the site’s otherworldly crystalline formations.

Reelin’ ‘em In

Renowned for their small-stream fishing, the Black Hills are home to an endless supply of picturesque and plentiful water. Rapid Creek below the Pactola Reservoir offers excellent trout fishing, while the reservoir itself has 14 miles of available shoreline for fishing and swimming. Horsethief and Sheridan Lakes are top-notch hot spots for bass, pike and perch, while Sheridan Creek might be the most scenic locale in the entire region for rainbow trout. Adventurous anglers should head to the “Narrows” section of French Creek for some of the most beautiful and rugged fly-fishing in the country.

A herd of buffalos in front of a car

Fun on Land

Custer State Park is one of the true gems of the West, and visitors should take their time exploring everything it has to offer. Billed as one of the “World’s Top Ten Wildlife Destinations,” the 18-mile Wildlife Loop Road is the best way to experience firsthand the massive herd of 1,300 bison that roam the landscape. Lucky visitors can also see antelope, bighorn sheep, coyotes, prairie dogs and more along the way. Keep snacks on hand for the “beggin’ burros” who hound drivers for morsels.

Rocky Roads

Hot spots like the Needles Highway and Sylvan Lake are great for hikes, as is Black Elk Peak, the tallest mountain east of the Rockies. Try the three-mile Prairie Trail loop or the 1.5-mile Cathedral Spires Trail for stunning views and more wildlife viewing. Mountain bikers conquering a stretch of the 109-mile Mickelson Trail will be rewarded with converted railroad bridges, rolling hills and vast panoramas. For more, try Wind Cave National Park or the famed Badlands National Park east of town.

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South Dakota Department of Tourism