Custer Travel Guide

  • Custer
    by Dymphna1
  • Custer
    by 807Wheaton
  • Things to Do
    by Dymphna1

Custer Things to Do

  • Four Mile Old West Town

    This place is affordable. It is only $4.00 per person and comes with a tape recorder as to what you are looking at as you go through it. It is built in the site of an old city where there was also a fort at one time. It get's it's name from the fact that this watering whole is 4 miles from Custer. There is a great deal of history on the tape and to...

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  • The Norbeck Highway

    This was another great daytrip we enjoyed while staying in Custer. We drove to Keystone for lunch and then started our scenic drive where we encountered a huge herd of buffalo in the road - they would not move! The cars had to drive carefully around them. Three males were fighting. We thought maybe they were part of a herd we had seen yesterday...

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  • See Mount Rushmore in the morning

    We got that tip before we visited Mount Rushmore. We got there about 11 AM which was a good time tio view it because the sun is shining on it. As the day goes on, the face profiles get shadows on them and they are not so clear. We read the information about the project and saw the video here. There is no charge so get into the park, but they charge...

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  • Crazy Horse

    My husband enjoyed this stop better than Mount Rushmore. We saw a video before we viewed the other areas. We were able to tour the home of the sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski. He was born in Boston 6 September 1908 and was orphaned at age one. He grew up in foster homes. He never took a formal lesson in art, sculpture, architecture or engineering. He...

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  • Sylvan Lake

    Perhaps one of the most beautiful lakes in South Dakota, Sylvan Lake offers spectacular recreational opportunities with a serene ambiance. The lake is nestled at the base of Harney Peak, and surrounded by impressive rounded rock formations and ponderosa pine trees. The unique rock formations surrounding the lake were formed in the same manner as...

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  • Custer State Park

    The Park Rangers were so knowledgeable & informative we were impressed. They shared maps and specific directions of where to locate each animal. We found ourselves surrounded by a herd of bison, in a praire dog community, feeding a burro, very close to deer & antelopes. It was a wonderful time!Park open daily 24 hours. Park headquarters open...

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  • Crazy Horse Memorial Indian Museum

    Admission was $10.00 and another $4.00 was for the bus to take us near the monument.Tribute to the Native Americans. Memorial incl. world's largest mountain carving in progress. 17 mi. from Mt. Rushmore. Family attraction open year round Native Artists, Museum gift shop. Many special events. Restaurant open mid May–Oct. Fun for kidsCrazy Horse...

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  • Needles Highway Scenic Drive

    We stopped along Needles Highway Scenic Drive to take photographs of the scenery and animals. We got out climbing the rocks and viewing scenery from varied vantage points. The 14 mile route threads through the oddly shaped, weathered granite spires from which the highway derives its name. Several hairpin curves are encountered, as are narrow...

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  • 1881 Custer County Courthouse Museum

    Summer hours are 9 AM until 8:00 PM Monday to Saturday and 1 to 8 on Sundays.Admission was $5.00 per adult. Custer County 1881 Courthouse Museum was constructed 8 years before South Dakota became a state, served as the county courthouse until 1973. Displays include American Indian artifacts, photographs from Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer’s 1874...

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  • Crazy Horse Monument

    The pharoahs would be proud of this gargantuan project to create the world's largest sculpture as a memorial to the proud warrior who epitomized Native American culture and life on the frontier. "Make no small plans" - indeed!Actually, the artistic monument is only one part of an ambitious overall scheme. If all goes according to plan, eventually...

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  • Mount Rushmore, of course.

    I have a lot info about Mt. Rushmore on my Custer page, see that, but please, visit Mt. Rushmore if you happen to be in the area!

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  • Borglum Bust

    At Mount Rushmore National Park is this bust of Gutzon Borglum. It is facing the Monument. Probably so Borglum, in effigy, can admire his work in perpetuum. It is on the main mall to the entrance to the monument observation area. Because the bust is facing the monument, one may walk past at first without noticing it. I noticed the monument and it...

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  • Bison watching

    One of the larger herds of Buffalo or American Bison inhabit Custer State Park. If you take a drive on the wildlife loop road through the park, you have an excellent chance of seeing not only bison, but mule deer, burros and bighorn sheep as well. Remember that these animals may be accustomed to humans, but they are definitely not tame, and unless...

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  • Fishing in the many lakes...

    Fishing in the many lakes around Crazy Horse. I recommend visiting this bait shop in Custer for both the juicy worms and the interesting decor.

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  • Here is a shot of me with my...

    Here is a shot of me with my mountain bike at the Iron Creek Trailhead of the Centennial Trail which runs through Custer State Park. It is an excellent place to ride.

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Custer Hotels

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Custer Restaurants

  • Maybe for Sandwiches

    Western themed pub & grill on Main Street in downtown Custer. Service was good, restaurant was clean. Taco salad was acceptable. I ordered an appetizer "Bucket o' Bones" lb. of ribs for $7.99. There were 4 huge ribs with meat & fat falling off. It was incredibly fatty & greasy. Funny, management is Russian. Later, we heard from townspeople that...

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  • Historic yet packed with buses

    We had 6:45 dinner reservations and were seated near the noisey door of the historic restaurant. Our room had photographs of the Eisenhower's at the State Game Lodge, but ambiance was wood paneling ...The bread was good and our salads came promptly. We then waited over an hour for dinner. While we were waiting very noisy tour groups came in and...

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  • Bavaria in South Dakota

    The Bavarian Inn Restraurant is adjacent to the Motel, but not connected. It was large, had a nice view of the hills from the main dining area. I had two meals there, lunch and dinner. They were both very good!They have a German-American menu. There had Erdinger Kristalweiss on tap when I was there, they got viele brownie points for that! I can't...

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  • Best food in the Black Hills

    The food is so good that you will not believe you are in a really tiny town. This is a destination cafe, so if you are even thinking about going to the Black Hills, put this place on your map. There is no restaurant within at least 500 miles that can come close. Pheasant-stuffed ravioli? Offerings change with the seasons, and I've only ever been...

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  • Laughing Water Restaurant

    The restaurant at the monument is reasonably priced and the food is good. We enjoyed having pie and coffee after wandering around the museum. homemade pie, sandwiches, or ice cream

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  • Wrangler in Custer

    This place is your typical greasy spoon (old, coffee drinking, smoking men included) but it had suprisingly good breakfasts. breakfast - the Country Hash was wonderful and my husband enjoyed the buffalo sausage.

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Custer Transportation

  • Crazy Horse to/from Mount Rushmore

    Crazy Horse is located on Highway 16. From Crazy Horse, travel North on Highway 16 until you get to 244. If turn right onto 244, you'll be taken to Mount Rushmore! That's not too hard. From Mount Rushmore, just travel on 244 until you come across Highway 16. Travel South on Highway 16 to get to Crazy Horse!

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  • Crazy Horse Mountain Monument...

    Crazy Horse Mountain Monument is located on US Highway 16, six miles north of Custer, South Dakota. It is about 20 miles south of Mount Rushmore National Park, but in peak summer months the heavy traffic will make it a long ride. Admission: Native Americans free; everyone else over 6-years old US$7; carloads are let in for US$17.

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  • Custer Hotels

    18 Hotels in Custer

Custer Warnings and Dangers

  • 807Wheaton's Profile Photo

    by 807Wheaton Written May 31, 2010

    We have never in our travels seen such an abundance of wildlife. This time we were not disappointed. We were able to see these creatures up close - but kept our safe distance.
    Be careful driving the twists and turns here, and drive slowly - they can be right around a curve, just standing there, and they are in no hurry! Neither were we. We had traveled too far to rush through this.

    Herds of bison Why did the bison cross the road? So we can take pictures! First encounter of bison in Custer State Park
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Seniors

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Custer Tourist Traps

  • erikajj's Profile Photo

    by erikajj Written Oct 4, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Oh, the state is full of them and they are just everywhere in the Black Hills. In my opinion, anything with 'Ranch' or 'Chief' in its name, excluding the Chief Crazy Horse Monument, is a tourist trap. Stick with the national and state parks and the major monuments.

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Custer What to Pack

  • Packing List

    Camping Please see my camping list on my South Dakota page. All I will add is that it was VERY CHILLY AT NIGHT. We wore several layers of clothes and zipped together the sleeping bags.

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  • Packing List

    A backpack or a lumbar pack with water-carrying capacity if a good idea in summer. The weather in summer is generally very warm during the day and pleasantly cool at night. The Black Hills do experience sudden thunderstorms, so some kind of rain gear is a good idea, even if it is the $1.99 rain poncho from a convenience store. I would bring some...

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Custer Favorites

  • time of year

    If you are thinking about coming to the Black Hills of South Dakota, Then June or July is the Time. Usually you can get reservations at most hotel/motel, bed and breakfasts. If you choose to wait until august, there may not be any accomodations. You see there is a motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota the second week in august, so almost all of...

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  • unbelievable view

    In Custer State Park, There is a road that goes up Mt. Coolidge to the fire tower. It's made of granite and the view is amazing! Fishing at Stockade lake.

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  • Go to Custer State Park. The...

    Go to Custer State Park. The scenery and the wildlife are worth it. Sylvan Lake is one of the trailheads fora hike to Harney peak, the highest in South Dakota andthe highest between the Rockies and the Pyrenees. If you drive the Needles Scenic Highway through the park,you will be awed not only by the granite spires, but bythe feat of engineering it...

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