Trip Planner:   USA  /  South Dakota  /  Custer  /  Nature  /  Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake, Custer

(1,200+ reviews on the web)
Water Body Nature / Park
Known as the crown jewel of Custer State Park, Sylvan Lake offers views of the Black Hills that showcase the sweeping pine forest as a backdrop for dramatic rocky outcroppings along the lakeshore. Created in 1881 when Theodore Reder built a dam across Sunday Gulch, the lake offers swimming, paddle boating, fishing, and picnicking, along with access to rock climbing and hiking trails. The lake sits at the base of Harney Peak, the highest point east of the Rocky Mountains; you can use it as a starting point for excursions to the peak and the park's drive along The Needles highway. Film fans may recognize the site, which was featured in the 2007 movie "National Treasure: Book of Secrets." To visit Sylvan Lake on your trip to Custer, use our Custer tour planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Beautiful hiking trails around the lake! Lots of photo-worthy backdrops and a few spots for fishing. Ideal setting for an outdoor wedding on May.  more »
  • There are a number of short trails to hike. Many people were kayaking and wading in the water, but we did not come prepared to do so. It was a busy spot, but seemed peaceful even with many people arou...  more »
  • I stopped here at the end of my sightseeing day, easily found a place to park and walked halfway around the lake and back while the sun was going down. It was a beautiful walk and a nice way to end th...  more »