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

Sylvan Lake, Custer

(4.8/5 based on 1,100+ reviews on the web)
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
  • Sylvan Lake is a wonderful place for a picnic or a hike. The Sunday Gulch hike is my favorite. It is also the beginning for a hike up Harney peak. 
  • Lots of places to explore, if you follow the path some think it just ends but there are hidden walkways you can take, just have to be a little adventurous. Some of the hidden sights felt like Indiana ...  more »
  • This is in Custer State Park, there is a car park and plenty of paths to walk on, these are easy to walk on