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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21 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA July, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 46 days in United States BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND June, kids, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, kids, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM IRELAND June, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in South Dakota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 43 days in United States BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 36 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, outdoors, relaxing, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in South Dakota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 19 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, relaxing, beaches, shopping, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, teens, relaxing, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 48 days in United States BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND August, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in South Dakota, Wyoming & Montana BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 21 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 60 days in United States BY A USER FROM SOUTH AFRICA July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Sylvan Lake simply mesmerized me. You can walk all around the lake and watch the group sparkle with quartz. There is some hiking to be done as well. The water was so blue and serene that the rocks had...  more »
  • The general store and cabins surrounding the lake were closed for the season but there were still people walking the path around the lake. It is a beautiful blue lake surrounded by pine trees. The cab...  more »
  • Sylvan is our favorite Lake to visit in the Black Hills. Amazing rocks for the kids to climb on and great trails. Last visit we did Little Devils Tower Spur Trail which is a 3.8 mile out and back trai...  more »