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.
map
Create a full Custer itinerary

Plan your trip to Custer

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Custer by other users

59 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 38 days in United States BY A USER FROM CANADA September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 22 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA July, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 3 days in Custer BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 36 days in Continental USA BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Continental USA BY A USER FROM IRELAND July, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 19 days in United States BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE August, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in United States & California BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 21 days in United States BY A USER FROM IRELAND June, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 33 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 12 days in South Dakota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • A lovely, picturesque lake with rocks jutting out of the water. It's a great place for a picnic and has an excellent walking trail around the lake. Take time to enjoy watching the birds and the fish j...  more »
  • Has a gift shop. Docks to fish on. Trail around part of lake. Didn't stay at cabin. Just along needles eye road. Saw fish jump. Just walked along gravel path. Pretty.  more »
  • We stopped here for a day of swimming - the water was cold but refreshing in the month of July. My son really enjoyed swimming out to the rocks that jut out of the lake and jumping off. Our dog couldn...  more »