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
  • This is a nice little lake in Custer State Park. It isn't natural & you can view the dam area in the back of it by the rocks. The parking lot is large & they built an overflow lot due to the massive a...  more »
  • We spent a nice morning paddling on Sylvan Lake. The lake isn't that big, so this is really a great chance for anyone, regardless of canoeing skills, to get out on the lake. All around you, you can se...  more »
  • What a beautiful place! There is a nice and easy trail that takes you all around the lake (takes about 20 minutes). It is spectacular from every view