State Parks

Photo © SD Tourism

Custer State Park

/userdocs/Custer State Park

The granite peaks and rolling plains are calling. The clear mountain waters are inviting and the open ranges are waiting to be discovered. Bring your family to Custer State Park and let yourself run wild. 

Encompassing 71,000 acres in the Black Hills, Custer State Park is home to abundant wildlife and adventure; camping, hiking, biking, swimming, fishing, or relaxing, there’s something here for everyone.

Feeding and disturbing park wildlife is against park regulations. While the animals within the park are used to visitors and vehicles, they are still wild animals. Please remain in your vehicle or stay at least 100 yards from bison, elk, and other animals. 

Pets must be on a leash no longer than 10 feet and are not allowed in any park buildings or on designated swim beaches. Please clean up after your pet and do not leave it unattended. Service animals are welcome.

Firearms must be unloaded and cased unless during a hunting season with the proper license. Concealed carry is allowed with the appropriate permit. 

Custer State Park Visitor Center

The new Custer State Park Visitor Center is open year-round is a great start to your adventure. 

See More

Wildlife Station Visitor Center

Take a break from the Wildlife Loop road to appreciate the Wildlife Station Visitor Center.

See More

Peter Norbeck Outdoor Education Center

The Peter Norbeck Outdoor Education Center is a perfect opportunity to catch an educational program or just take the opportunity to play and explore.

See More

Custer State Park Bison Center

Custer State Park encompasses 71,000 acres of rolling prairie hills and stunning granite spires within the Black Hills. It is the crown jewel of the state park system. The park is planning to build a new interpretive, information center in the southern end of the park focused solely on one of the biggest draws to the park, the bison herd. The center would include how the bison are uniquely managed within the park, the history of the herd, the genetics within the herd, and our biggest event each year, the Buffalo Roundup and Auction.

The bison corral complex often sees visitors stopping, trying to understand the complex. Having a center for them to visit will give them a destination and not just a spot to stop and turn around. The Bison Center will attract the buses that frequent the area, as well as the Safari Jeep Tours ran through our concessionaire in the park. There is no better place to tell this story. The most engaging exhibits, centers and programs in the park are ones that could not be located anywhere else; they are a mixture of real places, objects, stories and people. The corrals are very location where our bison story began and continues today.

By creating another piece of the story of Custer State Park, it allows visitors the opportunity to come back and learn more about the park. Visitors often learn that we have bison and that we round them up each year, but this center gives the park the ability to tell much more of that enriched story of our bison herd and will give visitors the opportunity to dive deeper and learn more about the country’s national mammal.

The bison center provides the park a physical location for the story of our bison. This frees up space in our other visitor center and allows the center to tell a broader story of the park. This will provide more encompassing information to our visitors.

Custer State Park has a corral complex within the park boundary that gets utilized twice a year. During the annual Buffalo Roundup and when the park works the entire bison herd to get them ready for Custer State Park’s annual auction, where the park sells a portion of the herd, in November.

The other 10 months of the year, the corral complex sits empty, but visitation to that area is constant. There is car and bus traffic that pulls into the corral complex daily, but visitors have no idea what it is, or why it is in the park.

The bison center would address that need to the park’s 1.9 million visitors each year, explaining how the Custer State Park utilizes the corral area, along with the significance of the bison herd, being one the largest public herd in the North America. This new center would allow the park to tell the story of the bison herd. How Custer State Park actively manages the herd, compared to other public bison herds in the country. Through interpretive displays, the building would also tell the rich history of bison in the park, the story of the annual buffalo roundup, how Custer State Park supplements the private bison industry across North America through the annual auction and how the park works the bison herd in the corral complex and maintains a brucellosis free herd with genetic testing.

This building would be the final piece in helping tell the story of Custer State Park, South Dakota’s oldest and largest State Park. It would attract new visitors to the park, as well as providing a reason for visitors to stay in the park longer, increasing visitation and ensuring the park remains a prominent vacation destination in western South Dakota.

Schematic Designs

Leave a Comment

Share Feedback on the Bison Center

See More

Custer State Park Donation Wall

The memorial bench program at Custer State has been discontinued. In its place, CSP is offering the opportunity to make gifts in honor or in memory of loved ones to help fund park improvements.

The new Tribute Wall is dedicated at the Visitor Center. The Tribute Wall program provides an opportunity to memorialize and honor loved ones, as well as provide support for park projects that will continually enhance our visitor’s experience. 

You may make an honor or memorial gift to this program by completing the Tribute Wall Gift Form and returning it by mail, along with a check made out to Custer State Park, or by calling the park and providing credit card information.

Thank you for your support.

CSP Donation Program Form

See More

Custer State Park Begins F.R.O.G. Campaign

Sewage is used water and wastes discharged by a visitors and collected from the drains of sinks, showers, toilets and laundry facilities and flows into sewer lines, or collection systems, from the drains in homes and businesses. From the sewer lines, it is then transported to a sewage treatment facility.

Sewers back up when sewage collection lines get clogged by items flushed down toilets and drains such as Fats, Rags Oil and Grease (FROG) that get caught in the line and plug it up.  In addition to the costly repairs, sewer back ups are messy, foul-smelling, and pose a serious public health threat. 

Never flush down the toilet or drain

  • Fats, cooking oil or grease
  • Motor oil
  • Disposable diapers and baby wipes
  • Disinfectant wipes 
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Big chunks of garbage
  • Cat litter including “flushable” cat litter
  • Feminine napkins, tampons and applicators
  • Dye (hair /clothing) or tanning solutions
  • Flammable products (lighter fluid, acetone)
  • Acidic and toxic substances

Proper Disposal Tips

  • Throw bulky waste materials in trash.
  • Freeze small amounts of fats, oils and grease in a container with a tight-sealing lid and dispose of in trash.
  • Mix oil with an absorbent material such as coffee grounds, place in a tightly-sealed container and dispose of in trash. 
  • Use a strainer in your sink to catch scraps.
  • Cover drains with fine screen or catch basket. 
See More
Read More About This Park

Activities

  • Biking (on park roads)
  • Biking (on trails)
  • Birdwatching
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical Interest
  • Horseback Riding
  • Interpretive Signs
  • Life Jacket Checkout
  • Museum/Visitor Center
  • Picnicking
  • Snowshoe Checkout
  • Snowshoeing
  • Swimming
  • Walking (on park roads)
Show More

Fees

  • Daily:

    7-Day License: $20 per vehicle | Motorcoach License: $3 per person per visit

  • Annual: $36 first vehicle | $18 second vehicle (with coupon) | $80 transferable license

    Vehicles traveling non-stop through the park on US Hwy 16A do not need an entrance license.

Show More

Park Specs

Open: Year-round. Between Oct. 1 and April 30, showers, flush toilets and other water systems may be closed. Please contact the park directly for current status. Vault toilets usually remain open.

Park Size: 71,000 acres. 9 campgrounds with 341 campsites and 50 camping cabins, horse camp

Directions: GPS can be unreliable in the area. Please refer to a map or call the park office for directions.

Nearest Town: Custer, Rapid City, Hill City, Keystone

Show More

Make Reservations

Make reservation online or call 1.800.710.2267.

Contact Info

Custer State Park
13329 US Highway 16A
Custer, SD 57730
605.255.4515
Email: CusterStatePark@state.sd.us
Show More

Amenities

  • ADA/Accessible Features
  • Biking Trail(s)
  • Boat Ramp(s)
  • Campground(s)
  • Camping Cabin(s)
  • Concessionaire Facility
  • Concessions
  • Drinking Water
  • Dump Station
  • Electrical Campsite(s)
  • Fishing Pier(s)
  • Flush Toilets
  • Group Picnic Shelter(s)
  • Hiking Trail(s)
  • Historical Site(s)
  • Horse Campsite(s)
  • Horse Trail(s)
  • Paved Trail(s)
  • Playground(s)
  • Self-serve Entrance Kiosk(s)
  • Shore Fishing Access
  • Showers
  • Swim Beach(es)
  • Tent-only Campsite(s)
  • TRACK Trail(s)
  • Vault Toilets (open year-round)
  • Visitor Center(s)
  • WiFi
Show More

Park Rating


Resort

Within our 71,000-acre wildlife preserve, four private historic lodges offer restaurants, guided wildlife activities, and modernized cabins or hotel rooms as part of Custer State Park Resort.

Show More

Activities and Programs

Custer State Park is excited to offer a variety of educational programs for all ages through the summer months.

Discover the park your own way.

Open House Weekend Activities May 21-23

Show More

Buffalo Roundup

Feel the thunder and join the herd at the annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup and Arts Festival

Show More

Buffalo Auction

Each November the park holds a buffalo auction as a tool in herd management. 

Show More

Campgrounds

Custer State Park offers 9 campgrounds all with a variety of scenic sites. 

Show More

Hunting

Hunting helps reduce the size of populations, preventing overcrowding with the park.

Show More

Park History

Discover the history and culture of Custer State Park.

Show More

Scenic Drives

All scenic drives are subject to closures depending on weather conditions and other hazards within the park.  Please call the Park Office if you would like to check the status of one of these roads. 

Show More

Sights

The sights throughout Custer State Park offer several unique view points and historic buildings and landmarks. 

Show More

Trails

Throughout the park you will find miles of hiking/biking and horse trails with various terrains and views. 

Show More

ADA / Accessible

  • Camping Cabin(s)
  • Campsite(s)
  • Fishing Pier(s)
  • Flush Toilets
  • Group Picnic Shelter(s)
  • Paved Trail(s)
  • Playground(s)
  • Showers
  • Visitor Center(s)
Show More

GPS Coordinates

Latitude: 43.61433
Longitude: -103.689
Show More

Additional Info

Show More