Picture Yourself — in Custer State Park | Black Hills Travel Blog

Picture Yourself — in Custer State Park

  • Picture Yourself — in Custer State Park
    Picture Yourself — in Custer State Park
Monday, May 15, 2023
By : 
Custer State Park

Custer State Park, located in beautiful South Dakota, is a nature lover's paradise. Spanning over 71,000 acres of rugged granite peaks, pine-covered hillsides, and clear blue lakes, the park offers breathtaking views of the Black Hills. It's not just the stunning views that make this park a must-visit, but also the diverse wildlife population that graze the hills. It truly is where the buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope play.  

There are plenty of activities to indulge in. While you're hiking, fishing, camping and wildlife watching, take the opportunity to capture the essence of this special place by snapping the perfect photo.  Allow us to lead you to various spots within the park where you can capture envy-inducing photos that will leave your friends in awe. Grab your camera, and let's get started!

Wildlife Loop

Looking for a place to experience abundant wildlife while snapping some breathtaking photos? Look no further than Custer State Park's incredible Wildlife Loop! This 18-mile stretch takes you through lush grasslands and rolling hills that are home to a variety of animals such as bison (or buffalo - same animal), pronghorn antelope, deer, elk, coyotes, and even burros. Keep your cameras ready, as the diverse and stunning landscape changes with every twist and turn, making for the perfect backdrop to your next Instagram-worthy post. Don't forget to snap a shot with the colorful wildflowers and prairie grasses. Look up to spot rare birds like eagles and hawks that frequent this area.


Custer State Park offers some of the best trails that will make your heart sing. Scamper over boulders in Sunday Gulch near Sylvan Lake, soak in the beauty of nature by taking a stroll through the Ponderosa pines along Lover's Leap, or enjoy a lazy walk while admiring the serene waters of Stockade Lake. For all the hikers and budding photographers out there, the Black Hills are the perfect destination, offering you an unparalleled opportunity to capture some incredible shots that you will cherish forever!

Lakes & Water Activities

Custer State Park has many tranquil lakes as well as ones to swim and be playful in. Lounge by a lake's peaceful, picturesque setting, surrounded by the stunning Black Hills landscape, or take a dip in the crystal-clear water to cool down on a hot summer day. Cast a line to feel the thrill of catching fish (with a valid fishing license) or enjoy paddle boating, kayaking or canoeing as you glide over any of the four lakes. The waters of Custer State Park offer an opportunity to create unforgettable memories and capture stunning photos.

Scenic Drives

As you gaze through your camera lens, you'll view world-renowned beauty that will make you want to stop and snap away. Did you know that the Needles, a series of granite spires that reach up to 40 feet high, are some of the most photographed landmarks in the park?  These extraordinary rock formations, accompanied by breathtaking vistas along Iron Mountain Road, featuring its captivating pig-tail bridges and tunnels that frame Mount Rushmore, will entice you to stop and capture countless photos, filling your cloud storage to the brim. So, take your time, enjoy the drive, and document the beauty of the Hills through your photography.

Rock Climbing

Gear up for your climbing adventure in Custer State Park and bring your camera! The granite formations provide an epic backdrop for your ascent. Prepare to be amazed by stunning views as the valley shrinks below and the vast horizon stretches beyond. An exhilarating ascent will send your adrenaline surging as you climb higher and higher. Upon reaching the summit, you'll be left breathless by the awe-inspiring beauty that lies below and surrounds you. Seize the beauty of the moment with extraordinary, one-of-a-kind photos that only a fortunate few will have the opportunity to capture. With its endless supply of world-class granite, this is the perfect destination for climbers of all levels looking for a thrilling challenge. Don't miss your chance to climb in Custer State Park, where adventure and beauty collide.

If you're seeking awe-inspiring wildlife, breathtaking scenic drives, captivating trails, invigorating water activities, and exhilarating rock climbing, then look no further than Custer State Park in the enchanting Black Hills of South Dakota. Prepare your bags, secure your camera, and picture yourself embarking on an unforgettable photo adventure in this extraordinary destination! Visit the park's website for activities and lodging information.