At 5,318 feet above sea level, Custer is a natural playground for anyone who loves to hike. You’ll find a variety of easy to strenuous climbs that offer breathtaking views of the Black Hills. Wander along mountain lakes, through rolling prairies and up forested mountain peaks as you explore the natural beauty of western South Dakota.
Trail maps can be obtained at the Peter Norbeck Visitors Center or by visiting the Custer State Park website.
Recommended Hikes Near Custer
Badger Clark Historic Trail (1 mile loop)
This short trail winds behind the historic cabin of South Dakota’s first poet laureate.
Cathedral Spires Trail (1.5 miles one-way):
Trek through ponderosa pines on this moderate to strenuous trail.
George S. Mickelson Trail (109 miles):
Hikers will find gentle slopes, low grades and over 100 converted railroad bridges on this converted railroad line.
French Creek Nature Area (12 miles one-way):
Look for bighorn sheep along the creek where gold was first discovered in the Black Hills.
Mount Rushmore to Horse Thief Lake (3 miles):
This one-way trail starts at Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
Prairie Trail (3-mile loop):
This loop explores a portion of the Custer State Park’s rolling prairie grasslands.
Sylvan Lake Shore Trail (1-mile loop):
This nearly-flat trail is an easy walk that takes you around the crown jewel of Custer State Park.
Black Elk Peak (7,242 ft. summit):
Multiple trails lead to the highest point east of the Rockies, Black Elk Peak.
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