Trip Planner:   USA  /  South Dakota  /  Custer  /  Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake, Custer

#2 of 15 in Parks in Custer
Must see · Water Body · Nature / Park
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." Plan your visit to Sylvan Lake and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Custer vacation planner.
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Sylvan Lake reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
1,898 reviews
  • My 15 year old son loved swimming in this lake and jumping off of the rocks. In fact, he wanted to go back later in the trip, but we didn't have time. Prepare just like you would going to any other...  more »
  • it's a lake in the Custer State park, there is a lake shore trail, you can walk around the lake, half of the trail is on the same level of the lake, easy to walk, but half of it is between the rocks.....  more »
  • A beautiful setting. We had a great day climbing and hiking and swimming.
  • Great lake for the family! Bathrooms, grills around the lake, great fishing from shore, and a clean beach.
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