2024 State Game Lodge Summer Blast now live! Stay dates: July 26 - October 19

Sunrise Safari

Departs at 6am daily for your wildlife tour during Custer State Park's most peaceful hour.

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Over the shoulder shot of visitors in a Jeep riding through the park

The Sunrise Buffalo Safari was truly the highlight of our trip to South Dakota... it was a morning we'll never forget!

– The Traveling Newlyweds

Custer State Park Sunrise Safari

Our Sunrise Safari Tour will take you where only we can go: on the private interior dirt roads of the Wildlife Loop Road, offering your best chance to view the wildlife up close. Departs at 6am daily for the most peaceful tour offered. Trek through the park in our open-air custom stretched jeeps in search of pronghorns, elk, and the noble buffalo -- at a time when hardly anyone else is around. Along the way, your driver & guide will share historical and educational facts about the park and wildlife—and help take you directly to the critters.

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What to Expect

  • Tours depart daily at 6 a.m.
  • Duration 1 ½ to 2 hours.
  • Seat up to 7 adults per vehicle (For up to 8 guests, where there is at least one small child in the group, please book a Private Buffalo Safari Tour at the 6 a.m. timeslot).
  • Named Top 10 Best US Safaris!
  • Blankets provided.
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Safari Jeep driving next to buffalo

Where You Will Go

  • To the bison herds! Your guide knows where they are
  • Wildlife Loop Road (paved) spans 18 miles. Jeep Tours will take the Wildlife Loop road, but take you straight to the animals to maximize your time.
  • Our Jeeps have exclusive rights to take private interior dirt off-roads that are reserved only for our Custer State Park Resort Buffalo Safari Tours. Your best chance at getting up close to the herds!
  • Expect mild (paved) to moderate (gravel/dirt/private road) terrain
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  • Daily departures at 6am
  • May through mid-October
  • Departs from Creekside Lodge at the State Game Lodge Resort
  • Plan to arrive no later than 15 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time for check-in, waivers, and loading. Late arrivals will be rescheduled (based on availability) to the next available tour, and seats book up quickly.
  • Steps required, assistance available

2024 Rates

  • Adults: $79
  • All Children 11 & under: $69

  • 24-hour advanced reservations are required
  • Please place your reservation online
  • Next-day reservations accepted based on availability by booking online or calling in
  • For questions, please call 605-255-4968 May 1 through mid-October
  • For questions, please call 888-875-0001 mid-October through the end of April
  • 48-hour cancellation policy
  • Check-in at Creekside Lodge

Must arrive no later than 15 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time for check-in, waivers, and loading. Late arrivals will be rescheduled (based on availability) to the next available tour, and seats book up quickly.

Standard seatbelts available; any required car seats must be brought with you. Drivers will lend a hand loading and unloading, but guests must be physically able to take steps into and out of the Jeep. No pets.

Tours will often depart when raining; dress accordingly. Should the tour reschedule due to lighting, you will be contacted by the Safari Tour Staff.