Save up to 20% for 2024 stays at Creekside Lodge in July & August.

Rock spires span the horizon
Back to News

Top 7 Reasons to Stay in Custer State Park This Summer

Travel Inspiration   |  

Top 7 Reasons to Stay in Custer State Park for Summer Vacation

1. Lifetime Family Memories

There are 71,000 acres, wildlife accessible by car, mountain lakes, fishable streams, and nationally accredited and jaw-droppingly gorgeous scenic drives & byways; just to name a few family experiences. Wake up to wildlife, enjoy an afternoon canoe ride and whoop it up on a chuck wagon cookout in the evening. And that’s just the first day of adventures! Be sure to leave a morning or two for hiking the beautiful trails (skill levels range from easy to strenuous) or catching an Interpretive or Junior Naturalist Program. Fun Fact: CSP has four hikes that are all one mile or less, and many moderate hikes that are only one direction (so you can turn around if the kids are nearing their max). Click here for your full Custer State Park Hiking Guide.

2. An Impressive Cabin Stay

With 112 total lodge guestrooms, historic rooms, camping of all kinds, and over 75 newly-remodeled resort cabins with locations along creeks, among thick pines, or even built in to the granite hilltops. Accommodations can be found for everyone, from roughing-it charm to well-appointed comforts and everything in between. After all, Custer State Park is regularly recognized for deserving National Park attention and is named one of the Best Resorts in the Midwest. Don't miss the many impressive shops and Artists-in-Residences in the lobbies.

3. Buffalo Jams

We can't make a list without mentioning them; after all, the bison own the Park. Check out Custer State Park & Custer State Park Resort’s Facebook pages for videos; 1,300 of them roam free--and are often right in the middle of the road. But the wildlife doesn't stop there; don’t be surprised to wake up to big horn sheep and deer just outside your window, or drive the Wildlife Loop Road to find the friendly burros, prairie dogs, or maybe even mountain goats or elk. Check out all of the available wildlife tours and experiences here.

4. Food and Drink Options

Every lodge & restaurant is in full-force each summer, and each one offers a different experience. At the highest elevation, find Sylvan Lake Lodge with unbeatable views. The State Game Lodge is packed full of history: enjoy a cocktail on the front porch like President Coolidge did back when he stayed for three months during his term. And Blue Bell Lodge brings a cozy, western flair—with saddle stools to boot. From flapjacks to burgers, all of them offer breakfast, lunch and dinner…each with unique menus featuring local specialties and kid favorites.

5. Accessibility

Skip the overcrowded theme parks. Instead, opt for national parks—five of them! Within a 100-mile radius of Custer State Park, you will find Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Park, Badlands National Park, and Mount Rushmore National Memorial. There are so many parks in one area, it will take more than one trip to see them all.

6. Weather

The Black Hills are known for their more temperate climate; especially as compared to our friends on the other side of the state. While a day here and there still keeps us on our toes, the elevation and the Black Hills “banana belt” generally offers nice, sunny warm days & cooler nights—perfect for a day of family fun.

7. Transparent Pricing

While Custer State Park Resort’s largest designer cabins command a pretty penny (think $1,500+ for up to 28 guests) there is actually a wide assortment of lodging accommodations available at each of the four lodges, with rates that start in the low- $200’s for options like a standard lodge room or a single-room cabin. Additionally, all summer rates are posted and updated annually, so unlike most hotels, you know exactly what you are going to get.

We cannot wait to welcome you and your family this Summer!