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Sylvan Lake Lodge

Stay at Sylvan Lake Lodge and see Custer State Park's crown jewel for yourself. Rich in history and natural beauty, the lodge is situated within a hillside forest of pine and spruce trees, in harmony with the rocky landscape around gorgeous Sylvan Lake.

About Sylvan Lake Lodge

Sylvan Lake Lodge is a stunning resort area at the annexed northwestern corner of Custer State park, complete with lodge rooms, cabins, meeting rooms, wedding venues, and activities at elev. 6145 feet. Sylvan Lake Lodge is a favored choice for travelers seeking excellent hikes, lake time, and scenic views. At the top of Needles Highway, this lodge area is home to Sylvan Lake.

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Mesmerizing Waters That Skyline Needles Highway

Living peacefully amidst the granite spires of Custer State Park at elev. 6,145 feet, Sylvan Lake begs for room in your Black Hills itinerary; and for everything that comes with it.

Needles Highway (part of Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway, which has been named as one of the Top 10 Most Outstanding Byways in North America) peaks at Sylvan Lake. But the beauty up top doesn't end; it only evolves. Come hike, explore, fish, swim, rock climb, kayak, picnic, or simply walk the mild one-mile lakeshore trail that takes you behind the massive boulders to discover waterfalls, bridges, and trailheads.

Sylvan Lake consists of seventeen (17) acres of peaceful waters, formed in 1881 when the creek at Sunday Gulch was dammed. Motorized watercraft is not permitted.

At the lake, travelers will not be left without conveniences. Sylvan Store offers retail & fast casual dining, and the Restaurant and front desk is just up the hill. To top it off, resort cabins sprinkle the hillside between the store and the lodge. Sylvan campground can be found on the other side of the lake.

Fun Fact: Part of National Treasure, II was filmed at Sylvan Lake. In the movie, it appears that the lake can be found behind Mount Rushmore; when in fact, the national monument is about a 30 minute drive away.

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Your Lodging Options

Your stay experience at Sylvan Lake Lodge steps back and lets nature speak for itself. Well-appointed cabins with log fireplaces and vaulted ceilings sprinkle the granite hillside...many boasting pretty great views outside of the spires that surround. The historic lodge (est. 1937) offers an eloquently conservative number of varied rooms, prioritizing choices between budget-friendly, views, decks and more. Due to an electrical fire in late 2021, many lodge rooms have now been rebuilt.


Rustic, cozy, and surrounded by natural wonders, our cabins let you unwind and explore the Hills with ease.

Sylvan Lake Cabins

Lodge Rooms

Lodge rooms offer privacy, comfort, and convenience, connected to property dining options and other amenities.

Sylvan Lake Lodge Rooms

Dining at 6,145 Feet

Fresh, locally-sourced ingredients grace the dinner table at Sylvan Lake Lodge. The double-peaked wooden ceiling, hardwood floors, and stone fireplace lend an air of luxury that complements the view. In fair weather, make reservations on the stone veranda (dogs welcome) for al fresco dining with fabulous vistas of the Hills.

The lodging, general store, restaurant & lounge are open seasonally May through October.

Dining Options

Sylvan Lake Lodge Area Map

Navigate your way around the stunning Sylvan Lake Lodge. The below map and maps for other lodge areas are also found in our Tatanka Guide.

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Book your stay at Sylvan Lake Lodge.

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Let Us Host Your Group at Sylvan Lake Lodge

Meetings & Events

Sylvan Lake Lodge is the State's crown jewel. With a scenic and historic stay along Needles Highway that boasts an off-the-grid feel, your guests will be able to relax and leave feeling rejuvenated. We can host your retreat, meeting, entertain your clients, and more.

Meeting Information

Family Reunions

Getting the family together? Host your reunion at Sylvan Lake Lodge! We offer group lodging options to keep everyone comfortable, plus activities for all ages. Get in touch with our team to find the best lodging option for your family.

Family Reunions


Sylvan Lake serves as a stunning backdrop for wedding receptions. Our property offers numerous ceremony and reception venues that come complete with catering and guest accommodations. Reach out to our team to learn more.

Weddings at Custer

Custer Travel Tips

Sylvan Lake Lodge Featured in National Geographic Travel

The article from National Geographic Travel features 10 historic hotels with amazing Fall views.

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New in 2023: Sylvan Lake Store

The rebuilt store and eatery features a more accessible design and is better-able to meet today's guest expectations with shorter wait times, improved product, and optimized traffic flow.

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Herd of buffalo in the grasslands walking