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Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

Black Hills & Badlands: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tours

1. Black Hills & Badlands: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tours

Don’t miss a thing as your favorite audio tour narrator guides you to not-to-be-missed viewpoints, along with fascinating stories, tips and directions throughout the Black Hills and Badlands. Follow the suggested itineraries, or divide the commentary and create your own half, full or multi day sightseeing trips. Witness the variety of spectacular landscapes ranging from the prairies grassland and rock formations of the Badlands National Park, to the four presidential faces carved into Mount Rushmore, through to the mountains, canyons, and forests of the Black Hills. Major Highlights: • Badlands Wall • Bridal Veil Falls • Crazy Horse Memorial • Custer State Park • Custer Wildlife Loop Road • Deadwood • Devils Tower • Door Trail • Fossil Trail • Homestake Mine - Lead • Iron Mountain Road • Keystone • Minuteman Missile Visitor Center • Mount Rushmore • Needles Highway • Pigtails and Tunnels • Prairie Dog Town • Rapid City • Roughlock Falls • Sylvan Lake • Spearfish Canyon • Wind Cave and Jewel Cave • Yellow Mounds Overlook Includes: Enjoy a driving route that takes you to all the best sights and finishes with a trop at Mount Rushmore as the grand finale. Drive the Black Hill loop in the direction it was created - counter-clockwise, which means you will approach Mount Rushmore with peekaboo views through the tunnel along the winding Iron Mountain Road. Venture to the Badlands National Park. See a landscape dominated by prairies, eroding buttes, and fascinating rock formations that created a challenging barrier for pioneers. Receive excellent viewing opportunities and some terrific hikes to enjoy, many easy short boardwalks, but also some challenging and rewarding trails. Visit a decommissioned nuclear missile silo and see examples of how original homesteaders lived. Follow the 19-mile Spearfish Canyon route through 1,000 foot limestone walls. This scenic route also visits what was one of the world's richest gold mining operations at the Homestake Mine in Lead. Don't miss the opportunity to visit Deadwood, whose earliest characters included Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane.

Custer: Black Hills Hot Air Balloon Flight at Sunrise

2. Custer: Black Hills Hot Air Balloon Flight at Sunrise

Go on a hot air balloon tour of the Black Hills and treat yourself to an experience of a lifetime. Admire the beautiful Black Hills and witness historic, wild landscapes and abundant wildlife from a hot air balloon. Soar above the southern Black Hills, and world-renowned Custer State Park with extraordinary 360-degree views of mountains, rock formations, valleys, lakes, and prairies.  Look out for wildlife such as elk, antelope, whitetail deer, buffalo, mule deer, or even a mountain lion. Fly just miles away from Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Wind Cave National Park, and the South Dakota Badlands. Certified pilots will navigate the flight with your safety and enjoyment in mind. During your 1-hour ride, your pilot will answer any questions that you might have and identify local points of interest.  Upon landing, enjoy a celebratory champagne toast, light snacks, and a story about the origin of hot air ballooning.

Rapid City: Private Black Hills Monuments Full-Day Tour

3. Rapid City: Private Black Hills Monuments Full-Day Tour

Enjoy a day of sightseeing on this all-inclusive private tour of the main sights of Black Hills. After a convenient pickup from your hotel, travel to the iconic Mount Rushmore National Monument, where you will spend some time hiking. Learn about how the monument came into existence. Next, travel to Crazy Horse Memorial, where you will learn about one of the most important historical figures in the history of South Dakota. Finally, explore the beautiful Custer State Park. See wildlife at incredibly close proximity and enjoy the local flora.

Rapid City: Mt Rushmore Custer State Park & Crazy Horse

4. Rapid City: Mt Rushmore Custer State Park & Crazy Horse

Take a private tour of South Dakota's Southern Black Hills (Paha Sapa) and its landmarks. Learn the history and biology via an interactive presentation. Understand why they're called the Black Hills. Discover the mountain before it was carved and its carver and workers. Sit in the amphitheater and view the faces while talking about the monument. Hike the Presidential Trail and take photos at the Grand Overlook. Pause at the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center to view and experience an interactive exhibit. View a film and explore the edited history of Mt Rushmore and the reason for the carved faces. As you ascend Iron Mountain Road, the stunning view of hills and forests full of animals creates an unforgettable sight. Unforeseen attractions like the Pigtail Bridges are at every turn. Intended to make the ride fun, these bridges decrease your speed and allow you to take in the immense granite spires, Aspens, and Ponderosas. Iron Mountain Road takes you through three tunnels cut into the Black Hills granite. They are narrow enough for you to fit and are designed to frame Mt Rushmore. Take pictures, and if it's not crowded, you can go inside to experience being inside a mountain. The tunnels are named after significant contributors to the road and area: Doane Robinson, CC Gideon, and Scoval Johnson. At Norbeck Overlook, you'll see Black Elk Peak, the Six Grandfathers, and the Cathedral Spires. On the ground, you'll notice red rocks thrust up from the earth, which is why they call this place Iron Mountain. It's the abundance of iron-rich schist. This rock is oxidized, has the color of rust, and looks like petrified wood. We now reach Custer State Park. The visitor center is an excellent introduction to Wildlife Loop Road, a well-known spot in SD. On the drive, you may spot various birds, bison, elk, deer, prairie dogs, and pronghorn. Be prepared for bison approaching our vehicle - and stay inside. If the weather is good, you will picnic, or visit a restaurant, then journey to Sylvan Lake, South Dakota, renowned for its beauty in the Black Hills. Ascend the Needles Highway and Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway, then explore the lake and a side trail to the store. It's a popular wedding spot, so you will take all the photos you want before continuing. As you continue on, you will approach the Needles Eye. The Cathedral Spires, in the mountains of South Dakota, are a remarkable rock formation. Locals were outraged when they heard about plans to carve the spires. Thankfully, the Spires remain intact, and you can visit them today to take pictures of this extraordinary antiquity. Lastly, head to Crazy Horse. Carved by Korczak Ziolkowski at Chief Standing Bear's request, it's a fantastic sight.

Buffalo Jeep Safari & Mammoth Site Tour

5. Buffalo Jeep Safari & Mammoth Site Tour

Get up close and personal with roaming buffalo, deer, and feed the wild donkeys at Custer State Park. Once in the park, board an open-air Jeep and explore the beauty the park has to offer with your guide. Make sure to bring healthy snacks for the wild donkeys and you will have them eating out of the palm of your hands. Next, travel to Hot Springs to get a behind-the-scenes VIP tour of the Mammoth Site. While at this active Paleontological dig site, view fossils from the ice age. Enjoy an interactive learning experience that includes a botany and geological walkway.

Other Sightseeing Options in Custer State Park

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What people are saying about Custer State Park

Overall rating

(79 reviews)

My wife and I really enjoyed the experience. Having the guide really ensured we we saw everything we wanted to over the duration of the tour. Aura our guide was the best. On our next trip out here Black Hills Adventure Tours is our go to guide service with a special request for aura as our guide!

We thoroughly enjoyed the guided tour, and learned more than our excellent guided bus tour on a separate excursion earlier in the week. I highly recommend the GuideAlong app!

Thoroughly enjoyed the tour of Black Hills, Mt Rushmore, and The Badlands. So much information and well told! Many options of great activities along the way.

So good to be guided around. And I learned heaps too! I’d never have gotten this level of experience on my own.

Our guide was terrific! Enjoyed the entire tour and her knowledge of the area. Thank you! John &Susan