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Custer State Park // Sylvan Lake & Black Elk Wilderness

Updated: Oct 14, 2019

The beauty in the black hills...

We could've and should've spent a week in Custer State Park. Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous! Probably one of our favorite campgrounds to ever stay at as well (Game Lodge Campground). Unfortunately, we encountered some bad weather while there. Rain, wind and cold temperatures. We ended up cutting our trip a day or two short because of it. I guess that's the chance you take when traveling in April (shrugging my shoulders).

I think it's safe to say that most people associate this park with Sylvan Lake, and it's easy to see why. It is a little crowded but beautiful, nonetheless. There is a hiking trail that completely circles the lake, about a mile in total and in our opinion, is doable for any level of hiker.

Sylvan Lake

Black Elk Wilderness

This was a different kind of hike for us, completely surrounded in national forest with jagged peaks of towering rock formations, looming in the background. The day was overcast and drizzling, which added a slight eerie feeling. It was SUPER cool! With the trail-head starting at Horsethief Lake, it's my understanding that you can actually hike all the way to Mt. Rushmore! We did not make it to the famous faces but in case you're in the area and would like to, the hike from trail-head to trail-head is 4 miles one way and unless you have someone to pick you up at Mt. Rushmore or if you are able to leave a car there, you'd have to turn around and hike the 4 miles back! Just throwing that out there, for what it's worth ;)

Chet's brother was able to join us for the day and Rowen absolutely loved having his "Uuuhnkle Neeeel" (say that in your most adorable toddler voice) along, as you can see from the pictures. He was also our tour guide for the day, which was so nice! This hike wasn't even on our radar until he suggested it and we are so glad he did. Thanks, Neil!

And in closing, I'll leave you with some sweet shots of our 31 ft motor-home, bravely taking on the narrow tunnels of Custer State Park, as well as the "nightlife" of Game Lodge Campground ;)

Side Note: pictured below is our fire pit provided by Breeo! Comes with an attachable grill. We have looooved having it to cook our campground meals on or to just simply hang out by at night with the fixings for smore's! Smokeless and easy to take with on all of our adventures.. check them out on our Partner page or click here to visit their website

That's a wrap, folks! Really hoping these pictures have convinced you to visit the Black Hills and specifically, Custer State Park! If you have any questions or need help in planning your trip, please shoot us an email and we would love to help out as best we can! Would love to hear from you ---->


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