Sylvan Lake | Black Hills & Badlands - South Dakota
  • Sylvan Lake
    Sylvan Lake

    An iconic Black Hills stop, this breath-taking lake holds the special designation of Custer State Park's crown jewel

Sylvan Lake is probably the most recognizable of the five Custer State Park lakes, and of any of the Black Hills lakes for that matter. Its definitely a favorite of almost anyone who has seen it, especially photographers, artists or anyone that saw the Nicolas Cage movie "National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets" (although the location may seem off). Sylvan Lake is a very popular spot for weddings and other special occasions or as the most beautiful swimming hole one could possibly find. 

Sylvan Lake has been one of the park's most popular spots since before the park even existed and because of that, it has almost every amenity imaginable from rooms and fine-dining in the historic Sylvan Lake Lodge, to campsites (sorry, no large RVs or trailers), a general store, amazing hiking trails and more. There's also a swimming beach and boat rentals (non-motorized only) where visitors can rent paddle boats, canoes or other watercraft rentals. Fishing is allowed in any one of Custer State Park's lakes with a valid South Dakota fishing license. 

Any Black Hills vacation would not be complete without a day spent exploring and enjoying all that this crown jewel of Custer State Park (which, by the way, is considered one of the best state parks in America) holds.