Black Hills Places to Stay

Camping and Lodging in the Black Hills

south dakota campfire
Campfires are awesome

If you are visiting from out of town, you will find many lodging and camping options to choose from after your climbing adventure with Sylvan Rocks Climbing. 

Most of our climbing courses take place in Custer State Park near Sylvan Lake.  From campgrounds to cabins to lodges, Custer State Park offers several scenic options to hang your hat or curl up in your sleeping bag for the night.  SCROLL DOWN for more info

on lodging options in Custer State Park.

Custer and Hill City are the closest towns to our Custer State Park climbing venue.  Both offer several chain hotels as well as some quaint locally run motels, cabins and campgrounds.  Here are a few of the available options:

Look mom I was up there!

There are also a few Black Hills National Forest Campgrounds near Custer:

Devils Tower in the distance.

If you are climbing with Sylvan Rocks at Devils Tower, check out some of our recommended Places to Stay near Devils Tower.

Custer State Park Camping

Camping in Custer State Park

Sylvan Lake Campground is the best place I can think of to spend a few nights camping among the pines that make up the Black Hills forest.  It’s right on Needles Highway (don’t worry about any noise though), close to Sylvan Lake so you can swim and fish, the trailhead to Black Elk Peak and Little Devils Tower are great nearby hiking trails.  There are modern showers and bathrooms, great sites, and lots of rocks to climb.  What more could you ask for on your Black Hills vacation?  The best part is, you can walk down and meet us in the morning in front of the Sylvan Lake General Store to go rock climbing.  Custer State Park has lots of great campgrounds.

Other places to camp in Custer State Park include:

  • Bluebell Campground
  • Center Lake Campground
  • French Creek Natural Area Campground
  • French Creek Horse Campground
  • Game Lodge Campground
  • Legion Lake Campground
  • Stockade North Campground
  • Stockade South Campground
  • You can check them all out and make your reservations here.
There are also many amazing private campgrounds near the City of Custer outside of Custer State Park.
Two of the closest campground to where we meet at Sylvan Lake are Fort Welikit Campground and  Horsethief Campground .
postcard of the original sylvan lake lodge
Postcard of orignal Sylvan Lake Lodge.
photo of sylvan lake lodge
Current Sylvan Lake Lodge.
guy on a bar stool
Saddlin' up to the bar at the Blue Bell Lodge.

Custer State Park Lodges and Cabins

In addition to the great camping options there are also stately lodges and quaint cabins in Custer State Park.

Sylvan Lake Lodge is right on the scenic byway perched just above Sylvan Lake.  It is 9 miles from Hill City and 7 miles from Custer – close to many great attractions.  The stately lounge is a great place to have an evening night cap before heading up to your room, and the patio dining area can’t be beat on a summer afternoon.  In addition to rooms in the lodge, there are also several options for cabin rentals at Sylvan Lake.  READ MORE.

The State Game Lodge was the “Summer White House” for President Calvin Coolidge.  It is the largest resort in Custer State Park and offers a wide variety of sleeping accommodations including your choice of cabins, hotel rooms and historic rooms.  Try a wild game entree at the dining room or sit on the porch and sip some lemonade.  It is not uncommon to see bison grazing on the grounds around the lodge.  The Game Lodge is about a 45 minute drive from Sylvan Lake.

Blue Bell Lodge, tucked away in the pines, is the starting point for the famous chuck wagon cookout.  Blue Bell is  a 30-45 minute drive from Sylvan Lake.  There are 29 cabins of varying sizes surround the main lodge.  The lodge has a great restaurant and bar too.  READ MORE.

Legion Lake Lodge is about a 30 minute drive from Sylvan Lake.  The new lodge building has an expanded dining room and lakeside patio dining.  Legion Lake Resort offers 26 family-sized cabins in the forest within walking distance of the lake.

Creekside lodge and cabins is Custer State Parks newest lodging facility.
Creekside Lodge is found along the shores of Grace Coolidge Creek and is located on the grounds of the historic State Game Lodge in Custer State Park.  There are 30 guest rooms, and cabins are nearby.  Dining is available May through Sept.

Year around you will be able to enjoy wild life viewing, hiking and auto touring in Custer State Park and around the Black hills.  Many Sylvan Rocks Climbing guest have already stayed here and reported that it is quite nice.

Creekside Lodge features 2 meeting rooms if you plan to mix work with pleasure on your trip to the Black Hills. 

All lodges in Custer State Park are operated by the Custer State Park Resort Company.  Learn more about the accommodations and how to make a reservation.