Custer Tourist Attractions
The little town of Custer is a popular tourist resort. Its particular attraction is Flintstone's Bedrock City, a theme park dedicated to dinosaurs and the Stone Age. The town also has the interesting National Museum of Woodcarving.Custer (pop. 1,800) is the county seat of Custer County in the southwest part of the state.
Crazy Horse Memorial
A few miles north of Custer is the Crazy Horse Memorial - a kind of Indian counterpart to Mount Rushmore National Monument. The initiative for this other gigantic piece of rock sculpture (606 ft) came from a Lakota chief named Standing Bear, who sought thereby to remind the world that the Indians too had produced great heroes like Crazy Horse, the real victor in the battle on the Little Bighorn River. Work on the monument was begun in 1947 by Korczak Ziolkowski (1908-82), a sculptor of Polish origin, and continued after his death by members of his family. It is still not completed, but as the head and upper body are finished the memorial was officially dedicated in 1998. The Indian Museum of North America also stands on the site.
Jewel Cave National Monument
13 mi. west of Custer is the Jewel Cave National Monument, a karstic cave in which crystals of calcareous spar sparkle like jewels.Currently at just over 147 miles long making Jewel Cave the second longest cave system in the world. Jewel Cave features sparkling calcite crystals, delicate strands of gypsum, and other cave formations. It contains large rooms strewn with boulders, tight crawlways, and dark fissures leading into the unkown.
Address: 11149 US Highway 16, Building B12, Custer, SD 57730-0060, United States
Opening hours: 8am-4:30pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $8.00, Child 16 & under $4.00, Senior $4.00, Child 5 & under FREE
Useful tips: Closing times vary, with extended hours during the summer.
Custer County 1881 Courthouse Museum
The Custer County Courthouse was built in 1880, a year before South Dakota became a state. Fifteen rooms display local history exhibits including Native American artifacts. An 1875 log cabin contains a pioneer home and a carriage house contains vintage vehicles.
National Museum of Woodcarving
Over 30 scenes created by an original animator of Disneyland, the Wooden Nickel Theater, a carving studio and gallery with works from 85 wood carvers are on display.
Black Hills Balloons
Flintstones Bedrock City Theme Park
Bedrock City near Custer is a stone-age setting park with a reproduction of the set and characters of the Flintstones television cartoon show.
Custer State Park
North of Wind Cave National Park is Custer State Park, which is no less beautiful and is richly stocked with game. A drive on the Wildlife Loop Road, particularly in the early morning or late afternoon, is a rewarding experience. Harvey Peak is a towering feature of the park.Custer State Park is home to lots of wildlife including a free-roaming bison herd that numbers about 1,500. Needles Highway, Wildlife Loop and Iron Mountain Road traverse the area allowing for scenic drives. Mountain streams and man-made lakes provide fishing, swimming and boating opportunities.
Address: 13329 US Highway 16A, Custer, SD 57730-0070, United States
Needles Highway Scenic Drive
The Needles Highway is a magnificent scenic mountain road (SD 345/349, CR 87) through the imposing landscapes of the central Black Hills, with their bizarre rock pinnacles and the fairytale Sylvan Lake.This 14mi/23km drive features spectacular scenery including through the Black Hills including tunnels and granite spires.
The Badger Hole in Custer State Park was the home of the state's first poet laureate, Charles Badger Clark. The cabin has been maintained as it was in 1957, the year that Clark died. Visitors can hike the Badger Clark Historic Trail.