How Far Is Custer State Park From Mt Rushmore?

How Far Is Custer State Park From Mt Rushmore?

How Far Is Custer State Park From Mt Rushmore?

Custer State Park is a 71,000-Acre Gem in the Black Hills

If you’re planning to visit Custer State Park in the Black Hills, Custer State Park is essential. Custer State Park has 71,000 acres of grasslands, rugged mountains, and beautiful roads.

One of the most effective methods to visit the Park is by driving through the 18.3-mile Wildlife Loop Road. It’s a two-lane, paved road that winds through open prairie grasslands and beautiful rolling hills.

How Far Is Custer State Park From Mt Rushmore?How Far Is Custer State Park From Mt Rushmore?

How to Get There

Custer State Park is a 71,000-acre jewel in South Dakota, known for its breathtaking beauty, unusual rocks, bison herds, beautiful drives, warm lodges, and other activities. However, it’s not a park to be skipped or rushed through in a hurry. If you wish to experience everything Custer State Park offers, it will take at least two or three days.

To begin your journey start, you’ll need to take a break from your car and appreciate the sights on one of the scenic routes. Wildlife Loop Road is a popular option, especially when you’re looking to view pronghorn and bison. This road runs through the southern region of the Park and is a fantastic option for observing wildlife from the comfort of your car.

Another one to visit is Needles Highway, which was created to be a strenuous driving route that requires you to drive through cliffs and tunnels. It was originally designed to serve as a tourist drive. It’s now considered among the most stunning and interesting routes throughout the United States.

The road was designed by the former South Dakota Governor Peter Norbeck and is now to be a World Heritage Site. It has numerous switchbacks and curves, pigtail tunnels, and bridges that make driving an absolute experience.

When you’re driving along the Needles Highway, be sure to keep an eye out for Black Elk Peak, the highest point in South Dakota. It’s 7,242 feet high and is the perfect place to climb to and provides vast perspectives of the parks.

You can also explore another option, which is the Cathedral Spires Trail, which is a loop about Sylvan Lake and allows you to observe an abundance of wildflowers. Walking this trail is an enjoyable activity for all family members and is surely worth a stop.

Make sure you make a stop at The Gordon Stockade Historic Site. It’s an enjoyable method to find out about the rich history of the area and is situated right near the entry point on Hwy 16A.

The Park is just thirty miles far from Rapid City, the state capital of South Dakota. The nearest airport to Rapid City is Rapid City Regional Airport.

Driving DirectionsDriving Directions

Custer State Park is one of the most visited places in South Dakota and is home to many stunning attractions. It is famous for its distinctive rock formations, wildlife watching beautiful drives, cozy lodges, and many other activities.

If you plan to visit Mount Rushmore, you must also take a trip to Custer State Park. It covers 71,000 acres of land and offers many things for all ages.

Hiking is an excellent method to experience the stunning beauty in Custer State Park, which has trails that range from gentle lakesides to difficult mountain peaks with some rock scrambling. There are plenty of lakes, rivers, and activities on the water in the region, which are ideal for families wanting to take in the great outdoors.

As you drive through the Park, look for bison and other wildlife. The Park is famous for its abundant animals, and you’ll often spot animals in the open grasslands.

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Another method of exploring the Park is by driving along the famous Wildlife Loop Road. It’s a quick drive that runs around the southern portion of the Park and takes in the stunning surroundings while looking at any animal that you might see.

There are many opportunities to view a variety of animals at the Park, like bison, pronghorn, elk and mule coyote, and deer, as well as prairie dogs. The ideal moment to be in the Park is during the morning or in the evening, as the animals are at their most active.

The Needles Highway is another must-do scenic drive within Custer State Park. The Needles Highway connects the center of the Park to Sylvan Lake and is home to numerous trails for hiking.

While you aren’t able to complete the whole drive in one day, It is an absolute must when you want to maximize your time at the Black Hills and see some top attractions that the Park has to offer. The drive spans 17 miles, including 314 twists, 14 switchbacks, and three pigtails. But the views make you swoon.

If you’re keen to explore the rich history of the region visiting the Gordon Stockade Historic Site is essential. The site is situated west of the Entrance to Hwy 16A and is a historical account of The Gordon Party, who came to South Dakota in 1874 in search of gold.


Custer State Park is one of the most visited places in South Dakota, and it’s no reason to be surprised! It is located in the middle of the Black Hills; this 71,000-acre Park has incredible views of wildlife like Yellowstone and Grand Teton, stunning resort-style accommodations, jaw-dropping views of the drive, and top-quality visitor centers.

The Park is the home of various animals, such as bison, that can be seen along the Wildlife Loop Road in the early morning and the evening. It is also possible to visit the bison herd at Peter Norbeck Visitors Center, named after the first conservationist, the Former South Dakota Governor.

There is also the Needles Highway, which connects Custer State Park’s main area to Sylvan Lake. The beautiful drive is a must during your time at Custer State Park!

An alternative is to go to option is to visit Badlands National Park, which is only a short distance from Custer State Park. The Park is a national one and has numerous hiking trails as well as scenic views.

The Park is open all year long. However, visitors are advised to avoid summertime, where temperatures are high and humid. In winter months, temperatures can drop below zero, and it is possible to experience heavy snowfall.

If you’re going out to the parks with friends or loved ones, it’s a good idea to get there at a reasonable time in the early morning and depart later in the evening to avoid crowds. It’s also an excellent idea to bring lunch to enjoy during the day as it can be quite easy to lose track of time while walking around in the Park.

After you’ve entered the Park, make your way toward your East Entrance. This entry point will take access to Wildlife Loop Road and the Custer State Park Visitor Center.

Alternatively, you can begin your journey from or near the West Entrance, which will take visitors to Crazy Horse Monument and Sylvan Lake. If you choose to access the Park either from the East or West and you’ll be at Custer State Park in no time!

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The Park is home to three fantastic visitor centers, each run by rangers who can answer your questions and assist in planning your itinerary. There are also a variety of campgrounds and cabins within the Park. Some even offer the option of group camping. They can be reserved on the Park’s website and by calling the visitor center.


Custer State Park is a wonderful spot to spend the day within the Black Hills. You can find granite mountains, rolling hills, and several beautiful lakes. There are numerous hiking trails to explore, along with a range of enjoyable outdoor activities such as fishing, camping, and swimming.

The Park hosts 1.8 million visitors each year. These four major entry points: The East, West, Sylvan Lake (northwest), and Blue Bell (southwest).

If you are visiting a state or national Park, it’s crucial to know the rules regarding paying for your visit. In the case of Custer State Park, there’s an entrance fee of $20 per vehicle. Fee, which grants the park access for a week.

For more information on visiting the Park, head to the main visitor center near Highway 16A. You can view an informative short film regarding the Park. You can also download an activity guide and receive the most current information regarding the Park’s conditions and wildlife.

There’s plenty that you could do within Custer State Park. Therefore, schedule at least a couple of days to plan your trip. There are numerous trails to explore, and it’s an excellent spot for nature photography because there is numerous wildlife, such as deer and birds. Wildlife can be seen along the way.

Another thing to do in the Park is to drive along the 18,025-mile Wildlife Loop Road, a beautifully paved road that runs through grasslands of open prairie and lovely rolling hills dotted with beautiful wildflowers. The road is particularly good for observing the Park’s famous buffalo herd, or bison.

These animals are highly active and often be seen on highways, so it is important to stay away from them and be on the lookout for vehicles or signs warning you about these animals.

If you’re in the Park, go to Mount Rushmore and drive Iron Mountain Road. The road connects the Park with Mount Rushmore National Monument and is an absolute must-see for everyone who visits the area.

How Far Is Custer State Park From Mount Rushmore?How Far Is Custer State Park From Mount Rushmore?

Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore are two of the most popular tourist destinations located in South Dakota. Custer State Park can be described as a stunning natural area with an array of activities, including hiking, wildlife viewing, breathtaking driving, and camping. Mount Rushmore, on the other side, is a renowned monument with images of all four US presidents that are carved into the mountain. If you’re planning to visit South Dakota and want to visit both Custer State Park as well as Mount Rushmore, it’s important to understand how far apart they are as well as how long it will take to travel between the two.

Distance Between Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore

Custer State Park is located approximately 15 miles from Mount Rushmore. The exact distance between these two sites will be determined by which part of the Park or in Mount Rushmore, as there are several entry points and parking spots. But, the distance is not too long and can be completed within a quick trip or ride along the scenic.

Travel Time Between Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore

The duration of travel from Custer State Park in the state of Wyoming and Mount Rushmore will depend on the route you choose and the time of day, as well as the volume of traffic. If you’re driving, the fastest way to connect the two places can be done by way of US Highway 16A, which is about 20-30 minutes, dependent on the traffic conditions. Alternatively, you can travel on the beautiful Needles Highway, which is a winding road with breathtaking panoramic views of the Black Hills National Forest. The route is slightly longer. However, it could be a long time or more, based on how many stopping points you will make.

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Other Travel Options

If you’re not able to get access to a vehicle or prefer not to drive or drive, there are other transport alternatives to travel from Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore. It’s the Black Hills Central Railroad offers beautiful train journeys from Hill City and Keystone, stopping between Custer State Park, as well as Mount Rushmore. The train journey takes around two hours, and it offers breathtaking panoramas of the surrounding area.

Another option is a guided tour. This will usually include transport between Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore, as well as other attractions that are popular in the region. Guided tours vary in duration and cost, dependent on the kind of tour you choose and the degree of personalization.


In the end, Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore are located relatively close to one another located in South Dakota, with a distance of approximately 15 miles between the two. The time it takes to travel between the two places will be contingent on the route you choose, which is the shortest route taking anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes in an automobile. If you’re seeking a scenic drive, The Needles Highway offers stunning views of the Black Hills National Forest, but it can take one hour or even more. You can also take the train or a guided tour to connect the two places. Whatever choice of mode of transport, visiting each Custer State Park or Mount Rushmore is sure to be the highlight of your visit across South Dakota.


How far is Mt. Rushmore from Custer State Park?

Custer State Park is about 20 miles south of Mount Rushmore. The drive between the two venues normally takes around 30 minutes.

How do you go from Custer State Park to Mt. Rushmore?

Driving from Custer State Park to Mt. Rushmore is the most convenient option. Throughout the summer, there are additional shuttle services that run between the two locations.

What is the driving time between Custer State Park to Mt. Rushmore?

The drive from Custer State Park to Mt. Rushmore takes around 30 minutes. This, however, may differ based on traffic conditions and the route travelled.

Is there a picturesque road from Custer State Park to Mt. Rushmore?

Absolutely, picturesque routes like as the Iron Mountain Road, Needles Highway, and Sylvan Lake Road link Custer State Park to Mt. Rushmore. These trails provide stunning views of the Black Hills and are well worth investigating.

Is there parking at Mount Rushmore?

Indeed, there is plenty of parking at Mt. Rushmore. During high season, visitors can park in the main parking lot or in overflow parking spots.

Can I visit Custer State Park and Mt. Rushmore on the same day?

Yes, you may visit both Custer State Park and Mt. Rushmore in a single day. It might be a long day, so guests should prepare appropriately. It is advised that you spend at least a few hours at each destination to thoroughly enjoy the area’s beauty and history.