Custer State Park, SD

Since the early 1900’s, Custer State Park is home to an abundance of wildlife and spectacular views.  Spanning 71,000 acres, the park is rich in history and provides its visitors with countless adventures.  Dan and I traveled the road that encompasses Custer State Park many times during our travels; however, my favorite is an 18-mile stretch called “Wildlife Loop Road” which is rich in wildlife such as Big Horn Sheep, Elk, Pronghorn, Prairie Dogs, and much, much, more.

Wildlife Loop

Custer State Park “Wildlife Loop Road” Map

One of the most famous attractions in Custer State Park is the free-roaming Bison herds.  Dan and I were in the right area at the right time and were able to observe a round-up as they were moving a herd from one area of the park to another.  The sight of hundreds of Bison coming at you was exhilarating!  Instantly, we parked the car and opened the sunroof where I could poke my camera outside for the wonderful photo opportunity…  Such amazing creatures.

My favorite part of Custer State Park are the “Begging Burros”.  The Burros roaming the park today are descendants of the pack animals once used to trek visitors to Harney Peak Summit.  Full of character, they gain the attention of the visitors that travel in the park (both inside and outside of cars). The Burros mostly inhabit one area of the park where a herd of about 50 will try to obtain food, sometimes even causing traffic jams as they block the road.  Of course, I would always recommend using caution when encountering the herd, but I am amazed and entertained every time I see them.

Custer State Park-DAN_5863-5863

If ever in South Dakota, make sure Custer State Park is on your list of places to visit!


10 thoughts on “Custer State Park, SD

  1. Wonderful shots of the bison. I especially liked those with the snow falling and those couple of landscapes shots in the fog or mist! Right place, right time, wonderful photos.

  2. Alice LeClair says:

    Wow, such wonderful photos -love all the animals

  3. Dan Traun says:

    All of the wildlife was phenomenal. The burros were extraordinarily entertaining to say the least. The mini bison stampede was the best though; it seemingly came out of nowhere and there we were right in the middle. These photos bring back great memories. Can’t wait to return again.

  4. Fantastic animal shots Cynthia, another great set! I see my little blue birdy again. The begging burros sound amusing. You two are braver than I if you’re going around standing in stampedes and stuff. 😉

  5. MikeP says:

    Those donkeys are toooo funny!!! Thanks for the map and your previous post on the Badlands. Seems like a very interesting place and you captured its soul wonderfully!!!

  6. Make Something Mondays says:

    Wow, that is amazing! The area is beautiful but those pictures! Great shots!

  7. Emilio Pasquale says:

    Fantastic shots. Around here we have been warned not to feed the wild burros as they can be dangerous with their kicking. Also, they will go after small dogs. They see them as food.

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