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