Custer, SD

Annual Custer State Park Buffalo Round-up (Held each year on the last Friday of September)

Custer State Park in the beautiful Black Hills of western South Dakota is full of lush forests, quiet and serene meadows, and majestic mountains.

This 71,000-acre state park is also home to one of the world's largest publicly-owned bison herds, nearly 1,300 strong.

Each fall, the ground rumbles and the dust flies as cowboys, cowgirls and park crews saddle up to bring in the thundering herd. The annual roundup, held the last Friday in September, is open to the public. 


How many bison are there in the herd?
There are approximately 1,300. Note: The big bull bison are not included in the Roundup because they are more aggressive and are simply hard to round up. Because of this, visitors may see them scattered throughout the park during the Roundup weekend.

Why are the bison rounded up?
The Buffalo Roundup is part of Custer State Park's management plan to maintain a healthy balance between the number of bison and the available rangeland forage. The park can only sustain a certain number of bison, based on the condition of the grassland and how much food is available. The Buffalo Roundup also allows for some of the animals to be sorted out of the herd, they are then sold at an auction in November.

What happens to the bison after they’re in the corrals?
Once placed in the corrals, park staff sorts out approximately 200 animals to be sold, vaccinates the new members of the herd, brands the new calves, and checks the cows for pregnancy. It takes about four days to work the entire herd.

How early should I get there?
Parking lots open at 6:15 a.m. the day of the Roundup (but be prepared to wait in line). Visitors who are in the park by 7:00 a.m. will have plenty of time to get to the viewing areas. The Roundup does not start until 9:30 a.m.

Are reservations required?

Does it cost anything?
There is no admission fee for the event and a park entrance license is not required the day of the Buffalo Roundup.

Are food and drinks available?
Pancakes, sausages and beverages are available at 6:15 a.m., in both viewing areas. Lunch is served, until 2:00 p.m., at the corrals once the buffalo are rounded up. There is a fee for both meals.

What should I bring?
The weather can vary. Be sure to bring sun screen, layered clothing, folding chairs, binoculars, snacks and drinks. Custer State Park has compiled a number of helpful tips for visitors, so be sure to look them over.

Is there handicapped parking available?
Yes. Visitors should clearly display their parking emblem so they can be directed to the right area.

Are there shuttles?
Shuttles are available after the Roundup for those visitors wishing to go down to the corral area.

Which viewing area is best?
Both viewing areas have unique vantage points and visitors get great views from either location. Visitors may not move between viewing areas.

How long does the event take?
The Roundup is generally over by 11:30 a.m., but visitors need to be prepared to stay in the viewing areas until the bison are safely in the corrals.

How are the horseback riders chosen?
Some are Custer State Park staff, others have been long time riders. Up to 20 volunteer cowboys and cowgirls are selected each year through an application process. For more information, contact the Custer State Park Office at 605-255-4515.

Is there anything else going on?
Fun activities continue the entire weekend following the Roundup. The Buffalo Roundup Arts Festival, with up to 150 vendors, is held Thursday, Friday and Saturday near the Peter Norbeck Visitor Center. 

All information taken from the Travel South Dakota Website

The Crazy Horse Volksmarch is the most popular organized hike in the United States (15,000 walkers in a record year). This family event is sponsored by the Black Hills Chapter of the American Volkssport Association (AVA) and hosted by Crazy Horse Memorial®.


A group of visitors for the Annual Spring Volksmarch

Hikers follow dirt trails and gravel work roads up to the Crazy Horse Mountain Carving. The turn-around point is on the Arm of Crazy Horse directly in front of the nine-story-high face, which was completed June 3, 1998. Hikers get an up-close view of the mountain. Work continues on the rest of what will be the largest sculpture in the world.

The Laughing Water Restaurant at Crazy Horse opens for breakfast at 6 a.m. during the Volksmarch, and serves lunch and dinner. The snack shop also is open. Coffee is always free at Crazy Horse Memorial®.

37th Annual Spring Volksmarch - June 4 and June 5, 2022

The Crazy Horse Spring Volksmarch (an organized hike) is a 10K (6.2-mile) woodlands ramble to the world’s largest Mountain Carving in progress in the southern Black Hills of South Dakota. June 4 - 5, 2022.

In 1874, Lieutenant Colonel George Custer led the troops of the 7th Cavalry into the Black Hills and discovered gold near present-day Custer. Colonel Custer and his men found wealth beyond gold in the beauty of the Black Hills. To celebrate this event, the town of Custer has the annual Gold Discovery Days celebration. This annual three-day celebration has it all for the ENTIRE FAMILY! A carnival, car show, arts & crafts fair, volleyball tournament, 5K fun run, cornhole tournament, golf scramble, hot air balloon rally, and the largest parade in the Black Hills! 

Mount Rushmore Evening Lighting Ceremony

The Evening Lighting Ceremony at Mount Rushmore National Memorial is held beginning the Friday before Memorial Day (May 24) to September 30 each year. May 24-August 11, the ceremony starts nightly at 9 p.m., and August 12-September 30, it starts nightly at 8 p.m.

May 20-22, 2022
Custer, South Dakota

The Custer Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to host the

8th Annual Black Hills Sound of Silence Tesla Rally!

On Friday night there will be a Tesla Meet and Greet Reception with free food and beverages at Mt Rushmore Brewing Company.

Saturday morning will be on your own to ride the Hills and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the area. We will have a professional photographer on Iron Mountain Road available to take pictures for a couple hours. (More info coming soon) Saturday afternoon will be the annual group photo. Then Saturday night is the Sound of Silence dinner.

Sunday morning will be a chance to gather together at the Feel-Good Cafe, located at the Bavarian Inn, for food, fun and farewells.

It's Open House Weekend in Custer State Park so it's free to drive through all weekend.

Each registered participant (BOTH drivers and passengers) will receive a 2022 Tesla Pin, lanyard, meal coupons, shirt and a swag bag filled with goodies. Registration is required of ALL attendees. This year's event will be capped at 200 participants, so get registered early.


George S. Mickelson Trail

Bike it like you mean it!

The George S. Mickelson Trail • 109 Miles • One Day

Experience the beauty of the Black Hills from the back of your mountain bike, via the Mickelson Trail.

Century Ride: the entire length of the Mickelson Trail ONE day! Deadwood to Edgemont • 108.8 miles

Half-Century Ride: from the Mountain Trailhead (near Custer) to Edgemont • 49.6 miles


June 14-June 16 & September 16 - 18th

begins in Custer

The Trail Trek is a 3-day, 109-mile supported bicycle ride through the heart of the Black Hills on the George S. Mickelson Trail. This ride is a wonderful way to see the beauty of the Black Hills that can't be seen from the road. The ride will take you through four hard rock tunnels, over more than 100 tressle bridges, through several beautiful areas and will leave you with many wonderful memories. Pre-registration required.

September 29 - October 1st
near the State Game Lodge

Enjoy three days of continuous entertainment along with numerous arts and crafts booths near the State Game Lodge on Hwy. 16A. Visit with artisans and crafters from throughout the Midwest as they exhibit and sell their wares ranging from Native American to Western to South Dakota-made products. Take a breather and experience a variety of entertainment. Hear cowboy poets spin tall tales, share the beauty of Native American dancers or have a foot stompin’ good time with some of the top musicians in the area. Be on the lookout for trick shooters or kick up your heels with cloggers and square dancers. If you build up an appetite you’ll find plenty of good Western vittles right there on site. Park entrance license required.

September 30, 2022
Custer State Park

What you need to know

Bring folding chairs, cameras, binoculars, layered clothing, rain gear and sun screen.

You will need to determine which viewing area you will be going to prior to Friday morning. All vehicles will depart the way they entered. Motorcoaches welcomed.

North Parking and Viewing | Head south from the Game Lodge area on Wildlife Loop Road. (See green path on map.)

South Parking and Viewing | Head east on Wildlife Loop Road near Blue Bell campground. (See red path on map.)

We encourage that you do not bring your camper. Call 605.255.4515 for drop-off locations. If you do bring it, follow the green route on the map, and you will be parked in the North Overflow Lot and be shuttled to the Roundup.

We encourage you to leave your pets at home. If you must bring them, they must remain in the vehicle.


June 10 - 12, 2022


The Custer Chamber is excited to be hosting the 4th Annual Custer Off-Road Rally in beautiful Custer, SD!

Pack up your off-road vehicles and enjoy the Southern Hills at the Custer Off-Road Rally, June 10-12, 2022! Head to Custer with your ATV, UTV, or Dual Sport and take in the Hills. There will be a poker run, off-roading course, vendors, live music, a Mayor’s Ride, a President’s Ride, an awards banquet on Saturday evening, and more! Ride HUNDREDS of miles of beautiful Southern Black Hills trails!

Registration information will be available soon.

Motorized Trail Permits – Online Sales Link: Permits & Passes | Black Hills & Badlands - South Dakota

Ride Responsibly
- Information from Black Hills National Forest

Trail Navigation Made Easy:
You are responsible to know where you can ride in the Forest. Download Motorized Vehicle Use (Trail) Maps to your Smartphone using the "Avenza" App. Maps show Open Roads, Restrictions and Seasonal Wildlife Closures.

Act Responsibly:
Close all gates that you open, and do not chase or harass livestock or wildlife.
Help ensure that fences, water tanks, restrooms, historic buildings and lookout towers are not damaged.

For Your Safety:
Be aware of, and stay clear of, logging activities, log truck traffic, mines and mining activities.

Help Stop the Spread of Weeds:
Stay on designated routes. Wash your vehicle after use to remove non-native weeds and their seeds, so they are not spread by your vehicle.

Protect Our Roads and Trails:
To prevent erosion and damage to raods & trails, avoid wet surfaces. Do not drive through wetlands or stock ponds. If you encounter a wet area, or stream crossing, drive slowly thru it. Do not make a new route around it.

September 4, 2022
downtown Custer

The annual Studebaker & Packard Car & Truck show will be held again, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept 4. Join us for our outdoor car & truck show at Mt Rushmore Rd & 6th Streets. There will be vehicles representing several decades of manufacturing dates, both modified and restored, and in several models.

Free admittance to viewers who can vote for their favorite vehicle.

You’ll also be seeing Studebakers and their owners in Custer on Friday night as they arrive to register and on Saturday as they cruise around the Southern Black Hills. The weekend activities are sponsored by the Dakotas Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club.