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Winters at Custer State Park

Mountain Goat on a rock

See a whole new side of the Black Hills

Winter in the southern Black Hills offers an experience entirely different from but every bit as unique as the summer months. Without the cover of green vegetation, the wildlife stands out more. Watch them as they beceome more active in their natural habitats!

Warm Chinook winds keep winter temperatures fairly mild in Custer State Park, as compared to our northern and eastern neighbors. Snow may fall as early as October, but it often doesn't accumulate as much and tends to melt in the following days. Now and then, we can reach as high as 50 degrees or more at the State Game Lodge, offering brisk but enjoyable winter hikes and peaceful opportunities for wildlife watching. 

Visit the great outdoors at its most peaceful time

  • ​Take one of our well-loved Buffalo Safari Tours at any time of the year. Blankets provided on the jeep. Overnight guests receive vouchers for a complimentary child's ride with adult purchase. (Advance reservations strongly encouraged.)
  • Please note that the Blue Bell Lodge, Legion Lake Lodge, and Sylvan Lake Lodge are seasonal properties and close for the winters due to higher elevation.
  • Visit during the weekends for regular naturalist activities.
  • Check out the Park Visitor Center, open year-round.
  • Due to its high elevation, Needles Highway closes for the winter; but CSP's other scenic drives are open year-round.
  • Ice fishing is popular as well, weather permitting. Most of the lakes are stocked with rainbow trout, and intrepid anglers may even find brook and brown trout.
  • Try snowmobiling when snow conditions permit. Snowmobiling is allowed on Stockade, Sylvan, Center, and Legion Lakes—and sometimes along the closed portion of the Needles Highway.

Witness a stunning natural backdrop

Take advantage of off-season rates all year round! Rent our Creekside Lodge, our Newest Cabins at the State Game Lodge, and a few of our group Specialty Cabins. The park's peaceful, picturesque winter transformation makes it the ideal setting for a Black Hills wedding, meeting, or quiet solo retreat. We will also open up the historical Game Lodge interior exclusively for your private banquet.

Contact us online or at 888-875-0001 for more information.

Creekside Lodge

Hosting a holiday party, wedding, or reunion? Head over to Groups & Events for more specifics.

Winter Wildlife Experience

Inquire at 888-875-0001

Select Your Cabin