Winters at Custer State Park

A park that never sleeps

Winter in the southern Black Hills displays a stark contrast to the summer months, but that just makes the wildlife stand out more. Without the cover of green vegetation in the winter, the wildlife are also more active in pursuing food and they shed some of their natural wariness.

Custer State Park is also blessed by warm Chinook winds that keep winter temperatures fairly mild—especially compared to our northern and eastern neighbors. Although snow may fall as early as October, it doesn’t accumulate and tends to melt before the next day. We can still reach as high as 70-degrees or even more at the State Game Lodge.

The great outdoors at its most peaceful time

  • ​Our well-loved Buffalo Safari Tours are available all year long. Overnight guests receive vouchers for a complimentary child's ride with adult purchase. (Advance reservations strongly encouraged.)
  • The State Game Lodge Restaurant is open Friday and Saturday nights all winter. Inquire about a select few closings for private parties. Please note that the restaurant will be closed for Christmas weekend.
  • Blue Bell Lodge, Legion Lake Lodge, and Sylvan Lake Lodge are seasonal properties and close for the winters due to higher elevation.
  • Weekends feature regular naturalist activities.
  • The Park Visitor Center is 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.
  • When snow conditions do permit, snowmobiling is allowed on Stockade, Sylvan, Center, and Legion Lakes and, if you’re really lucky, along the closed portion of the Needles Highway.

A backdrop of stunning description

Creekside Lodge, our Newest Cabins at the State Game Lodge, and a few of our group Specialty Cabins are available for rent all year at off-season rates. 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

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