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Mount Coolidge Lookout Tower

Two girls taking a selfie

Get the best view of your surroundings

The Mount Coolidge Lookout and Fire Tower was one of the last projects completed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the late 1930s. Built of local stone, the tower rests atop a 6,023-foot peak and is still used today as a fire lookout and dispatch center. As the highest point in central Custer State Park, it offers breathtaking 360-degree views from the top of the fire tower. On a clear day, you can see the Badlands nearly 60 miles away in the east.

You can find Mount Coolidge 3 miles south of 16A on your way to Blue Bell Lodge. The turnoff is located on SD 87 as Wildlife Loop turns back to the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway.

See it on the map

When’s the best time to visit?

The road to Mount Coolidge is open in daylight hours throughout the summer, generally 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If the gate at the base of the mountain is open, visitors may proceed to the top.

Take care

A 1.7-mile gravel road leads visitors to the top of the mountain. Large vehicles and motorhomes should avoid making the trip, as the road is narrow and winding.