One of the nation's largest state parks, Custer State Park in South Dakota is famed for its scenic drives, wild rock formations and the incredible wildlife practically at your fingertips. From weird rock spires to grazing bison and Wind Cave National Park as its neighbor, you definitely won't be disappointed with a trip out here.
Custer is best accessed by private car, since it's also a great driving park. There's a ton to do, from rock climbing, hiking and swimming to hunting and fishing. Stretch your legs and get your heart rate up on the Black Elk Peak/Harney Peak Trail, or the much easier Lover's Leap Trail loop. Check out the Custer State Park webpage for details, or find camping and lodging options here. Just make sure to book in advance.
Custer is open year-round, though it can get quite hot in the summer months. It's not unusual for snow to start falling as early as September, lasting until mid-May.
Fees apply, and details can be found on the Custer State Park webpage, above.
Dogs are permitted on a leash not exceeding 10 feet in length, but are not allowed in park buildings or on designated swimming beaches. The park also notes that visitors should never leave pets unattended.