The Custer National Forest is located in two states – Montana and South Dakota. This national forest takes pride in its ecological diversity. Throughout the forest you will find rolling prairies, Ponderosa pines, and populations of rare species like the Merlin falcon.
It covers a large area in Montana, about 1,112,379 acres. The park covers 74,536 acres in northwestern South Dakota. It is separated between five units throughout South Dakota.
The Custer National Forest in South Dakota offers a wide variety of activities, including hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, snowmobiling, and cross country skiing. If you are looking to do any of these things in a beautiful area and solitary setting, then this is the perfect location. While there are no maintained hiking trails, the land is very conducive to hiking and you will see beautiful views along the way.
Or, try camping in the forest. In South Dakota’s Custer National Forest, there are two different locations to camp There are four camping units in the Slim Buttes Unit. Amenities at the Slim Buttes Unit include electrical outlets, vault toilets, drinking water, and shelters. At the North Cave Hills Unit there are 10 camp sites with the following amenities: vault toilets and drinking water. Call the number at the bottom of this post for more information about camping in the Custer National Forest.
Of course, the other option is to do some primitive camping – this is allowed anywhere in the forest. Please remember to take out what you bring in. Also, a safe guideline to follow is to stay 100 feet away from any water and all trails.
The Custer National Forest in South Dakota is home to a variety of wildlife species including elk, deer, antelope, cougars, bobcats, turkeys, Merlins, porcupine, and more.
The very best part about visiting this park – it’s free! Custer National Forest is open year-round 24-hours per day. If you are interested in learning more about the park, the Sioux Ranger District Office if located in Camp Crook, South Dakota. Or call 605-797-4432.