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In 1874, gold was discovered in the Black Hills by none other than George Armstrong Custer and the Seventh Calvary, which led to the Black Hills Gold Rush. The settlement that was created from this event is believed to be one of the oldest communities in the Black Hills area of South Dakota and Wyoming, and it later became the city of Custer.
Like other Northern Hills cities, Custer bases its economy on the extraction of gold and industrial minerals. It has an annual celebration, Gold Discovery Days on the last weekend of July, to celebrate having discovered gold and establishing the town. Book an RV in Custer and you can retrace the steps that Custer followed through South Dakota on his way to fame. Other proximate cities that might be of interest to visitors are Hill City, Rapid City, Hermosa, Hot Springs, and Newcastle.
Black Hills National Forest is a USDA protected property in western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming, 110 miles long, 70 miles wide and 1.2 million acres in size. Custer and many other cities are located within the park boundaries. It consists of running streams, dark blue lakes, pine forest stands, open grasslands, canyons, gulches, and steep rock formations. It is a multi-use park, combining forestry, logging and animal grazing with hiking, rock climbing, mountain bike, and horseback riding, camping, swimming and more. Keep your Custer RV rental nearby for your post-activity haven where you can relax in comfort, knowing you've earned it. It is an open public park, but some activities within the park may require user fees and/or a permit. Check with a USDA office to find out more information.
Black Elk Peak, formerly known as Harney Peak, offers outdoor enthusiasts some fairly challenging hiking trails; the views from the summit, however, more than make up for the effort required to get there; chipmunks and eagles add to the scenery. It can be slippery in winter, so it may best be done during summer months. Plan to take your time and have an occasional rest; pack water and a bag for picking raspberries, if they are in season. Bring them back to your Custer camper rental where there is some ice cream in the freezer and you have your evening (or afternoon) dessert.
Wind Cave National Park is southeast of Custer. It is a rolling prairie of grassland, with one of the world's longest caves underneath, a complex maze of caverns that are home to unique formations such as boxwork, popcorn, and frostwork. It is named after the distinct barometric winds that haunt the cave's entrance.
When you rent an RV in Custer, you’ll find a variety of campgrounds to choose from. Most have just basic services (electricity) while a few offer everything (water, sewer, and electricity).
Custer State Park – Blue Bell Campground is one of the largest RV campgrounds in the area. It has electricity hookups. The park is big rig and pet-friendly and has some pull-through sites, showers, restrooms and refuse containers. It is heavily forested and has scenic views; some sites may be difficult to pull into because of the trees.
Big Pine Campground has sites with electricity, water, sewer, and WiFi. The sites are gravel and level, with picnic tables and fire rings, and are nestled among a stand of pine trees offering shade. The campground has restrooms and showers, some pull-through sites and is big rig friendly. Pets are allowed.
Custer State Park – Game Lodge Campground has sites with basic amenities. The campground has restrooms, showers, and big rig access. The campground also has trails for hiking, water sports, wildlife viewing and a restaurant for those who don't feel like cooking.
There isn't an extensive list of things to do in Custer, being the smaller community that it is, but Custer does have a theater company that is worth checking out. Farther out of town, visitors can take scenic drives, spend some time on the local bodies of water, engage in photography hunts or all of the above.
When the dinner bell rings, Custer answers with a slew of almost exclusively locally owned and operated venues (there are one or two chain restaurants for those preferring more familiar meals). Customers can choose from Mexican, pizza, seafood, bar/pub food and more. The portions are generally very large, so don't be ashamed to take some of your dinner back home to your Custer motorhome rental for a midnight snack or next day lunch. Better yet, grab some groceries from one of the local supermarkets and whip up your own movable feast in your RV trailer rental near Custer; nothing says vacation like eating under a moonlit sky.