This is a continuation of a travel series to South Dakota. To start at the beginning, go HERE. The rest of the posts in chronological order are HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE!
After taking two scenic drives in Custer State Park, we were ready to get out and stretch our legs a bit. There are so many trails to choose from in Custer State Park. We hiked three trails in the park, and the Sylvan Lake Trail was one of my favorites for its scenic beauty.
The Sylvan Lake Shore Trail is described as a easy 1.1 mile loop that is good for all skill levels. I would agree with that except there are a couple of tricky spots that older or differently-abled people might find difficult to navigate. You'll see pictures of those spots in the pictures below.
The loop trail starts at the Sylvan Lake Shore parking lot and goes completely around the lake, so you get a complete view of every angle of the lake. It is such a beautiful lake with amazing stone formations in and surrounding the water, and also beautiful greenery.
If any of this looks familiar to you it's because some scenes from the second National Treasure movie were filmed here. I can see why, it's definitely unique! I've never seen anything like it before.
When you reach the end of the lake on the first side of the trail, it appears to come to a dead end, hence my peculiar pose in the picture below. 🤣 I was wondering where the trail was going or if it stopped!
But the trail actually goes through this tight rocky formation! It is very narrow, it made me wonder if all body types could even fit through here.
Now here's where the tricky part begins, to get to the other side of the lake you have to cross over the water using the rock formations and stepping stones. I'm deathly afraid of water, so I was a little nervous. My husband is never helpful in these type of situations for he always finds me hysterical and enjoys just laughing at me and taking pictures of me trying to navigate my way. 😏
I found getting down on my butt the safest and easiest way to get down off the boulder to the stepping stones! ha ha! Whatever works!
Many of the reviews of this trail say it's short and sweet, but I think we spent a couple of hours here. We did get off the trail a lot to climb the boulders and explore every nook and cranny. It was just so beautiful, and the weather was so perfect, we wanted to soak in every vista!
You're probably wondering why in some of the pictures the water looks crystal clear and blue and in other photos it looks brown, I have no idea. It was like that in real life too. We think it has something to do with the sun and what side of the lake the pictures we're taken.
I really liked the views from the end of the trail at the opposite side of the lake too. There was a large grassy area with cat tails and wildflowers. It was so serene and beautiful.
The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, and fishing! Hmm, I wonder if the fisherman below caught anything?
After our hike on Sylvan Lake Shore Trail we called it a day and had a nice dinner
and checked into our hotel for the evening. We needed to get plenty of rest because we knew the next day was going to be a challenging one. We were going to hike one of the most difficult hikes of our lives: up to Harney Peak! You'll have to come back next week to hear how that six hour hike went!
Have A Great Day! Amy
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