We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Custer State Park Fee

Which Custer hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Murrells Inlet...
Level Contributor
54 posts
23 reviews
Save Topic
Custer State Park Fee

We will be driving in August from Denver to Rapid City. We would like to drive through Custer State Park on the way to Mount Rushmore (and then on to Rapid City where we will stay overnight). Someone suggested to drive the Iron Mountain Road to Rushmore. Is there an entrance fee to the Custer State Park, even if you are just driving through?

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
683 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Custer State Park Fee

Yes, there is a fee even if you are just driving through. It is $15 for a car, is good for 7 days and worth every penny. How long do you plan to be in the area? Although a state park, Custer State Park is more like a national park and is fabulous. It is worth spending a day or two or three exploring this park. Iron Mountain Road is part of the Peter Norbeck Byway which is on the top 10 list of the most scenic drives in the USA. The Needles Highway is also a part of this byway. Iron Mountain Road is best driven from the south to the north, towards Mt. Rushmore. Sylvan Lake in the Needles is one of the most picturesque lakes we have ever seen. The Wildlife Loop Road on the southern end of the park is also a worthwhile drive for wildlife viewing, expecially if driven before 10 a.m and/or late afternoon to dusk when the animals are more active. Bison and other wildlife are viewed in their natural habitat, up close.

Apple Valley...
Level Contributor
684 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Custer State Park Fee

Seems to me there was a way to drive Iron Mountain Road outside of the state park area as well...it is just a county road or something like that as well. Hwy 16A I think is the name and not all of it is in the park...but I would agree its worth the fee to see the rest of the park if you have a few days.

Rockford, Illinois
Level Contributor
894 posts
212 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Custer State Park Fee

We just returned from the area and the start of Iron Mountain Rd. is just outside the park entrance, so you don't need to pay to go on that road. I would say that you should pay the $15 though so you can enjoy the rest of the park.......it is beautiful there.....Sylvan Lake, Needles Hwy, Wildlife Loop......definitely worth the money!

Murrells Inlet...
Level Contributor
54 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Custer State Park Fee

Thanks everyone for your quick responses. We are limited on time that day, so maybe the drive on 16A would suffice for this time around...

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
8,130 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Custer State Park Fee

This is what I was told, after driving the Iron Mountain RD into Custer State Park at the admission gate . . .

The park ranger said if you are driving through to Custer without ANY stops nor driving the WIldlife Loop Rd, there is no charge. He did say that they will notice if you didn't pay and take the loop road. If caught you'll be fined and be req'd to pay the $15 fee on top of it.

They give you a window tag for your front windshield so it is apparent to all, if you paid or not.

At the bison herd on the Loop Rd, there was a ranger so had I (or anyone else) not paid, he would have right there known we were not in compliance.

For $15 it is not worth it.

Villa Park, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Custer State Park Fee

Wish I saw the bison herd, drove that entire loop and didn't see one buffalo :(

Apple Valley...
Level Contributor
684 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Custer State Park Fee

iron mountain road is east of the park though so depending on your driving destinations, it may be hard to get too if you want to avoid the park honestly....I looked at the map to try and find a "faster" way over to crazy horse one evening and there is no direct route, especially if you are wanting to drive south to north to view the tunnels framing rushmore.

8. Re: Custer State Park Fee

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 25 July 2013, 10:17