Prairie Trail is a 2.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Custer, South Dakota that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length2.1 miElevation gain423 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashKid friendlyHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeFee
Description
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Custer State Park charges an admission fee of $20 per vehicle that is valid for one week. Annual passes can be purchased for $36 for the first vehicle and $18 for a second vehicle. More information can be found at the park page here - https://gfp.sd.gov/parks/detail/custer-state-park/

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Reviews (148)
Photos (142)
Activities (136)
Completed (265)
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david grensing
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Hiking
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Nicole Thibault
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Hiking

a few steep stops but easy

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Randi Zahratka
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HikingIcySnow

Great trail, but slick hills with the snow

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April Oedekoven
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Hiking
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David Beam
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Hiking

Easy, nice 2.1 miles, beautiful crisp colors

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Kelly Sheckell
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Hiking

This is a really good hike on the prairie, which I thought meant it would be flat (admittedly I am a tourist and don’t have first hand knowledge of prairies). Surprisingly hilly, just enough to make the hike interesting. But- our biggest surprise was the bison- holy moly! We crested a hill and there was a herd of them- closer than we were comfortable with. We were able to back away as a few of them stared us down. Terrifying. We saw some more running up a hill about 500 yards from us- that was a much better distance. Looking at the reviews, it doesn’t sound like others had the same experience. But if you want to see some bison, try this hike, just keep your head on a swivel to keep a safe distance.

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Tim McNulty
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HikingGreat!

We were the only ones on the trail. Another couple had come back in as we were heading out. This one is worth the hike. Good scenery and a great view back down over the Buffalo herds.

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Tim McNulty
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Hiking

Beautiful scenery.

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Jim Benjamin
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Hiking

nice trail although shade is a bit limited and we ended the hike at 93 degrees. The park says the trail is 3 miles and based on our hiking time, I would agree. I am 79 and it was not too easy in the heat as the temperature had gone up over 15 degrees since we started.

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Robert Giesen
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HikingGreat!Over grownRocky

Completed this hike this morning. Enjoyed it very much. It is one of the legs of the Custer State Park Trail Challenge this year. Hadn’t hiked it previously. We went ccw which in my opinion is easier as the elevation gain is more gradual. Fantastic views and really enjoyed the mix of trees and prairie. Also agree with the suggestion of long lightweight pants. The trail is somewhat overgrown. We were so happy to see so many wildflowers still in bloom. As far as the degree of difficulty, I would not rate this trail as easy. As some have stated. That being said, I am 65 years old and rarely find trails I would rate as easy these days. Definitely worth doing.

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Aaron Smith
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Hiking

nice easy hike, great for beginners. great park to see some critters.

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Quentin Jameson
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Hiking

Great views of the hills and open landscape. Had a buffalo on the trial so we waited for a bit for it to pass.

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Keely Chisholm
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not kid friendly and very boring. yes there were a couple wildflowers here and there but we didn't think it was anything like we were expecting. the trail is single file and a little overgrown, so when you walk through your legs are constantly getting scraped or scratched. Wear pants on this one. also a bit rocky at times.

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Richard Felix
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HikingOver grown

Very nice trail. Would recommend lightweight pants or tall socks since a lot of the trail is overgrown. Overall, great 2.2 mile trail that can tire you out.

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Jen Langenfeld
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HikingNo shade
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Tina Panzirer
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HikingOver grownRocky
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Erin Saunders
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HikingOver grown

Enjoyed the variety of scenery on this trail. The incline makes it feel longer than it is. Be aware of poison ivy! The trail is quite overgrown in spots and we had an issue with poison ivy.

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Chuck DeBaun
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HikingMuddyRocky

Nice quick trail. We went counterclockwise. That makes for a steeper climb first. Some mud, could be worse with rain. Prairie Dogs about halfway. I would rate at moderate, because of some small difficult areas. Grandkids did it with me, 10&4.

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Alisha Riemenschneider
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Hiking

Nice trail in the Southern Hills. And fit for kids. Don’t let the name fool you....it’s not a walk through the flat prairie. There is some elevation change. There is a nice stream, a few vistas where you can see for miles, and some meadows that would probably be beautiful during wildflower season. The trailhead sign says the distance is 3 miles but it’s only about 2.1.

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Yee Jensen
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Hiking

Completed on 5/15/2020. This trail starts along the Custer Scenic Drive. Tiny parking with out house. Trail passes over a pretty little creek (easy to get across) and then slowly inclines to top of hill where it’s open grassland. Because bisons do roam freely, there were a lot of bison patties to avoid along the trail.

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Jesse Surratt
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HikingNo shade
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Donn Haugen
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Hiking

going to the right there is I prairie dog town you can view from sbove

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Missy Garrison
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Hiking

We hiked this trail in October. The colors are absolutely beautiful this time of year!we saw bison in the distance, some prairie dogs, and a deer. Would recommend for a easy/moderate hike.

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Jessica Lynn
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HikingOver grownRocky

we ventured down this trail post peak season (Oct 1). we saw a giant bison! our feet became soaked (even in goretex footwear) about halfway through due to the overgrown grasses and misty/rainy conditions. really rich colors and great vistas made this an incredible hike!

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