One of the first places I was told to visit after moving to Rapid City was Sylvan Lake.
It took a few months, but I finally made it there over the weekend. This majestic body of water, located high in the Black Hills and about 45 miles southwest of Rapid City, is considered the “crown jewel” of Custer State Park.
It’s easy to see why: I had planned on jogging the one-mile loop trail that takes you around the lake, but instead walked at a leisurely pace to admire the tall rock formations that sit at the edge of the water.
A word of wisdom to first-time visitors: Bring a hat or wear sunscreen. The lake sits at an elevation of 6,145 feet and the sun is intense, even in the cooler months of the year.