Rock Climbing

The Black Hills contain more than 600 quality rock climbs and the Needles, near Custer, are considered to be some of the best granite face climbs in the country. Adventure seekers will find multiple pitch aid routes, hard sport routes, free traditional crack climbs and excellent bouldering.

The pinnacles and spires of the Needles are a hardcore rock climber’s dream. Challenge yourself on the Cathedral Spires, Tin Pins and the Needles Eye.  Rock climbing is also popular around the Mount Rushmore area. Take on climbs called Emancipation Rock Formation, Chopping Block and Monster to get a one-of-a-kind view of the monument. Due to their proximity to Rushmore, some of these climbs are closed during periods of heightened security.

During the winter months, many of these same rock climbs become challenging ice climbs that draw visitors from all over the world.

Things to Remember When Rock Climbing

  • Serious rock climbing requires you to be in pretty good physical shape. Be sure to stretch since you’ll be using your legs and arms to haul yourself up the side of a mountain.
  • Needles climbers will find fewer bolts then normally seen on most modern routes. These bolts should be used with caution since many are old and were put in with a hand drill and hammer.
  • >Be respectful of the environment and heed warning signs and climb closures. This will ensure that all climbers can enjoy the world-class climbing in the Black Hills.
  • Always take out what you brought in and leave what you found. 

Rock Climbing Guides

Sylvan Rocks Climbing School & Guide Service
PO Box 600, Hill City, SD

Custer, South Dakota

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Custer, South Dakota

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