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Rock Climbing in South Dakota


ThingsToDo-RockClimbing.jpgSouth Dakota's rock climbing is considered some of the best in the nation.


Around 500 climbing courses of varying levels of difficulty have been plotted across the state, while those wishing to blaze their own path can do so without a pre-set course.

South Dakota's diverse landscape and types of rock create great climbing opportunities, especially in Custer State Park, the Southern Black Hills and Spearfish Canyon on the western side of the state, and Palisades State Park on the eastern side.

The crystallized granite of the Needles in Custer State Park provides a popular place for climbing with about 1,000 granite spires ranging to 300 foot ascents. Climbing near Mount Rushmore National Memorial provides more sports routes with bolts anchored with power drills in order to ensure maximum safety. And free solo climbers love bouldering at Palisades State Park.

Getting Started

South Dakota also has abundant opportunities for new climbers. Outdoor enthusiasts can practice scaling, rappelling and get other climbing training through experienced climbing instructors and climbing groups. Sports shops in the Black Hills sell climbing equipment, maps and guidebooks.

For more information on rock climbing in South Dakota, visit the Interactive Trip Planner.