Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Where the Buffalo Roam



It wasn't on the itinerary but Custer State Park in South Dakota was definitely a worthwhile stop. We were driving through the Black Hills (which were beautiful) and headed to Mt Rushmore. There were 2 different routes we could take so when we stopped for gas Mr UR asked at a little visitors center which was the better choice. The woman working there said to go through Custer State Park. So we did.



It cost $15 per carload and the ranger gave us a map showing where wildlife could be found. Our first view was a herd of buffalo.



Next we saw an entire city of prairie dogs. They were so fun to watch  - popping in and out of the ground.



We saw pronghorn antelope



We even saw a coyote



And then we ran into these guys looking to be fed. But we didn't have anything for them to eat




The most amazing part of our time in Custer State Park was seeing this guy walking up the road



He was loudly snorting and slobbering and passed right next to our car almost touching it...



We ended our drive in a traffic jam waiting on the herd of buffalo to cross the road while this large buffalo stood in the middle of the road acting as a crossing guard while a storm approached



Even though we only spent a few hours in the park, we saw more wildlife here than we did in 2 full days in Yellowstone National Park. Some of the best money we spent on our trip!

Every year Custer State Park does a Buffalo Round-up in September, driving the herd of 1300 bison which are one of the largest publically owned herds in the world. You can find out about that here gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/custer/

8 comments:

  1. My younger son would LOVE this. So cool to get up close and personal with the animals like that. I also like the Georgia O'Keefe sky in the first few pictures.

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    1. Thanks Mara! It was definitely the closest I've ever been to wildlife

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  2. Jill, I chuckled at this post. I went to Custer's Park as a child. Hated it! I thought it was soooo boring. I don't believe we saw any wildlife, and I'm sure that would have made a difference. Your photos of the herd are gorgeous. I think it's great you saw so much. Wow. (http://www.reflectionsenroute.com)

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    1. Thanks Corinne! It was such an unexpected find and as beautiful as the park was I'm sure it was pretty boring to a child with no wildlife ha ha

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  3. Incredible! I would love to do this. Those buffalo look HUGE!

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    1. They were HUGE! Almost as big as our rental car - I believe they can weigh 2000 lbs.

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  4. That buffalo in the middle of the road had me chuckling, too. I'm hoping to get up to the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore in the next couple of years and will have to keep Custer in mind. I would love to see some prairie dogs and buffaloes roaming around.

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    1. I hope you get there Michele - you'll love it - it' s really beautiful country

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