Blue Bell Lodge

Blue Bell Lodge is a cozy log cabin ranch in the heart of Custer State Park. Located along the Wildlife Loop north of French Creek, the authentic ranch-style lodge offers guests a traditional cowboy getaway complete with chuck wagons, horses and campfire pits, not to mention the scenic backcountry and secluded canyons of the Black Hills in South Dakota.

Blue Bell Lodge is set in one of the world’s best wildlife sanctuaries and home to one of the largest American bison herds in the world. The lodge is situated on the Wildlife Loop Road, which winds through 18 miles of pine-speckled hills and open grasslands, which is home buffalo, bison, elk, deer, mules, prairie dogs and a variety of birds of prey. Free-roaming buffalo can be spotted on horseback rides led by seasoned cowboys and hay-wagon rides around the resort and guests can enjoy chuckwagon cookouts and a variety of Western entertainment around a roaring campfire in the evenings.

The lodge features a secluded compound of rustic log cabins furnished with comfortable Western-style décor, modern amenities, campfire pits and picnic tables. The lodge is home to an upscale, ranch-style restaurant that serves hearty, home-cooked cuisine and a general store on site provides a variety of vacation essentials.

Tucked away in the Black Hills of southwestern South Dakota, Custer State Park is a state park and wildlife reserve named after Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer. South Dakota's largest and first state park, Custer State Park encompasses 71,000 acres of spectacular terrain is one of the last remaining wild sanctuaries in the country where buffalo roam freely.

Blue Bell Lodge offers an array of activities and adventures to enjoy around the resort, including horseback riding, hay-wagon rides and hiking and is a short drive away from the Mount Rushmore National Memorial and the Jewel Cave Monument. Photo: Blue Bell Lodge


»Blue Bell Lodge Cabins

Blue Bell Lodge Cabins


Blue Bell Lodge accommodations range from 29 rustic, hand-crafted cabins with high, open-beamed ceilings and cozy fireplaces. All cabins feature comfortable beds with warm bedding, private bathrooms with showers and/or bathtubs, and fully-equipped kitchens/kitchenettes. Cabins are fully furnished, climate controlled and enjoy modern amenities, including flat-screen televisions, telephones, coffee makers and kitchen utensils. All linens and towels are provided, as well as housekeeping and laundry services.

The four-sleeper cabins have high vaulted ceilings and large stone fireplaces and are offered in three types – Sleeping Cabins, Honeymoon Cabins, and Housekeeping Cabins.

The biggest cabin at Blue Bell Lodge is the Ponderosa Cabin - a magnificent 3,150-square-foot cabin that is ideal for family reunions or corporate retreats. The expansive cabin can sleep up to 24 people and features four separate bedrooms with one king, two queen and two twin-over-full bunk beds, as well as two queen-size sleeper sofas in the living area. Five separate bathrooms offer showers, bathtubs, and deluxe bath products. A fully equipped kitchen has a full-size refrigerator and freezer, open top stove and oven, dishwasher, and microwave and a large stone gas fireplace promise cozy evenings in front of the roaring fire. A lovely deck at the back of the cabin has outdoor furniture, a propane grill, and an outdoor fire pit and boasts beautiful views of the surrounding forest.

Sleeping Cabins are spacious one-room cabins that sleep up to four people and feature two queen-size or two double beds, one full private bathroom with showers and bathtubs. Cabins also have cozy stone fireplaces and fully equipped kitchenettes with two-burner stoves, small refrigerators, and microwaves. Cabins have outdoor fire pits and picnic tables for alfresco dining.

Housekeeping Cabins are small one-room cabins that can sleep up to four people with one queen-size bed and one pull-out sofa sleeper and one private bathroom with a shower only. Cabins also have cozy stone fireplaces and fully equipped kitchenettes with two-burner stoves, small refrigerators, and microwaves. Cabins have outdoor fire pits and picnic tables for alfresco dining. There are also Housekeeping Cabins that can sleep up to six people with two queen-size beds and one set of bunk beds in the same room and a private full bathroom with a shower and a bathtub.

Double Housekeeping Cabins are large three-room units that can sleep up to eight people with two separate bedrooms that feature two double beds, one queen-size bed and one full private bathroom with shower and bath. A spacious living room has a queen-size sofa sleeper and a fully equipped kitchen with open-top stove and oven, full refrigerator and freezer, and microwave. A lovely deck at the back of the cabin has outdoor furniture, a propane grill, and an outdoor fire pit and boasts beautiful views of the surrounding forest.

The exclusive Commissioner’s Cabin is a picturesque log cabin that can accommodate up to eight people. Exuding an authentic Western charm and added levels of seclusion and privacy, the Commissioner’s Cabin features two separate bedrooms with two double beds, one queen-size bed and one full private bathroom with shower and bath. A spacious living room has a queen-size sofa sleeper and cozy fireplace and a fully equipped kitchen with open-top stove and oven, full refrigerator and freezer, and microwave. A lovely deck at the back of the cabin has outdoor furniture, a propane grill, and an outdoor fire pit and boasts beautiful views of the surrounding forest. Blue Bell Lodge in Custer State Park, South Dakota - Photo:

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»Dining at Blue Bell Lodge

Dining at Blue Bell Lodge


The Blue Bell Lodge dining room and lounge offer guests a hearty ranch house dining experience. The casual, comfortable dining room serves a menu that features cattle-drive classics and real Western tastes and flavors, including bison, beef, chicken, and fish and a signature rattlesnake sausage.

Guests can also enjoy a traditional hayride and hoedown with a chuck wagon cookout, which consists of a 45-minute old-fashioned hayride through the scenic backroads of the park to a mountain meadow canyon for a chuck wagon feast. Souvenir cowboy hats and bandannas are part of the package, as well as a classic country and folk music sing-a-along en route the meadow before tucking into mouthwatering Western-style cuisine.

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»Weddings & Conferences

Weddings & Conferences


Blue Bell Lodge's Outdoor Chapel provides a tranquil and natural environment in which to enjoy a dream wedding. Surrounded by beautiful rock formations and ponderosa pines, the lovely little chapel is ideal for intimate ceremonies, while the White Buffalo Room is a beautiful log-cabin banquet facility is perfect for receptions. Wedding packages include luxurious log cabin accommodations, hearty dining, an array of activities and adventures and spectacular natural scenery. Ceremony locations can also be accessed via horseback where Custer State Park horses and wranglers will personally deliver the guests to the site.

The Blue Bell Lodge has modern function rooms and venues for a variety of meetings and events. The Lodge’s main meeting room is located on the bar and features an adjoining outdoor patio. Ideal for small meetings and informal dinners, this room, can cater for up to 40 people and has plush carpeting, large windows, fixture lighting with dimmers, and two entrances.

The White Buffalo Room is slightly larger, catering for up to 80 people, yet still maintains an intimate and relaxed ambiance with beautiful views from the private back deck. The cozy log cabin room has plush carpeting, a large wood-burning fireplace, expansive windows with stunning views, fixture lighting, and ceiling fans, and accessible restrooms.

Blue Bell Lodge features an array of amenities and facilities in and around the resort. Cozy accommodations have back decks with propane grills and campfire pits while the main lodge has a homely restaurant, wedding and meeting facilities.

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»Things to Do Nearby

Things to Do Nearby

Custer State Park is packed with fantastic recreational activities from hiking to hay wagon riding. Hit one of the many trails on foot, horseback or mountain bike and soak up the natural beauty of the area. Buffalo Jeep Safaris travel through the park in open-air jeeps in search of buffalo, elk, and pronghorns and can be combined with a Chuck Wagon Cookout at the end of the safari.

Guided horseback rides are an excellent way to explore the spectacular scenery of the park and see some of the animals that call the region home and a variety of watercraft can be hired for use within the park. Custer State Park also boasts several scenic drives throughout the park that explores the beauty and the diversity of the area, from the buffalo-packed Wildlife Loop Road to the spectacular granite spires of Needles Highway.

During the summer season, the park offers excellent trout fishing in four alpine lakes, namely the Center, Legion, Stockade, and Sylvan Lakes, which comprise about 182 acres of gin-clear water and several species of fish. The winter season offers a range of snow-based sports such as skiing, snow-shoeing, and cross-country skiing.

25453 SD-87, Custer, SD 57730, 605-255-4531 (website)

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Blue Bell Lodge in Custer State Park, South Dakota