For an especially memorable Black Hills experience, stay at Thunder Mountain Vista. This two-bedroom retreat is just a 7.5 mile drive west of Custer, three miles off the highway on a well-maintained gravel road. It is a uniquely constructed single story, bank-style home perched on a south-facing knoll overlooking the stream and hay meadows of a lovey valley bordered by Ponderosa Pine-covered hills. Situated on 10 acres of mixed grassland and forest, the home offers an atmosphere of serenity and solitude. Large windows in the living room and both bedrooms offer broad views of the pastoral valley and surrounding hills. The deck is situated perfectly for watching the rising and setting of both the sun and the moon over the hills. On clear nights, when the moon is up the valley is bathed in moonlight and when the moon is not, the star-gazing is incredible. Be sure to bring your telescope. Wildlife is plentiful around the property, especially white tail deer, turkeys, and cotton tail rabbits. Elk make rare appearances and occasionally coyotes yap as they traverse the valley at night. You are welcome to walk the property and adjoining forest service land behind the house as long as you are mindful to leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but photos. The garage is available to protect your vehicle should a severe thunder or hail storm threaten.
Just west of Custer, Thunder Mountain Vista offers an excellent vantage point from which to explore the sights and beauty of the Black Hills. Our national treasures include Jewel Cave National Monument, 11 miles to the west, Wind Cave National Park 26 miles to the south, and Mount Rushmore National Memorial, 27 miles to the north. Custer State Park, the second largest state park in the U. S., with its fabulous wildlife loop, is only a few miles east of Custer. Crazy Horse Memorial, the world's largest mountain carving, is four miles north of Custer. The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, home to the greatest concentration of mammoth remains in the world, is another 14 miles south of Wind Cave. Discover the shops, museums, and eateries of the nearby towns of Custer, Hill City, Keystone, and Hot Springs; each town has a variety of unique experiences to offer. Terrific hiking trails abound in Custer State Park, the Harney Range and Black Elk Wilderness, and Wind Cave National Park, while the George Mickelson trail, which winds through the heart of the Hills, appeals to bicyclists and those desiring less strenuous adventure. Enjoy driving the spectacular paved scenic byways of the Black Hills, especially the historic Iron Mountain Road and the Needles Highway which have interesting hairpin turns, tunnels and pig-tail bridges. For the more adventuresome drawn to the unpaved byways, there are miles of forest service roads to explore throughout the Hills. Day trips to attractions near Rapid City, such as Bear Country, USA and Reptile Gardens, and those of the northern Hills, such as Sturgis and Deadwood, are very doable from the Custer area.
After a day of exploring, relax in the 'natural quiet' of Thunder Mountain Vista, smell the fragrance of the pines, hear a nightly chorus of frogs in the creek, listen for owls and coyotes, and recharge for the next day's adventures. Whatever your particular interests may be, we will be happy to assist your with planning your visit to the Hills.