Our Guides

  • AMGA Certified Guides
  • All Gear Included
  • Adventure of a Lifetime

Brandon Emery

Brandon Emery | Co-Owner

Having grown up in Rapid City, Brandon has spent a considerable amount of time tromping and exploring in the Black Hills. Brandon learned to climb in the Needles back in 2011, and began his guiding career at Sylvan Rocks in 2018.

Brandon recently graduated from the University of Wyoming with a BS in Psychology and minors in Outdoor Leadership, Environment/Natural Resources and Sociology. Post graduation, Brandon returned to the Black Hills in the spring of 2020 to continue guiding, and soon after found himself fulfilling his lifelong dream of managing Sylvan Rocks.

In the winter you might find him carving turns on the ski slopes or climbing ice around the Hills. When not climbing or skiing, he also enjoys hunting, cooking, and going to concerts. You may even find him serving you a gourmet dinner at Skogen Kitchen in Custer!


AMGA Apprentice Rock Guide
AMGA Single Pitch Instructor
Wilderness First Responder

5 stars

My husband and I did the 6-hour rock climbing day. We are novice climbers with minimal experience and felt this was perfect duration. We learned a ton from our guide, Chris. We very much appreciated the instruction with various equipment and terminology. Highly recommend this activity for those who want to get outdoors and try something truly special!


5 stars

As a group of a 7 y/o who proved to be a bit afraid of climbing very high, an adult female who was afraid of heights, and 2 adult males (with slightly varying fitness abilities), all 4 of us had a great time. Our guide Brandon was extremely patient and able to challenge all of us and make us all feel like we really accomplished something! The area we climbed was challenging enough without being too challenging, and offered great views. None of us had ever rock climbed on real rocks before, but yet we felt extremely safe the whole time. As a company, they were extremely flexible with us making a last minute reservation. This is easily my number 1 suggestion for a thing to do while in the area!


5 stars

We loved our day with Sylvan Rocks! This is a must-do in the Black Hills! We had 2 adults and our 2 kids, age 7 & 8. We had all climbed at a couple indoor gyms before. That experience wasn't necessary but this was the perfect next step. Brandon was super patient and encouraging, and made us feel really safe. My husband and kids are athletic, but I am not and my son gets nervous trying new things. I couldn't believe the wall we climbed! In our 4 hours, we each tried several different climbs plus more for the kids, in a spectacularly beautiful setting. Long sleeves and durable pants recommended or you will get scraped up a bit. The awesome grippy shoes make you feel like spiderman! It was definitely a highlight of our trip and left us wanting to go again! (also felt safe with Covid concerns - staff wore masks when inside with us and the rest of the time we were in open air with plenty of space).


American Mountain Guides Association

The Highest Standards

Accredited by the American Mountain Guides Association

As the only AMGA Accredited Guide Service in the area, we are committed to a high standard of climbing professionalism. The AMGA is an internationally recognized association offering courses, exams and certifications designed to certify guides and instructors as well as accredit businesses.

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Our Friends

  • South Dakota Outdoor Shop
  • Black Hills Basecamp
  • Custer Chamber of Commerce
  • Granite Sports
  • Black Hills Climbers Coalition

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