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

Great for beginners and families (Ages 5 and Up)

Do something you never imagined you could! Our four-hour Discover Climbing course is a great first experience climbing on real rocks. Prior to this four-hour adventure, our professional climbing guides will meet you at the South Dakota Outdoor Shop in Custer, South Dakota. Your guide will outfit you with all the necessary climbing equipment for your day. You will then travel to Sylvan Lake (roughly 12 minutes, transportation not provided), where a short 10 minute hike will take you behind Sylvan Lake to enjoy world class rock climbing!

During a Discover Climbing course, you will learn the very basics of rock climbing. Your guide will teach you how to move effectively on the rocks. The cool thing about climbing in the Black Hills is that most of the strength you use comes from stepping, standing and trusting your feet. You don’t have to be able to do a single pull up to have fun climbing these rocks! Your guide will also teach you basic skills such as tying into the rope and belaying a partner on top rope.

This course is our group course, so you may be going out with other groups or families.

All classes meet at 7:45 am at the South Dakota Outdoor Shop in Custer, South Dakota.

Afternoon courses may be offered subject to guide availability and weather, please call us for more information.

Ages 5 and up, parent or guardian MUST be present!


Custer State Park
Palisades State Park


Learn Basics of Climbing
Climb Multiple 50-foot Routes

Climbers Per Guide

6:1 maximum


1 Climber = $150
2-13 climbers = $100 / climber
Groups 14+ = $80 / climber


All Equipment is provided.
Ages 5 and up, Parent or guardian MUST be present!
For parties of 7+ please call to book your adventure.

Your Adventure Awaits

  • Schedule

    1. Schedule

    Book online or call us to schedule the perfect adventure.

  • Instruction

    2. Instruction

    Feel confident with certified instructors.

  • Climbing

    3. Climbing

    Enjoy an adventure of a lifetime!

5 stars

We had a great time climbing with Jeff at Sylvan Rocks Climbing School. The company is really well run and you can tell that they are fully invested in making sure you have a great time. The owners are guides themselves so they do everything they can to make sure you feel safe, challenged, and satisfied with your experience. We even went out during an unseasonably snowy day in September and had a blast. Highly recommended!


5 stars

We chose to rock climb as a family of four last minute and we're so glad we did. It was one of the highlights of our South Dakota trip. Daryl found us a guide who was personable and patient. My 5 and 7 year old were able to climb 15 and 30 foot cliffs and my wife and I found the climbs exhilarating and fun. The price was reasonable and it fit well into a day trip to Custer State Park.


5 stars

We booked a 6 hour lesson with Brandon and Chris in early September, 2020. We are a family of 5 with kids age 11, 9 and 6. This was our first outdoor rock climbing experience and it was amazing! We thought we would be getting to scale some large boulders outside. In the end, three of us climbed to the top of Rhinoceros Rock, a mountain in Custer State Park that is 130 feet high! Brandon and Chris were great guides and teachers. They worked extremely well with the kids, including helping my 6 year old not be afraid of heights and feel safe. They were very thorough, safe and fun. I highly recommend using Sylvan Rocks Climbing School if you are anywhere close to the area. It was the highlight of our trip to the Black Hills.


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.

Visit AMGA

Everything Is Included

  • Shoes


  • Rope


  • Helmet


  • Harness


  • Anchor Gear

    Anchor Gear

  • Knowledge


Our Friends

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

We Love Answering Questions

Thank you for your question / comment!

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