• 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

Brandon and Jeff were phenomenal guides. I was with Jeff for day two in Custer and Summit Day on Devils Tower. He was knowledgeable, patient, encouraging, and enhanced the experience. Safety was their priority number 1 and I did not feel unsafe at any given point. I would highly recommend Sylvan Rocks Climbing School to anyone looking to climb in the Black Hills.


5 stars

My family took Sylvan's beginning rock climbing class and I would recommend it 100%! We have an 11 and 14 year old and my husband and I felt assured that safety was Sylvan's priority. Our instructor, Ryan did a terrific job explaining techniques at an understandable pace and was very patient. He made sure we mastered each progression before moving on so we didn't feel rushed into the next level. We were all confidently climbing 50 feet by the end of our class. You couldn't ask for a more picturesque, safe, well-organized, and fun experience for the whole family. Thanks, Ryan and Sylvan Climbing School!


5 stars

Hands down our best climbing day with a guide ever. Everyone had an opportunity to climb at their level and also challenge themselves. Our guide listened and asked questions to make sure he was delivering on how we wanted to spend our time and was thoughtful and engaging. We had fun climbing but also just being together as a family having an experience. I'd recommend Doug and Sylvan to any one.


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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