Our Guides

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

Lindsay Stephens

Lindsay Stephens

Lindsay began working with Sylvan Rocks in 2007, and continues to share her love of climbing with enthusiastic pizazz. Lindsay spent several seasons tracking down the first ascents of the pioneers of Custer State Park Needles climbing, Jan and Herb Conn.

Her guide book, South Dakota Needles: The Adventure Climbs of Jan and Herb Conn, is already in its second printing. Until Lindsay’s explorations, some of these old climbing routes, put up in the 1950’s by a couple of legends in tennis shoes, had never seen a second ascent.

When not working with Sylvan Rocks, Lindsay teaches English at the University of South Dakota where she is working toward her Doctorate in English.


Tenured Single Pitch Instructor
Wilderness First Responder
Outdoor Emergency Care
CPR / First Aid

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.


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

Great experience! My wife and I have not done any outdoor climbing, but were willing to be challenged! We started on a fun climb up Beer and Pretzels overlooking Sylvan Lake! Jeff did a great job at understanding our skill levels and accommodating climbs to both push us, allow us to learn, and most of all enjoy our time! I would definitely recommend this experience. We are excited to climb more now that we have some skills to work with and are excited to climb again when we visit the Black Hills next time. Big thanks again to Jeff for being so professional, knowledgeable, and answering all our questions. Get out there and climb some crystals in the beautiful 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.

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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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