Custer State park is a 71,000-acre state park and also home to one of the world’s largest publicly-owned bison herds–nearly 1,300 strong! Each fall, on the last Friday in September the ground shakes, and the dust flies as ranchers and park crews saddle up to bring in the roaring herd!
The event is open to the public and attracts nearly 16,000 people every year. The event will be held on Friday, September 28, 2018, and usually begins at around 9:30am. Guests gather from across the US in safe viewing areas until all of the bison are rounded up into their corrals–usually around noon.
Make sure you stick around after the roundup to enjoy a fun-filled day at the Arts Festival and Craft Show. Visit over 150 exhibitors selling different Native American and Western Arts crafts and South Dakota made products.
There will be all-day entertainment under the big top featuring dancers, bands, and poets. Each day starts off with a pancake breakfast with buffalo burgers, brats, or chilli available throughout the day on the festival grounds. You’ll be sure to have an incredible jam-packed weekend of fun during this event!
Are you ready to start planning your trip to the annual Buffalo Roundup? The Spearfish Canyon Lodge is a great place to relax and unwind after a fun-filled day in Custer! Take a look at our availability for this special event, and book your stay today!
Why are the bison rounded up?
The Buffalo Roundup is part of Custer State Park’s management plan to maintain a healthy balance between the number of bison and the available rangeland forage. The park can only sustain a certain number of bison, based on the condition of the grassland and how much food is available. This event allows for some of the animals to be sorted out of the herd, they are then sold at an auction in November.
What happens to the bison after they’re in the corrals?
Once placed in the corrals, park staff sorts out approximately 200 animals to be sold, vaccinate the new members of the herd, brand the new calves, and check the cows for pregnancy. It takes about four days to work the entire herd.
What time should I get there?
Parking lots open at 6:15am the day of the roundup (but be prepared to wait in line). Visitors arriving at the park by 7:00am will have plenty of time to access the viewing areas. The roundup start at 9:30am.