Tips for navigating the annual Governor’s Buffalo Round Up

CUSTER, S.D.– With the buffalo all set up in the southeastern corner of the park and tents going up for food and vendor booths, Custer State Park is just about ready for the 57th annual Governor’s Buffalo Round Up. While only becoming a popular event among visitors within the last 20 to 30 years, thousands are expected to visit the park for what is considered one of their largest events of the year.

BisonAs Friday, September 30, draws closer, here are some things to keep in mind to better prepare for the day.

What should I bring?

When packing for the trip, some essentials might include:

  • camping chairs
  • snacks
  • water
  • layered clothing
  • rain gear (Chances for rain increase on Saturday. More up-to-date information on weather for the Buffalo Roundup can be found on the NewsCenter1 Weather App.)
  • cash money
  • cameras
  • binoculars

“They will start moving at 9:30 in the morning on Friday, but I always like to warn folks that’s when they start moving the herd,” Visitor Services Coordinator for Custer State Park Lydia Austin said. “It is up to the herd if it’s going to come down.”

Where should I park?

Parking for the event will be near the north and south viewing areas along the Wildlife Loop Road. Both lots will open around 6:15 a.m. Friday morning for people to start parking. Handicap placards if needed must be visible upon entry. “Come with a dose of patience,” Austin says.

Buffalo Roundup Parking Map

What should I expect at the Round Up?

The Buffalo Round Up will begin at 9:30 Friday morning, with parking being closed at 9:00 a.m. The park will have a cash-only pancake breakfast beginning at 6:15 a.m. at both viewing areas with proceeds going to Feeding South Dakota. Guests are required by the park to stay in the viewing areas until 12:00 p.m. for safety as officials are corralling the bison. Once the bison are corralled, visitors can then head to the corrals where a cash-only lunch will be served until 1:00 p.m.

How do I exit the Park after the Round Up?

When leaving the park, guests must leave the same way they came. Two-way traffic will not be available the day of the roundup event. Guests at the north parking Area will head back in the direction of the Visitors Center. Those at the south viewing area will head back towards Blue Bell Lodge.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News