Swimming in Sylvan Lake

If you’ve seen the movie National Treasure: Book of Secrets, then you’ve seen a bit of Sylvan Lake, a crystal clear lake set amidst granite spires in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Spoiler Alert: The movie’s treasure hunt brings Nicholas Cage to Sylvan Lake for another clue.

Sylvan Lake

After a day of touring, we cooled off in the spring fed waters of Sylvan Lake. The water was cold and the altitude (at 6,200 feet) enough to take our breath away.

swimming at Sylvan Lake

The man-made lake is located on the Needles Highway in Custer State Park, South Dakota. There are picnic tables, restrooms, and a sandy beach. You can rent paddle boats or walk the the trail around the lake. Sylvan Lake Lodge offers overnight accommodations and dining at its restaurant.

Trip taken July 2013.