Last Updated on August 23, 2023
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
By Jim Ferri
Every year the great buffalo roundup in South Dakota in Custer State Park draws large numbers of cowboys and cowgirls. That’s in addition to thousands of spectators.
The purpose of the South Dakota’s buffalo roundup is to cull the large herd of wild buffalo. That’s needed to check the health of the animals. It’s an incredible event that’s a window into the life of the American cowboy.
The two-hour roundup culminates in a chuck-wagon lunch. There’s a nominal charge for it, although there’s no fee to attend the Roundup. Reservations aren’t required, and park entrance fees are also waived the day of the roundup.
The buffalo roundup is difficult to replicate, however. It’s only an annual event on one Friday in late September/early October. Still, it provides an authentic taste of America’s Old West and draws thousands. Its purpose is to generally to ensure a balance between the size of the herd and available range-land forage.
Make the Buffalo Roundup a Weekend Road Trip
If you’re from out of state, make a road trip to southern South Dakota, the week of the event.
In addition to the buffalo roundup, in just a few days you can visit Rapid City (the largest city in the region with a good airport), Bear Country USA (more than you’d expect), Badlands National Park (incredible), Prairie Homestead, Wall Drug, Hot Springs Mammoth Site, the Wild Horse Sanctuary, the Crazy Horse Memorial, the historical city of Deadwood, and, of course, iconic Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
It’s a very easy and enjoyable trip since everything is within a 100-mile radius, at most a two-hour drive.