1. Are there directions to the Chicken Pox Boulder? Nothing on the page nor Mountain Project. I appreciate what you guys have done/are doing here.


    1. Hey Logan,
      The Chicken Pox Boulder is a great overhanging block just outside of the town of Custer. From Custer head out of town going East on Hwy 16a towards Custer State Park. Just outside town a few miles you will see Calamity Peak off to your left. Huge Mass of Granite formations. There is a road here called, ” American Center Road.” Take a left here and follow this road. The American Outlaw Boulders are the boulders to the left of The Outlaw Ranch Bible Camp sign about 2 miles from where you turn onto the road. They are roadside and offer great problems. Anyway, The Chicken Pox Boulder will be in this vicinity. Best to drive to them although you could easily walk once you know where the blocks are at. So continuing on American Center Road you will pass the outlaw ranch sign ( on right) STAYING on American center road. The road will curve by the sign and head back west for a few feet before curving again and putting you heading east. RIght pass this “U” or curve in the roads you will see another road on your left called, ” Rocky Road.” Take a left here. You will drive a few feet until as of 2016 there was a pull out for a old slash pile. Park here The Chicken Pox Boulder will be down the hill. You should be able to see American Center Road its kind of in the “V” proximity of where the two road met. Great pumpy bouldering most problems here are V5 and V7 i belive there is one or two warm up problems. VERY unique stone!

      If you stayed on American Center Road instead of turning off on Rocky Road for another 3-4 miles you would pass by the Swamp Boulder. This boulder is as roadside as they come. You can’t miss this wall right by a small creek you cross. This boulder is comparable to American Outlaw boulders. Great stone with awesome holds. Lots of different variations and a great wall. V2-V7 problems.

      If you continued pass the Swamp Boulder another 3 miles you would come to a junction with Needles Highway (Hwy 87). If you took a right here and drove for a few miles it would bring you to the junction of Needles HIghway and The Black Hills Playhouse Road. About a quarter mile before this junction heading from American Center Road there is a random cemented pull out by a corner in the road. If you look up on the ridge line you will notice a very tall proud looking boulder. If you parked here you would be at the Playhouse Boulders. Again, Fantastic stone! The big block on the ridge line is the Thailand boulder. There are a ton of other problems in this area as well. Let me know if I helped or confused you more. 🙂 Hope it helped! Cheers to boulder hunting and thanks for following!


      1. This helped a lot, much more than I expected too! Thank you! I can’t wait to get out there. Today was nice, I hope more days like today occur soon.


  2. Let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you enjoy the area its a wonderful place to beat the heat in the summer! Keep me updated always enjoy hearing about the bouldering in the area.


  3. Hey Mike Madsen,

    My name is Adam Jenkins, I am working up at the sylvan lake store over the summer and I am truly obsessed with bouldering! Im from Nashville, so I am used to places like LRC and Rocktown, bouldering palaces. But, if you’re ever looking for someone to go out and work problems with, I would love to get together and do that. This area has so much bouldering potential, but I don’t know the area well enough to tap into it all, but you seem very knowledgable about it. So if you want to you can reach me at the sylvan lake lodge by giving them a call, or you can swing by the store and I will likely be there.



    1. Hey adam,
      Good to hear you are at sylvan. James is a good friend of mine. Your assistant Jacob was my assistant when I managed legion lake. I was at sylvan for many years. I understand the endless possibilities as I too was always looking after work. It used to be a ton of climbers working in the store. The mural in the store kitchen was painted by us in 2013? Anywho I still work for the same company but transferred to Deadwood to manage a hotel. If you have questions on any problems let me know. There is a ton of problems and areas put up around the lake by old climbers and lots of recent stuff. The honeymoon boulders are the best developed area. I started the development here in 2012 and has seen additions every summer since. If you have Instagram you can also follow black Hills Bouldering and message me on there for questions.
      Custer also has a bunch of bouldering around the town. Cheers!

      Thanks for reaching out.


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