When I was looking for things to add to the Black Hills Bucket List, someone in an online Facebook group told me I should check out the big painted buffalos in Custer. I think I would classify that as an offbeat and unique attraction, so it most definitely got added to the list!
Upon researching it, I got conflicting information. One source said it was one single HUGE painted buffalo in Custer. Another source said it was several large painted buffalos throughout Custer’s main street.
So which one was it?
We drove all over Custer several times while we were in the Black Hills. We never saw one HUGE painted buffalo but several large painted buffalo’s that lined main street in Custer.
Story Behind the Big Painted Buffalos
The Custer Stampede Buffalo Art Auction was a public art project that was created to showcase original bison artwork by artists from around the country. It began in 2007, with the last one in 2016. Several of the herd survived auction and that is what you will see scattered around downtown Custer.
Each buffalo is hand-painted in magnificent detail and is a little smaller than life size but still very large! It was a pretty cool find that offered great photo ops as we strolled down Main Street in Custer. Just remember, while you can pose with the buffalo you can’t touch or climb on them!
If you are in the area, it is worth it to check them out as well as taking a stroll through downtown. There are several more than what I have pictured here! They are all unique and just downright cool!