Winter in South Dakota can be tough sometimes, with biting winds and several feet of snowfall. However, the fun doesn’t have to end just because the cold weather sets in. This is especially true in the Black Hills, where winter tends to be relatively milder compared to the prairies in the eastern part of the state. Rather than spend all your time indoors shopping for Black Hills Gold jewelry accessories, there are many opportunities to get out and enjoy the frozen beauty of the legendary Paha Sapa, as the Lakota people call the region.
The northern Black Hills are home to Terry Peak, a downhill skiing and snowboarding resort popular with locals and visitors alike. There are many more opportunities for cross-country skiing, especially in the area of Spearfish Canyon near Cheyenne Crossing. Another popular route for cross-country skiing is the George S. Mickelson Trail, which stretches 109 miles through the Black Hills from north to south and features 15 trailheads.
There are scenic vistas in the Black Hills that you cannot see by car. A pair of snowshoes allows you to access these during the winter months and see the Black Hills spruce and ponderosa pine in their snowy splendor. There is a profound silence and sense of peace and solitude on these out-of-the-way trails that you can best experience as you take your time navigating along a snowy trail.
Of course, some people enjoy the exhilaration of zooming around the Hills on a snowmobile, and that’s another perfectly acceptable option. Snowmobiling is allowed on many trails throughout the Black Hills National Forest, but you’ll have to purchase a permit. If you have your own snowmobile, great! If not, it’s no problem because there are vehicles available for rent. Explore on your own or hire an expert guide.
Whatever winter activities you enjoy in the Black Hills, make sure you are aware of applicable regulations, follow the posted signs, and show respect for those around you.