– By #Powder House LodgeFor some, winter means curling up by the fireplace with a good book and a blanket for months while sipping hot cocoa and watching the snow fall. But for many in the Black Hills, winter means an opportunity to change up recreational options. Outdoor enthusiasts trade their shorts for snowsuits and water skis for downhill skis or snowmobiles.
Winter offers a whole new way to enjoy the beauty of the Black Hills. With two ski resorts, and more than 1,500 miles of snowmobile trails crisscrossing through beautiful terrain, there is plenty to do and see during the snowy months in South Dakota.
Downhill skiing in the Black Hills is a popular outdoor sport for many in the area. Terry Peak and Deer Mountain resorts are the Black Hill’s two downhill ski attractions. With just over 7,000 feet of elevation, Terry Peak offers runs for skiers of all ages. From green circles to black diamonds, skiers and snowboards alike will enjoy the challenging terrain of Terry Peak. Dedicated skiers also have the option of skinning for “freshies,” each morning at Terry Peak. “The early bird gets the powder turns,” as the saying goes in the ski community. Season Pass holders have the option to beat the crowds while getting a workout in, by making their way up the mountain before the lifts open.
Deer Mountain in Lead also offers a family friendly ski experience for those visiting the Black Hills. With two lifts on either side of the 6,850 foot summit, Deer Mountain offers beautiful panoramic views of the Black Hills and bordering states. The Little Fawn learning area offers a tow lift for beginners and a gentle sloping hill perfect to master turns and stops. For those who are looking for something a little different, Deer Mountain also offers a tube park where guests can ride down the mountain in a large tube.
For those who prefer to ski on level ground, the Black Hills National Forest offers miles of groomed and ungroomed cross country ski trails from Beaver Creek trail in Custer, through the Central and Northern Hills into Eastern Wyoming. With varying degrees of terrain, there are hundreds of miles of scenic beauty that can be enjoyed by ski or snowshoe. Cross country skiing is a wonderful way to get a cardio workout in. If you can walk, you can cross country ski. Imagine gliding across snow covered fields with ease as you take in the surrounding beauty of the Black Hills dressed in winter.
For those who are more the “grip it and rip it,” type, the Black Hills offers more than 1,500 miles of miles of snowmobile trails throughout the entire region. With restaurants, lodging and gas stations dotting the trails, drivers are able to tour the hills without ever having to hop on a highway!
Don’t count South Dakota out of your winter travels. From sweeping vistas to a roaring fire in a rustic cabin, the Black Hills offers a perfect winter getaway for the whole family.