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Winter Sports

12/29/2009
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PIERRE, S.D. - Break out the skis. Snow has hit South Dakota and winter sports enthusiasts now have miles of fun ahead of them. Whether it's snowmobiling, downhill or cross-country skiing, South Dakota is an ideal and affordable winter getaway.

"South Dakota is known around the world as a great place for a family vacation and winter is no exception,” said Richard Benda, Secretary of the Department of Tourism and State Development. “Our state provides endless opportunities for families to enjoy everything from snow-shoeing to snowmobiling.”

Snowmobiling

South Dakota boasts more than 1,690 miles of groomed snowmobile trails across the state in some of the most scenic and wide open spaces in the country.

The Black Hills offers more than 350 miles of groomed trails spread over 1.3 million acres. The area offers terrain that ranges from deep canyons to powder meadows and summit views. It's not hard to understand why leading industry publications call the Black Hills one of the top snowmobiling destinations in the country.

Across the state, the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks grooms more than 1,300 miles of snowmobile trails in eleven locations with many conveniently located near warming shelters. Snowmobilers will find plenty of space to open the throttle and enjoy a winter on the prairie.

Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding

South Dakota’s three ski areas offer some of the best skiing and snowboarding values anywhere in the world.

Two resorts in the Black Hills, located just outside of historic Deadwood, get an average of 150 inches of snow every year, providing plenty of powder and a season of fun. Terry Peak has an elevation of 7,052 feet and 30 trails spread out over 450 acres of mountain. Mystic Miner at Deer Mountain features 44 trails and a five-acre snowboard terrain park, built for affordable family fun. Mystic Miner’s Blizzard Tube Park provides the Black Hills’ largest tubing area, and families can book an old-fashioned sleigh ride to cap the day off in style.

On the eastern side of the state, Great Bear Recreation Park has a variety of activities for family winter fun. The park offers downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, tubing and snow-shoeing to make the area a hot spot for winter fun. Located in the state’s largest city, Sioux Falls, Great Bear is located near ample lodging, shopping and entertainment opportunities.

Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing

It’s no secret that South Dakota is known for its wide open spaces, making cross-country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities virtually endless. What many might not know is that the state provides groomed trails at 12 of its state parks. Many of the trails begin and end near heated warming shelters and lead skiers off the beaten path and through beautiful South Dakota scenery.

Fast Facts:

  • Snowmobile trails across South Dakota opened on December 15.
  • The summit of Terry Peak stands at 7,052 ft, with the highest vertical drop between the Rockies and the Alps.
  • The average winter temperature in the Black Hills is 30 degrees.
  • Many South Dakota state parks have camping cabins that are available all winter.
  • Snowmobile trail updates from the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks are available on Twitter at @SDSnowBHills and @SDSnowEast.

Links:

Contacts:

Wanda Goodman, Media & PR Manager of the SD Office of Tourism, 605-773-3301, wanda.goodman@state.sd.us

 

* All photos must be credited to the South Dakota Office of Tourism.

Video Gallery

Winter Sports video

32-second WMV file