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Snowmobiling

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The best snowmobile trails tend to be in the northern Black Hills, especially the area west of Spearfish Canyon.
 
     Many of the snowmobile trails follow state, county and forest service roads that have no winter maintenance. There are, however, a number of specially groomed snowmobile trails throughout the hills.  A free map of snowmobile trails can be ordered from the S.D. Office of Tourism at 1-800-732-5682.

     Near Keystone, the best areas for snowmobiles, indeed all winter sports, tend to be on the western slopes, particularly at the higher elevations around Bear Mountain and Deerfield lake. Keystone, itself tends to get less snow than other parts of the Black Hills, because the town is located on the dryer eastern slopes. Perhaps that's why the locals say we are in the heart of the "Banana Belt."

     How good is snowmobiling in the Black Hills? A survey among users of the trail system found that 86% rate snowmobiling in the Black Hills better or much better than that they are accustomed to. A whopping 99% say the scenic values beat anything they've experienced anywhere. Dick Hendricks, editor of Snowmobile magazine, said, 'What we found was unbelievable!"  Snow Goer magazine has ranked the Black Hills as one of the top three snowmobiling destinations in the U.S.
 
     During an average year you can expect an 18- to 24- inch base of snow on the western slopes from November until early Spring. Snow in the Northwestern Hills will be deeper. The 2008-2009 season has thus far been good for snowmobiling with an early snowfall and generally colder temperatures.

      Snowmobile rentals are also available in the Black Hills, mostly in the Lead and Spearfish areas. A basic single snowmobile will rent for about $100 for a half day or $149 for a full day during weekdays and somewhat higher on weekends. Doubles are slightly higher.

     The Roosevelt Inn does not rent snowmobiles or ATVs, however the following places do: 
  • Custer Crossing, HCR 73 Box 1525, Deadwood, SD 57732    605-584-1009
  • Deerfield Lake Resort, Hill City, 605 574-2636
  • Spearfish Canyon Resort, Spearfish, 877 975-6343

Link to SD State FG&P Snowmobile Information & Maps
 

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