Winter Across South Dakota


Delight in a frosty frolic while skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, skating, or ice fishing. With more than 1,500 miles of trails statewide, South Dakota is one of the nation’s top snowmobiling destinations and the perfect setting for your winter getaway.

Black Hills & Badlands

  • Ice Rink in Main Street Square (Rapid City) – Come on down, bring some friends, and make lifelong memories while you skate on an outdoor rink larger than Rockefeller Center’s.
  • Snowmobiling – Just south of Spearfish, climb aboard a horse-powered sleigh and go dashing over 350 miles of marked, mapped, and groomed snowmobile trails.
  • Terry Peak – The family-friendly ski resort is located in the northern Black Hills near historic Deadwood. The summit stands at 7,100 feet tall and features the highest lift service between the Rockies and the Alps.
  • Evans Plunge (Hot Springs)- Established in 1890, Evans Plunge is the oldest tourist attraction in the Black Hills. You can swim, splash, and soak in the 87-degree mineral water. A natural thermal spring provides the pool’s crystal-clear, scentless water.
  • Custer State Park – Winter in the southern Black Hills offers a truly unique experience. Wildlife is far easier to spot without the cover of green vegetation, so enjoy the show as bison, bighorn sheep and others become more active in their natural habitats!
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial- Enjoy the majesty of four snow-covered stone faces along with the beauty of the Black Hills’ winter transformation.The memorial remains open all year round!
  • Badlands National Park – Take the Badlands Loop (Highway 240) for dreamy winter views of this 244,000-acre (97,600 ha) national park.

Travel Tip:  The interactive exhibits and free 20-minute movie at the Custer State Park Visitor Center make it the perfect place to start your adventure.

Missouri River/ Glacial Lakes & Prairies

  • Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center (Chamberlain) – It’s an experience that provides visitors with a living lesson on the Native American way of life both past and present.
  • Ice Fishing with Guides- Catch some walleye, smallmouth bass, or catfish with an experienced guide showing you the best spots and tricks that add up to one unforgettable fishing trip!
  • Terry Redlin Art Center (Aberdeen)- The famous landscape artist captured on canvas images of nature and small-town America. Enjoy free admission to see more than 160 original oil paintings and shop three exclusive gift shops.
  • South Dakota Art Museum (Brookings)- Explore the state’s artistic gem! Galleries feature Native American art, Harvey Dunn paintings & illustraions, Paul Goble illustrations, Marghab Linens, and dynamic exhibits by regional and national artists.
  • Dakota Nature Park (Brookings)- With rental equipment available on-site, it’s easy to try snowshoeing and cross-country skiing through the outdoor beauty of Dakota Nature Park

Travel Tip: The South Dakota Art Museum has been repeatedly named one of the top 25 museums & galleries in the U.S. by American Art Awards.


  • Great Bear Recreation Park (Sioux Falls)- Great Bear Recreation Park features more than 200 acres of outdoor fun just minutes from downtown Sioux Falls. The Ski Valley features skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, and snowshoeing.
  • Snowmobiling – The eastern side of South Dakota offers its own stunning snowmobiling locations—1,168 miles of trails, to be exact.
  • Palisades State Park – Cuddle up in one of the heated cabin rentals nestled amongst the park’s pink quartzite rock.
  • Newton Hills State Park– The area along Sargent Creek is considered one of the best places in the state to do some cross-country skiing.

Travel Tip: The Sioux quartzite formations at Palisades State Park are estimated to be 1.2 billion years old!

For more information on winter activities in South Dakota, visit

Photos: South Dakota Tourism