Make experiencing the Black Hills one of your New Years’ resolutions
RAPID CITY, S.D. — It’s not only a new year, it’s a new decade! It’s time to start thinking of our New Year’s Resolutions — healthier eating, going to the gym, being more involved in the community, etc.
Let’s add ‘experiencing the Black Hills’ to your resolution list with some exciting activities that are sure to ignite the goals of adventure seekers in 2020.
Terry Peak Ski Area is South Dakota’s premier destination for skiing and snowboarding. The family-friendly ski resort is near historic Deadwood. Whether you’re a beginner, or if you have been skiing/snowboarding for years — Terry Peak offers slopes for everyone. You can learn to ski or snowboard with certified instructors — customized for kids, adults, and even ladies only.
From Jan. 31 through Feb. 2, the Winterfest 2020 celebration will be in Lead. Events include, fireworks, VIP party, Parade of Lights, bonfire, snowshoeing, Mile Up Music Festival, bean cook off and much more!
Snowshoeing for the whole family
Enjoy hiking in the winter with snowshoeing, the fresh fluffy snow in the northern hills is perfect for getting out on the many trails — remember to bundle up. Snowshoeing is a great activity that the whole family can enjoy, you can rent the equipment or pick up the snowshoes at a local sports goods store at a fair price.
South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks has scheduled snowshoe hikes for Winter 2020.
Roughlock Falls will host a story trail hike featuring the book “Owl Moon” by Jane Yolen on Jan. 11, 2020. There will be an accompanying children’s activity at the Spearfish Canyon Lodge. A story trail has pages of the book displayed along the trail, so participants can read the story as they hike. Snowshoes and the children’s activity will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Custer State Park snowshoe hikes are Jan. 18, 2020, at the Stockade Lake Trail and Feb. 15, 2020, at Lover’s Leap Trail. Hikes are guided and will start at 1 p.m. There is no fee to participate in the hikes or check out snowshoes. A park entrance license is required to enter Custer State Park.
Snowshoes can be checked out before, during and after the hikes. All hikes require pre-registration. For more information on park passes, click HERE.
Cruise through the Hills while Snowmobiling
Snowmobiling has become quite popular in the Black Hills with the development of a 350-mile network of marked, mapped and groomed snowmobile trails located throughout the Black Hills National Forest. The trail system has placed the Black Hills as one of the nation’s top snowmobiling destinations. If you decide to go off trail, snowmobiling is permitted on most parts of the 1.2 million-acre Black Hills National Forest.
There are pit stops, gas, warming shelters, trailheads and good parking throughout the trails. And you can enjoy the resorts, local snowmobile service, rentals and guides along the way. HERE is a map of the trails across the Black Hills
Get an adrenaline rush with Ice Climbing
Get out, above the trees to enjoy a view from the top with rock climbing, or in the winter, ice climbing. If you like rock climbing, you will enjoy the challenge during the winter months of ice climbing in the Black Hills — the granite spires are covered in snow, the waterfalls and vertical seeps freeze up.
Spearfish Canyon is a great place to get out and climb the ice, Bridal Veil Falls or Eleventh-Hour Gulch are great sites for this activity. Community Cave is quite the uphill hike, so throw on some snowshoes and enjoy the view.
There are currently no guiding services authorized to work ice climbing in the Black Hills. According to the National Park Service, ice climbing is a dangerous sport. They caution the public to know what they are doing and come properly equipped before taking on this challenge.
Keep it going in the spring and summer —
And after the snow clears up, keep your resolution going with some spring activities such as hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, horseback riding, ATV and off roading, canoeing, water sports, year-round hunting, exploring the many caves, wildlife photography and so much more.
This article is a sponsored content piece brought to you by Fort Hays Chuckwagon Supper & Show, a proud supporter of local tourism. For the past 40 years Fort Hays has been a destination for visitors to the Black Hills to experience the “old west” firsthand through authentic cuisine and hands-on demonstrations.
“My father created Fort Hays because he recognized people were coming to the Black Hills to see the ‘old west’ but the ‘old west’ is gone. We are keeping the old ways alive, providing a piece of the west that is otherwise gone,” said Clint Jones, owner of Fort Hays.
The Jones family has what can only be described as deep roots in the Black Hills as Jones explained his family has been here “forever”. He went on to say that his great-great-grandfather was the first superintendent of schools in Rapid City and the towns first Presbyterian minister. His connection to the history of the Black Hills area and passion for supporting others in the industry inspired the support of content pieces such as this.