Black Hills Snowmobile Trails Open Dec. 15 | Black Hills Travel Blog

Black Hills Snowmobile Trails Open Dec. 15

  • Black Hills Snowmobile Trails Open Dec. 15
    Black Hills Snowmobile Trails Open Dec. 15
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
By : 
Black Hills and Badlands Tourism

Start your engines! December 15 is the big day here in the Black Hills when 350+ miles of groomed snowmobile trails officially open for the season. The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks crews have been hard at work clearing and grooming much of the trail system in preparation for opening day. Here's the skinny:

  • A full Black Hills snowmobile trail system map is online here.
  • Trail conditions will be regularly updated on the Game, Fish and Parks Twitter.
  • Most of the snowmobile lodges and rental locations are up and running and ready to take your reservations. Some of them even have snowmobile vacation packages put together for this season. Check them out here.
  • An additional 66 miles of groomed trails are in the Bearlodge Mountains of the Black Hills National Forest.
    The Bearlodge Mountains are accessible from Sundance, WY, and loop through smaller hills and valleys, reaching elevations of 5,000 to 7,000 feet. For more information, visit the Wyoming State Trails Program.

Be aware prior to your arrival that in South Dakota, all snowmobiles must be properly licensed to operate on public or private lands, except those private lands owned by the snowmobile’s operator. Resident snowmobile licenses must be permanently affixed to each side of a snowmobile, below the windshield and on the hood cowling. Snowmobilers who operate in road rights-of-way and public snowmobile trails must show proof of financial responsibility (liability insurance). Nonresident snowmobiles licensed in another state can be legally operated in South Dakota. Purchase permits at trailside vendors or online at A separate permit is required when operating a snowmobile in Wyoming.

While 350+ miles of groomed trails and 1.2 million acres of off-trail riding are open, snowmobiling is closed in some areas, including active logging operations, winter wildlife ranges, plowed roadways, developed cross-country ski areas and posted private land. Private property is interspersed within the Black Hills National Forest. Please respect private property owners. The Snowmobile Trail Map depicts most of the areas that are closed.

For more information and updates, be sure to check the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Snowmobiling Page.

If you're in need of a machine, local rental companies are ready to help get you on the trail with their best snowmobiles with no hassle. Find a list of area rentals here.

Get ready to make your way on out to the Black Hills, fire up the sleds, and kick up some powder. Happy sledding!

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