Snowmobiling | Black Hills & Badlands - South Dakota

Snowmobiling

Abundant snow, hundreds of miles of groomed trails, jaw-dropping scenery and warm, western South Dakota hospitality await you and your sled.

The Black Hills National Forest boasts a total of 416 miles of groomed snowmobile trails and 1.2 million acres of unlimited off-trail riding. Of those, 350 miles are part of the SD and WY snowmobile program. The snowmobiling season for the Black Hills is from Dec. 15 through March 31.

An additional 66 miles of groomed trails are located in the Bearlodge Mountains of the Black Hills National Forest through a cooperative agreement with the Wyoming Division of State Parks and Historic Sites.

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.

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).

Purchase a permit as a resident, $10, or nonresident/temporary 5-day permit, $40. Nonresident snowmobiles licensed in another state can be legally operated in South Dakota. Purchase a permit from trailside vendors or online from South Dakota Game Fish & Parks. A separate permit is required when operating a snowmobile in Wyoming.

Snowmobiling is closed in some areas, including active logging operations, winter wildlife ranges, plowed roadways, developed cross-country ski areas and posted private land.

Be aware that private property is interspersed within the Black Hills National Forest. Please respect private property owners. The annual Forest Service Snowmobile Trail Map depicts most of the areas that are closed to snowmobiling.

The map is available on the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks website, from a local Forest Service office and at the Black Hills Visitor Information Center

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