Winter in the Black Hills

The Black Hills offers a dazzling winter scenery with snow-covered mountains, frozen waterfalls, iced-over lakes, and breathtaking parks that are a magical sight to see and play in. Get out and enjoy some of the many winter activities the region has to offer.

Pro Snocross Races

The 11th annual ISOC Deadwood Snocross showdown returns on January 27th & 28th, 2023. 150 of the top professional Snocross racers will descend down the historic Days of ’76 Event Complex, providing a weekend of high-flying, high-speed, high-octane snowmobile racing.

Grab your tickets here:


The scenery in the Black Hills is stunning year-round and has over 450 miles of great hikes to enjoy. From stunning trails to stroll, to more strenuous uphill marches, you’re sure to find something that meets your skill or pushes you out of your comfort zone. Here are a few to get you started.

  • Black Elk Peak– 6.4-mile hike ending at 7,242 feet in elevation, the highest elevation east of the Rocky Mountains. There are 8 trail paths you can follow to hike to the top. The most common is Trail No. 9, which takes roughly 3 hours and 25 minutes and starts at Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park
  • Mount Roosevelt Trail Winter Route– 2.9-mile loop near Deadwood, SD. This trail is considered moderately challenging and takes an average of 1 hour and 19 minutes to complete.
  • Spearfish Community Caves- 0.6-mile hike, taking an average of 22 minutes to complete. Don’t let the length fool you, this is a strenuous hike with a steep ascent over loose rocks. It’s worth the frozen waterfalls as you arrive to the caves.


Snowshoeing is designed for all ages and offers a unique way to see the area without falling through the snow or balancing on skis. Plenty of places offer guided tours or the ability to rent snowshoes to explore the 60 miles of trails on your own. Three places to check out with your snowshoes;

  • Mickelson Trail- 109-mile trail with 15 trailheads and gentle enough for the entire family.
  • Centennial Trail- 111 miles from Bear Butte Lake to Wind Cave National Park, full of wildlife and spectacular scenery.
  • Flume Trail- 11 miles with a 3-mile attached loop.

Ice Fishing

As soon as the lakes freeze over, they are open for ice fishing. Ice conditions can fluctuate throughout the season, so use caution when you venture out onto the ice. You can check current ice conditions at most local fishing and bait shops. If you are a beginner, find an area with shallow water, where fish are close to the surface. Make sure you have your annual fishing license or purchase a 1 or 3-day license.   

  • Sheridan Lake- holds trout, yellow perch and some northern pike
  • Deerfield Reservoir- holds rainbows, brookies and splake fish.
  • Pactola Reservoir- holds rainbows, a few cutthroat trout, and some wild brown trout stock
  • Roubaix Lake- holds brook trout
  • Stockade Lake- holds largemouth bass, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, yellow bullhead, and yellow perch

Learn more about ice fishing and the necessities needed;

Skiing & Snowboarding

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced skier or snowboarder, the Black Hills has you covered with exciting trails, jumps, rails, slopes, rentals and additional mountain activities like tubing, sleigh rides and more. Grab a season pass or a day pass.  

  • Terry Peak Ski Area- Open late November through early April with over 450 skiable acres and over 30 groomed trails. Terry Peak offers group and private lessons, equipment rentals, a repair shop, dining, and other accommodations. Terry Peak is South Dakota’s largest ski area and with a summit of 7,100 feet, offers the highest ski lift service on this side of the Rocky Mountains.


The Black Hills has over 17 places providing snowmobiling tours and rentals. It’s a popular wintertime activity with over 1.2 million acres of designated trails throughout the Black Hills National Forest. The season is open from December 15th through March 31st. Here are a few places to get started.

The Black Hills offers so many other exciting things to do during the winter. Be sure to plan your trip properly as some places are closed for the season. Keep in mind winter in the Black Hills means there is a chance for snow storms and freezing cold temps. As you plan your activities watch the weather and stash extra items in your car in case of any winter emergencies. Make sure you check out our resort for your next vacation!

Holiday shopping in the Black Hills – Small Businesses

We all know someone who decorates for the holidays as soon as it gets cold. Even businesses have begun to stock their shelves with shiny ornaments and stuffed Santa’s in hopes of making up for lost sales earlier in the year. Local businesses are feeling the squeeze major retailers have over them this holiday season.

We all know Christmas is a very fun time of the year with all the activities that follow with it: Christmas parades, hot chocolate, hallmark movies, and the food that comes with it. But it can also be a stressful holiday for individuals and families when it comes to shopping for gifts for the special people in your life. When you’re thinking about what to buy and where to buy your gifts try thinking about shopping at small businesses in the Black Hills during the holiday season.

Keystone, SD

Join them for a Victorian Christmas in Keystone on November 18th-19that the Keystone Community Center & Library. The parade is going to be held on the evening of the 18th at 6pm. The lineup starts on the west end of Swanzey St. at 5pm. The parade will end at 1101 Madill St at the Town of Keystone Community Center.

Rapid City, SD

O & A Farmhouse is a tribute to owner Sue McCormick’s parents Olaf and Alfa and her family’s cattle brand. Down at the Farmhouse in the historic RC Fruit Building you will find the latest fresh finds in women’s clothing, antique furniture, and home décor.

Found by Weathervane, A local family-owned business established in 1999. Specializing in Gifts, Home Décor, Gourmet, and women’s Apparel & Accessories.

Christmas Village located on Hwy 16 outside of Rapid City on the way to Mt Rushmore. Just past Old MacDonald’s Farm and before Putz N Glo. Christmas Village has everything you need and more! From Christmas décor such as ornaments, garland, trees and even gifts to buy for your family members.

Spearfish, SD

Freckled Fox, A cute boutique located behind Papa Murphy’s, Freckled Fox is the personality that starts with thrifting for vintage suitcases to rummaging at the family farm for corrugated metal, and every fixture has a story. They have a 500 sq. ft. garage turned storefront in Spearfish, South Dakota, has been enhanced by these pieces creating a cozy, eclectic aesthetic.

2 Broke Girls Boutique, located in Spearfish, South Dakota in the Black Hills. Women’s fashion, timeless pieces, online boutique and boutique fashion.

Real Deals for home decor & fashion for every style & season!


Deadwood, SD

Black Hills Gold is a style, a trademark, a tradition of jewelry incorporating a basic design of wild grape clusters with vines and leaves of pink, green and yellow. These three colors of gold are created by mixing copper or silver with gold bullion. The design is still used today and has worldwide recognition and popularity. Owners of Black Hills Gold jewelry usually have a collection of several pieces and often think of it as a keepsake. Thousands of items from all four brands. They carry brands such as Landstrom’s, Mt. Rushmore Gold, Stamper and Gold Diggers. We have a wide selection of Black Hills Gold Jewelry and Diamonds.

Happy Days Gift Shop; Great memorabilia, collectibles, and souvenirs such Wild Bill, Elvis, Marilyn, Betty Boop, Dean, Coca Cola, John Deere, and more! Such as collectible figurines, cards, Monopoly, games, shirts, cans, cups, original posters and so much more. Betty Boop and Betty Page, James Dean and James Cagney. Just about anyone in movies of that romantic era. And don’t forget the western favorites — John Wayne, Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Gunsmoke. This place is worth seeing!

Hill City, SD

Jewel of the West Boutique is a fascinating place where you are bound to find something you love every time you visit. This locally-owned clothing boutique stocks women’s clothing with jewelry, shoes, and handbags to match. So, finally, here is a place where you can create a complete look from head to toe in one store.

Although there is so much more, we can suggest to you, definitely make sure to check out these stores for your holiday shopping needs! If you’re looking to purchase an experience for a loved one, Holy Smoke Resort is always taking reservations and is the perfect present! Contact us to reserve a spot for the upcoming season!

Fall Festivities in the Black Hills

Holy Smoke Resort might be closed for the season, nevertheless there isn’t a lack of entertainment buzzing through the Black Hills. November is jam packed with entertainment from Concerts, Beer fests, Whiskey fests, and tons of Trivia. Thankfully Holy Smoke Resort is nestled in the middle of the Black Hills, making it a beautiful, little drive through scenic roads to the surrounding cities. Take a look at this exciting itinerary of local Black Hills Entertainment. Grab your keys, a dance, trivia, or drinking partner and let’s go!

Hitting the road, it’s 35 minutes to the Custer Beacon. This adorable spot is a scratch- kitchen restaurant, craft beer and wine bar, with dynamic gathering space and premier live music venue. A space to eat, drink, play and be together. The Custer Beacon is putting on the Custer Bluegrass Jam, November 16, 23, 30 from 6:30-8:30 pm.

Traveling the opposite way, is a 26 minute drive to Rapid City. Rapid City is the known gateway to Mt. Rushmore an iconic sculpture of 4 U.S Presidents. The “City of Presidents” a series of life sized statues, span several blocks through downtown Rapid City.  Entertainment can be found at nearly every bar and brewery. Here is a small list to get you started!

Hay Camp Brewing; a local brewing company;

  • November 12th, 12-9pm Beer Fest at The Monument.
  • November 19th, 2-5pm Boys are Bock Friendsgiving Release – Beer flavor release
  • November 19th , 7-10pm Black Veil Burlesque show
  • November 27th, 12-5pm Gaming tournament with Heroes & Villains

Throughout Rapid City;

  • November, 11th, 12th, 13th, 7:30pm Shrek the Musical at the Performing Arts Center
  • November 18th, 19th, Sivan Hoch at the Tinder Box
  • November 8th,9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 11am-7pm, 9 Years of Hoppiness at Miner Brewing Company
  • November 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th, Trivia Wednesday 6-8pm , FREE at Wobbly Bobby
  • November 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th, 7-8pm, Pub Trivia at Dakota Point Brewing

Sturgis takes 1 hour and 12 minutes from Holy Smoke, is a breath-taking view of the Black Hills and holds many events throughout the years. Sturgis is famous for the annual Sturgis Motorcycle rally. Sturgis home to food, trails and fun any time of the year. Take a peek at some of the entertainment happening this November.

  • November 12th, 8pm start time. Hot City Soul at Kickstands
  • November 18th, 8pm start time, Drive by Night; playing a variety of rock and country music, made to keep you dancing all night long. at Kickstands
  • November 19th, 8pm start time, Pumpin’ Ethyl; at Kickstands
  • November 20th, 3pm – 7pm, The Wilt Brothers; doors open 9am. Food, dancing & Drinks!
  • November 25th, 8pm- 12pm, Dakota Country; at Kickstands

Deadwood is 59 minutes away from Holy Smoke. Deadwood is not an ordinary historic town, it holds many attractions to play indoors and outdoors, from gambling in casinos all day and night, enjoying adventures, hikes, mountain bike rides, ATV trails, skiing and of course entertainment.

  • November 9th, 3pm, Doolittle Raid Pilot, free event. Learn about a Local SD aviator who flew prototype flights for B-25 bombers in 1941, then piloted the plane into combat as part of the famous Doolittle Raid in April 1942. He survived, but later died in World War II.

At the Deadwood Mountain Grand;

  • November 12th, 8pm, Hair Ball; A Rock & Roll experience you won’t want to miss.
  • November 17th, 8pm, Ian Munsick; He is one of the fastest growing county music artists.
  • November 26th, 8pm, Williams & Ree; A music and comedy phenomenon.

Other Entertainment;

  • November 12th, 3-10pm; Big Whiskey Festival; Here multiple casinos and bars will have over 30 selections of Whiskey to choose from. Only 300 tickets being sold, each ticket has 15 sample tickets so you can choose what you’d like to sample.

Spearfish takes 1 hour and 17 minutes to arrive from Holy Smokes Resort. There are five convenient, breathtaking routes you can take to arrive in Spearfish. Spearfish is a year round playground for outdoor adventure lovers and is known as the “All Four Seasons” capital of South Dakota for recreation. Here are some entertainment ideas you may enjoy;

  • November 11th, 18th, 25th, ,6-10pm at the VFW Post 5860
  • November 8th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 15th, 16th, 18th, 19th,20th, 29th,  Community Theater at the Matthews Opera House
  • November 13th, 2pm Gary Mule Deer at the High Plains Western Heritage Center

We hope you enjoy the stunning fall views as you take all the scenic routes to and from these surrounding Cities. Enjoy the time spent with your friends and family if you attend any of the local entertainment. Stay safe, always have a DD if you plan to drink and most of all have a blast! And don’t forget that Holy Smoke Resort is always taking reservations! So book them before someone else does!