Black Hills SD in winter?


Forever Wandering
Apr 8, 2015
May not be many people here too familiar with the place, but I'm toying with the idea of a quick trip up to the black hills maybe next month for a little sanity recovery. Haven't taken any time off work since July and I'm getting the itch for some travel, and the black hills are close enough to make it a pretty easy trip. anybody have some recommendations for good hikes up there, or if it's even feasible in the middle of the winter? Do they typically get a lot of snow up There? I'm not opposed to snowshoeing but don't own any. There is also some opportunity for fly fishing up there so that's another plus.

Guess the short version is: would it be worth spending 3-4 days in the black hills in january and what good hikes are there?

Open to other suggestions within reasonable driving distance of eastern Nebraska. I'd have at most 6 days including travel.

Edit to add I'd probably be hotel camping and day hiking. I'm not a huge fan of winter camping.
Sadly there is a large fire in the Custer state park area. not entirely sure how this will affect any potential plans.
Maybe you can get/borrow a copy of either of these:
Hiking the Black Hills Country: A Guide To More Than 50 Hikes In South Dakota And Wyoming (Regional Hiking Series)
Exploring the Black Hills and Badlands: A Guide for Hikers, Cross-Country Skiers, & Mountain Bikers
The fires are near custer state park in the south, but the bulk of the forest is unaffected (except for maybe smoke). I couldnt find the fire report on InciWeb, so if anyone can dig that up it would have more information. Last news report I saw said the fire was about 10% contained, but that is likely out of date.

There is plenty to do in the northern hills as well; near spearfish canyon there are good trails; both of the books @Reef&Ruins suggested are good.

The Black Elk wilderness is in the south near that abomination they call Rushmore, but i dont think it is affected by the fires at the moment. Plenty of good trails there.

To get a sense of snowfall here is the SnoTel data from the last 7 days at North Rapid Creek.,TMAX::value,TMIN::value,TAVG::value

doesnt look too bad.

if youre staying in a hotel I would suggest the Lead/Deadwood area or Hill City. Driving in from Rapid every day is a pain.

The Hills are great. Enjoy the trip.
Let us know what you do.... that's a fun place to visit. And some of us do like the "abomination" that is Rushmore ( grin @scoags).
I've visited the area with family a couple times years ago, so I do have at least some familiarity with the area. even been to the abomination twice! that was back when pictures were made in film though. thanks for the extra info. when I'm more awake I'll grab the link I found that had some info on the fire. (Singing the night shift blues for now) <-- Finally got around to posting the fire info that I saw (linked from the Wind Cave NPS site). Looks like it's in much better shape now.
thanks @b.stark for the info. it says there it was human caused, i wonder what the details are? also interested to see whether/how much the beetle kill was a factor.

enjoy the trip.
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