Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Winter Fun Found in Spearfish

Photo Credit: @tristan_blain in Instagram
Winter has come but that doesn't mean the outdoor adventure in the Black Hills is done. Spearfish, known for its: scenic views; accessibility to Spearfish Canyon; hiking, biking, and fishing opportunities; as well as great fall foliage, is a year-round adventure destination that offers fun even when snow is abound.


This can be deceiving at times, however, because the amount of snow within city limits of Spearfish is usually much lower than that in Spearfish Canyon and the surrounding Black Hills National Forest. In fact, as I sit here writing, the snow on Main Street is only visible by remnants of snow piles from the last snowfall, while the snow depth reading for Spearfish Canyon this morning is at 24-inches.
The 350 miles of groomed snowmobile trails in the Black Hills is one of the reasons that the most popular winter activity in the Spearfish area is snowmobiling. In fact, these trail systems have been ranked among the top ten for snowmobiling through the United States and were recognized for outstanding grooming, signage, maps and services. Near Spearfish, the Savoy area is home to a popular snowmobile trailhead that has access to 300 miles of the trail system. While the groomed trails offer views of canyons, winter streams, and many overlook scenes, the Black Hills National Forest is also open to off-road snowmobiling.
Snowmobile trails open December 15 each year and are groomed every night throughout the winter months. All snowmobiles must be licensed and require permits. For more details on licensing, please visit http://gfp.sd.gov/to-do/snowmobile/license.aspx. For a snowmobile trail map, please stop by the Visit Spearfish office, located downtown Spearfish or visit www.fs.fed.us/bhnf and click on the Recreation section.

Spearfish offers more than snowmobiling opportunities for winter fun. Many outdoor enthusiasts head to Spearfish Canyon to partake in snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the Northern Hills, especially on the Eagle Cliff and Big Hill trails. Winter biking with "fatbikes" has been a growing trend in the Spearfish area, and the 28 Below Fatbike Race has become an annual race held in March and is run in conjunction with the Buzzard's Roost Snowshoe Race as part of the Savoy Winter Challenge. Also in the canyon, ice climbers can be seen scaling ice pillars formed by many climbable flows, the most popular and most accessible being Bridal Veil Falls, which offers about a 100 foot climb.

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If downhill winter sports is more of your flavor then you're in luck! Spearfish is just a 20-mile drive to two ski mountain resorts. Terry Peak Ski Area and Ski Mystic offer great snowboarding and skiing opportunities and are located just outside the cities of Deadwood and Lead.


So whether you're looking for a snowy adventure or want to relax at one of several hometown coffee shops, Spearfish is a great winter vacation getaway. Be sure to check out more information for vacation packages and winter activities at www.VisitSpearfish.com.