South Dakota: Skiing Is Hot In These Cold Mountains -
South Dakota stretches from farms and forests on the eastern border with Minnesota to wheat fields, rangeland and high plains. Travelers watch the landscape change as they drive West toward the haunting beauty of the Black Hills. The state is home to Badlands National Park, an eerie landscape of eroded mud hills, where early homesteaders called the water "too thick to drink and too thin to plow." South Dakota is home to Mount Rushmore National Memorial, four presidential busts carved out of the rock of the Black Hills. Both South Dakota ski areas are close to Deadwood and Lead. Both towns have plenty to offer in the way of dining, night life, and lodging options.
Terry Peak has 30 trails, a vertical drop of 1,100 feet off a summit elevation of 7,052 feet, two base areas, 450 skiable acres, snowmaking on 60 percent of the mountain, four chairlifts including two high-speed detachable quads, and a carpet lift. Terry also has a half pipe and a 1,100-foot-long terrain park. The ski area is perfectly positioned to receive prodigious amounts of snow. Resort officials note how common it is for snowfall predictions to exceed up to three times of what was anticipated or to receive snowfall at 5,500-ft and higher when snow wasn't expected at all.
Deer Mountain has 45 trails served by one chair and two surface lifts, 850 feet of vertical, South Dakota's only snow skate park, and occasional night skiing on some weekends. Deer Mountain also has an entire novice area dedicated to beginners.