[R2803R, Mystic Miner at Deer Mountain], which used to be called just Deer Mountain Ski Area, is getting ready to open Thanksgiving Day.  That's provided Mother Nature cooperates, which so far this fall doesn't appear to be a problem.  Following up one of the Black Hills snowiest winters in the last decade, the ski area received over 30 inches of snow by November, which bodes well for this coming winter.

New owners made quite a few improvements last season, and have added even more for this season.  A new 200-foot halfpipe has been added to the Atomic Shelf Terrain Park, including a variety of terrain features, from beginner to advanced.  Lift tickets are $38 full day and $30 for a half-day.  Teens (13-17) are $34 and $28 respectively, and a child (12 and younger) is $25 and $20.  A child's lift ticket also includes rental equipment. 

Blizzard Park, the Black Hills only tubing park, features seven lanes with new, faster tubes this season.  The park has its own lift.  The cost is $20 per person for a half-day. 

The Miner offers a unique opportunity to experience an old-fashioned sleigh ride.  Book your ride ahead of time and enjoy a horse drawn sleigh as it winds through a whitened landscape of spruce and pine; straight out of a print by artist Terry Redlin. 

Mystic Miner offers 44 trails and a little over 850 feet of vertical drop making it one of the Heartland's largest ski areas.  There's also approximately 10 miles of groomed cross-country trails that wind through the scenic South Dakota mountains.  Make no mistake about it.  These are mountains.  The Black Hills have the highest peaks between the Rockies and the Alps in Europe; higher than any mountain along the East Coast.  It's also a lot less expensive than a trip to the Rocky Mountains or the Alps.

After Thanksgiving weekend the ski area will be open Thursday through Sunday the first three weeks of December, and open daily from Dec. 17-Jan. 3 through the holidays.

More information. Or call 605-645-6747.