South Dakota Snowmobile Season Officially Opens on Monday

South Dakota Snowmobile Season Officially Opens on Monday
South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks
South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks

PIERRE, S.D. –-( Snowmobile enthusiasts will need to have a little patience this year. Snowmobile trails in South Dakota are scheduled to open Monday, Dec. 15 2014, but trail officials are still waiting for snow.

“The Black Hills has seen minimal snowfall so far this season,” said Black Hills Trails district supervisor, Shannon Percy. “Grooming operations will be limited until we see additional accumulations.”

Percy would like to remind riders that some obstacles exist throughout the 350 mile Black Hills Trails system due to the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic.

“Snowmobilers should be aware that trees, broken tree tops and dangling branches can fall at any time while riding on and off-trail,” said Percy. “Please be aware of your surroundings as trees and debris may cause obstructions.”

While trails in eastern South Dakota saw significant accumulations in November, snow conditions have since deteriorated.

“Higher temperatures have left many areas along the trail systems without snow, and trails will not be groomed until we receive four or five inches of new snowfall,” said state trails program specialist Tony Schmitt.

Snowmobile clubs in eastern South Dakota groom, sign and maintain over 1,200 miles of trails through a grant-in-aid agreement with the state.

New this year, resident and non-resident snowmobilers with unlicensed sleds may purchase a five-day, temporary snowmobile permit online at The permit is $40.

“In the past, this permit was only available at select trailside vendors,” said Schmitt. “Now riders have the convenience of purchasing the permit on their personal mobile device before they hit the trails.”

Current trail conditions are available online at as well as on the SDGFP Outdoors mobile app.

Trail condition updates are also posted to Twitter accounts dedicated to both the Black Hills and the East River trails ( and

For more information about snowmobiling in South Dakota, visit, or call 605-584-3896 for Black Hills trails information or 605-882-5200 for East River trails.