Although most of the photographs of the Black Hills that you are likely to see are snapped in summer, the Hills are not without beauty throughout the year. Scenes such as this are revealed in winter to hikers, skiiers, snow-mobilers and others who enjoy winter activities.
Black Hills Seasons & Climate InformationNinety percent of all visitors to the Black Hills come in the months of June, July and August. Daytime high temperatures in the higher elevations of the hills in summer usually range from the mid-70s to the high 80s, but temperatures of 100 are not uncommon. The Badlands can be very, very hot in summer, with temperatures frequently near or above 100 degrees. Rapid City also experiences higher temperatures than the hills. At night, the mercury usually dips below 60 in all regions.
Old-timers say the best time to visit the Black Hills is in September or October. We agree as we particularly enjoy the fall colors -- usually at their best in the first or second week of October. Hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts also favor autumn when daytime temperatures are usually cooler. Highs in September and October range from the low 60s to the mid-70s in all regions.
Animal lovers like the spring. April, May and early June are the best months for viewing -- and photographing -- wildlife. Visitors, however, may be less delighted with the spring weather which can be wildly unpredictable. Most of the Black Hill's rainfall comes in April and May, and there's a good chance you'll still see snow at higher elevations. High temperatures usually range from the mid-50s to the mid-70s in all regions.
Winter has its own special enchantment. Keystone is not usually blessed with much snow because the town is situated on the eastern slopes of the Black Hills. Most snow falls on the western slopes and at higher elevations so the air is generally dry by the time it gets to Keystone. But just 10 miles to the west is one of the Black Hills' best wilderness ski areas where a single winter storm can pack two feet or more of snow. Winter high temperatures usually range from the mid-30s to the upper 40s in the hills and somewhat colder in Rapid City and the Badlands. Also locations within the Black Hills tend to be sheltered from the wind whereas brisk prarie winds in Rapid City and the Badlands can produce extremely low wind chills.
For a detailed list of recent average temperatures and precipitation for various points in and around the Black Hills click on the Climate Table link below.
By the way: The Roosevelt Inn has its own weather station and we broadcast the current weather conditions on our in-house cable system.