1800 US18 bypass Hot Springs, SD 57747
The astonishing Mammoth Site is home to the world’s largest Columbian mammoth exhibit, and a world-renown research center for Pleistocene studies. Dig into the past as you tour the active archeological site. Little ones can participate in the Kids Dig and learn to unearth bones like a professional. Educational, mammoth sized fun for everyone.
www.mammothsite.com – 605-745-6017
The Hot Springs area was once home to gigantic prehistoric creatures. Mammoth, giant short-faced bear, and saber-toothed cats roamed wild until their extinction. Millions of years later, the Lakota and Cheyenne tribes fought for control of the area. They believed that the warm mineral waters possessed spiritual and physical healing abilities. News spread of the healing waters and eventually white settlers formed the town of Minnekahta. Theses settlers also believed in the healing ability of the springs. They established bath houses and health spas that used the warm waters for healing and relaxation purposes. The town was later renamed Hot Springs in 1886.
The healing waters of Hot Springs are still being used to treat ailments today. People come from around the world for relaxation and rejuvenation. Evans Plunge has been inviting tourists to swim in the springs since 1890 and is still in operation to this day, making it the oldest attraction in the Black Hills. But the springs aren’t the only attraction. In 1974, mammoth remains were discovered near town. What used to be a massive tar pit had become a mass grave for prehistoric creatures. After further excavation, archeologists have unearthed over 85 species and the site boasts the largest concentration of mammoth remains in the world.
Fall River County Hot Air Balloon Festival – August 24-25
A small trial run in 2016 resulted in the event becoming an annual happening. While the balloons launch from the Hot Springs Airport, the festivities continue in town with sidewalk sales, walk-in balloon, and more. See the full schedule of events here.