Mammoth Site Hot Springs, South Dakota
This is a must see attraction for visitors to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Great for visitors of most ages, the Mammoth Site is both eductional and entertaining. What a great option for days when the weather is less than desirable. Located in Hot Springs the site is easy to get to. The Mammoth Site, is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization, so it is a welcome change from some of the kitchier attractions in the Black Hills. They are conducting real research with real archiologists and scholars.
We were fortunate enough to see it two years in a row now. Both times we visited we were on extended motorcycle trips. They have made some great improvements in the last year. The movie you watch before the tour has been updated as well as a new addition to the site that is now open. We were lucky enough to visit while there was an active dig going on.
Here’s what their website says about the Mammoth Site and its Fossils:
“The majority of fossils found at the Mammoth Site are from the North American Columbian mammoth. Evidence of three woolly mammoths have also been discovered here, making this “east meets west mammoth gathering” the first time both species have been found together. Fossils of other Ice Age animals have also been discovered: camel, llama, giant short-faced bear, wolf, coyote and prairie dog to name a few. Imprint fossils of bird feathers, complete fish skeletons, and thousands of mollusk shells have also been recovered from this now-dry 26,000 year old sinkhole.
Not petrified, these fossils are dry and fragile. The bones, scat and shells are identified, numbered cataloged and preserved, with almost all the mammoth remains displayed in-situ (as they were found in the sinkhole).”
It was really fun to see an active dig going on. This is not like a sporting event where there is nonstop action but more of an orchestrated crew working in a very organized manner. Clearly they were being careful to preserve what they found and not damaging other fossils in the work area.
Check out these panoramas we took during the visit.
Hot Springs is a great town on the south end of the Black Hills and well worth the drive to visit. You will find one of the more genuine towns in the Black Hills. Very few chain restaurants or hotels. The main street is much like it was decades ago. We think you will find the people of Hot Springs to be very friendly.
Captain Dan’s Travel Tips: Do visit the Mammoth Site. Keep this museum in mind for days when the weather is not so good as the attraction is inside. They have a great gift shop with lots of educational selections as well and the usual shirts, hats and toys. Keep in mind that Wind Cave National Park is just a few miles north of Hot Springs so you can spend the whole day in the southern Black Hills and stay out of the rain or snow.
Ready to visit? Here is the Mammoth Site Website.
Questions about where to stay or eat or things to do while in Hot Springs? Click HERE.