The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs in South Dakota does not get as much buzz as the other attractions in the State. When I first heard about it and the mammoth fossil excavation that is ongoing, I thought it was fake. But when I was inside the building and saw the real work happening, I was excited to see history being revealed right before your eyes.

According to the website, the Mammoth Site is an “active paleontological dig site that boasts the largest concentration of mammoth remains in the world!” Currently, the mammoth count is 61, with 58 Columbian and 3 woolly mammoths discovered.

Mammoth Site

Tours are offered.

While waiting for the guided tour to start, enjoy the vast displays in the lobby. There is also a 7-minute video that you can watch that will give you an idea of the history of the site.


The mammoth fossils.

And the tour begins with this sight of mammoth fossils.

How the mammoths were trapped.

The story reads that 26,000 years ago, large Columbian and woolly mammoths were trapped and died in a spring-fed pond. These are their bones, still intact and complete. The diggers kept them to the location where they were found.



For real?

They are real mammoth bones and there are so many of them in one place!
Mammoth Bones Mammoth Bones

Continuing research.

The amazing part is, there’s always an active digging happening while the tour is being conducted.


How big is a mammoth?

It’s truly mammoth in every aspect. Here is an illustration of the mammoth comparison.

Discovered in 1974.

For centuries the bones lay buried, until discovered by chance in 1974 during excavating for a housing development, when earth moving equipment exposed South Dakota’s greatest fossil treasure.

World’s largest.

Today the Mammoth Site is the world’s largest Columbian mammoth exhibit, and a world-renown research center for Pleistocene studies.

Not just mammoths.

Aside from the mammoth fossils, other mammal fossils were also discovered in the sinkhole.

The museum contains more interesting items.


Mammoth Bones Mammoth Bones

Enjoy the outside too.

After the tour, enjoy the beauty of the outside. I have seen families having picnics.

The site is about 1 hour drive from Mount Rushmore and quite isolated from the other Blackhills attractions. However, I would highly recommend you pay the site a visit. You will not regret it.

Address: 1800 U.S. 18 Bypass, Hot Springs, SD 57747
Phone Number: 605 745 6017

Admission fees

Adults: $10.00
Seniors 60+: $9.00
Children 4-12: $8.00
Children 3 and Under: Free


Open 7 Days A Week.
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Last Guided Tour at 4:00 p.m.

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