The Skull of a Mammoth

Hot Springs Mammoth Site

There are more things to see and do in the Black Hills of South Dakota than most of us can fit in one trip. However, if you’re looking for something truly unique, then don’t miss Hot Springs Mammoth Site! This tour is unlike any other tour you’ve ever experienced.

Mammoth skeleton head in the ground at Hot Springs Mammoth Site.

About Hot Springs Mammoth Site

Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, South Dakota is an is an active dig site – a paleontologist’s dream! This site contains the highest concentration of mammoth bones ever found. Bones from 61 mammoths have been unearthed to date. Fortunately, this excavation area is also a museum. Visitors have the unique opportunity to see this cluster of mammoth skeletons in the ground.

Mammoth Skeleton in the Ground at Hot Springs Mammoth Site

The Hot Springs Mammoth Site experience begins with a short movie which introduces the site and tells the story of its discovery.

Movie Screen with Large Mammoth at Hot Springs Mammoth Site

Then, you’ll take a guided tour of the excavation area. Each guest is provided a headset for the tour, and the guide speaks into a microphone. I loved the headset! I was able to relax and enjoy the site rather than straining to hear the guide or jockeying for position.

View of Hot Springs Mammoth Site from the platform

Planning Your Visit to Hot Springs Mammoth Site

Mammoth Site is indoors. (There is a building over the dig site.) This setup is perfect for when the weather is less than awesome! On our trip, we toured the site on a day when it was unseasonably hot!

Wall of museum painted with actual sizes of elephant and mammoth species.

Plan on spending around 1.5 to 2 hours at Hot Springs Mammoth Site. The tour itself lasts about 30 minutes. However, I recommend allowing time to visit the lab and view various exhibits. If you’re traveling with children, I suggest checking out the junior paleontology program.

Hot Springs Mammoth Site MuseumMammoth Site Hot Springs-15

Hot Springs Mammoth Site is a special place where you can experience something that you can’t do anyplace else. This museum was fascinating! I highly recommend adding Mammoth Site to your Black Hills vacation itinerary!

Mammoth Skull at Hot Springs Mammoth SiteMammoth Site Hot Springs-9

For more information to plan your next South Dakota adventure, check out my South Dakota page.


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