The Mammoth Site in South Dakota in the town of Hot Spring SD is said to be the location of the “largest concentration of mammoth remains in the world.”
The Mammoth Site is also a national natural landmark designated by the U.S. Department of Interior and National Park Service:
In 1980, the Mammoth Site was designated as a Registered National Natural Landmark by the Department of Interior.
When you go to the Mammoth Site, you are going to the actual location of where all of the mammoth fossils were found.
And most importantly, there are even mammoth fossils that you can see exactly where they were found.
Some of the fossils that have been discovered remain in their original location!
According to the South Dakota State Historical Society and South Dakota Department of Transportation:
The Mammoth Site is quite different from most museums.
It is not merely a display of collected items.
Most of the excavated bones remain exactly where they were found.
How were the mammoth remains found in Hot Springs, South Dakota?
And, these mammoth remains were even originally discovered by pure chance by a private citizen.
This private citizen came upon something that he thought deserved a closer look by experts.
He tried to contact multiple colleges and universities, and the first several he tried didn’t show any interest in it.
Eventually, he did find someone who was willing to take a closer look to do some digging.
And we have what is today the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs SD! Read the story.
And on top of that, they are still digging today for the discovery of more mammoth fossils!
It is an active “dig site” for paleontologists!
And you can actually see researchers at work when you go.
And so, it’s quite a unique place to visit in South Dakota!
You may also be interested in the paleontology program at the Mammoth Site for kids and adults.
Why are there so many mammoth remains in Hot Springs, South Dakota?
After you arrive at the Mammoth Site and you pay the entry fee, the first place you want to head to is the theater.
Don’t skip this!
You’ll watch a video to learn about WHY there are so many mammoths confined to this small section of Hot Springs SD.
The reason that there are so many mammoth remains in this small section of Hot Springs in South Dakota is a sad story really.
The mammoths basically became stuck!
They slipped into a lake and the surface surrounding the lake was such that they couldn’t get traction to get out of the lake.
And so basically they just drowned!
And not knowing any better, mammoth after mammoth would get too close to the lake to have the fate of dying in the lake since they were incapable of getting out.
And so today, we see the result of a bunch of mammoth drownings.
South Dakota caves to the Mammoth Site
And that’s a bit about visiting the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs SD!
If you are interested in the Mammoth Site, you may also be interested in these road trip activities:
- Things to do in Wind Cave National Park
- Things to do in Jewel Cave National Monument
- Can you see Crazy Horse Memorial from the road?
- Best hikes in Custer State Park
- Things to do in Custer State Park for views
- Things to do in the Black Hills for views
- Things to do in Badlands National Park for views
- Things to do in Black Hills National Forest
- What is up with the Wall Drug Store
- Things to do for views in Mount Rushmore
- Things to do in Toadstool Geologic Park
HAPPY SEEING THE MAMMOTH FOSSILS IN SOUTH DAKOTA!