Welcome to Hot Springs, South Dakota, the Southern Gateway of the Black Hills! We hope you choose Hot Springs as your Black Hills vacation destination whether you’ve traveled an hour or ten! With easy access to the Black Hills’ greatest attractions, soothing natural warm water springs, great year-round weather, distinct sandstone architecture, fantastic outdoors activities and one-of-a-kind experiences you’ll find nowhere else in the Hills, Hot Springs is one of the most exciting places in the Black Hills! We hope you enjoy your stay!
- Angostura Reservoir
- Evans Plunge Mineral Springs
- The Mammoth Site
- Pioneer Museum
- Southern Hills Golf Course
- Wild Horse Sanctuary
- Wind Cave
Angostura Reservoir is a water-lover’s haven with breathtaking, scenic views. Offering crystal clear waters, 36 miles of shoreline, and some of the finest sandy beaches in the state, Angostura boasts many water sports and summer fun activities including camping, boating and canoeing/kayaking, hiking, paddleboarding, wakeboarding, swimming and fishing. Its strong fishery is well known for its walleye, smallmouth bass, crappie and also supports northern pike, largemouth bass, perch and bluegill.
For thousands of years, the Lakota Sioux prized the natural warm water springs, the “Minnekahta,” in this valley. In 1890, local businessman Fred Evans built Evans Plunge as a swimming pool over the site of numerous sparkling springs and one mammoth spring of mineral water and made Evans Plunge the Black Hills’ oldest attraction – older than Mt. Rushmore or Crazy Horse Memorial. For generations, the 87-degree water of Evans Plunge has invited visitors for rejuvenation, refreshment, relaxation and recreation. You’re invited to come and experience yesterday’s healing waters of today’s Evans Plunge Mineral Springs, open all year round.
More than 26,000 years ago, large Columbian and woolly mammoths were trapped and died in a spring-fed pond. The bones lay buried for centuries until discovered by chance in 1974 during excavating for a housing development. The Mammoth Site was preserved and today is the world’s largest Columbian mammoth exhibit and a world-renowned research center. 61 individual mammoths have been discovered as well as numerous other prehistoric creatures, and the bones are displayed as they were discovered, in an in-situ exhibit in the original sinkhole. A museum and brand new learning center in 2015 enhance the learning experience for visitors of all ages.
Built in 1893, what was once an elementary school for local children is now the holder of Hot Springs and Fall River County’s history as the Fall River County Pioneer Museum. Themed rooms take you back in time to old post offices, general stores, doctor’s offices, classrooms, kitchens and living areas, telephone companies, see historic musical instruments, learn about the farmers and ranchers of the pioneer era and the stonemasons that created the distinctive sandstone buildings of downtown Hot Springs.
Southern Hills Golf Course is an 18-hole, par 70, 5,905 yard golf course facility. The course is a well-rounded combination of playability and aesthetic appeal that received 4 1/2 stars from Golf Digest. Rated by Golf Week as the #1 Resort Course of South Dakota. This course will soon be one of the premier facilities in the mid-west with prices that fit any pocket book. If you’re a golfer and you miss out on this opportunity, you WILL regret it!
See hundreds of wild horses roam in their natural habitat. Experience ancient petroglyphs and ceremonial sites. Explore early Pioneer & Native American history. Located 14 miles south of Hot Springs off SD Hwy 71. Private and educational excursions to see Wild Horse herds available by appointment. Open year-round.
Tour one of the longest caves in the world and see its rare boxwork formation. The cave and the park are open all year. Call the park or visit the website for tour times. Drive through or hike the prairie and ponderosa pine forests of the park to see buffalo, elk, deer, coyotes, antelope and prairie dogs. Explore the Visitor Center’s exhibits about wildlife, Cave,and colorful history. Watch the park movie or visit our bookstore.
I was wondering...
Hot Springs is home to numerous “Minnekahta,” or warm water springs, which are located in several areas around the area and feed into Fall River, which runs the length of downtown Hot Springs. Some of the largest and most easily accessible springs can be found at Evans Plunge Mineral Springs, Moccasin Springs Natural Mineral Spa, and Cascade Springs. You can read more about all the springs in our blog post.
Hot Springs is located at the southern edge of the Black Hills, about 50 minutes south of Rapid City via Highway 79 and an hour south of Mt. Rushmore via Highway 385. If you’re coming from Nebraska, Wyoming or Colorado, Hot Springs is located along SD-18 and SD-71. Learn more here: http://www.hotsprings-sd.com/live-and-work/getting-here/
Hot Springs offers a wide variety of activities year-round. An outdoors lover? We’re minutes away from Angostura State Recreation Area, Wind Cave National Park and Custer State Park. More of a history lover? Check out the Fall River Pioneer Museum or the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary or take our “Soak in Hot Springs” digital walking tour, all chock full of western, pioneer and Native American culture. There are also plenty of great niche shops downtown!
Most visitors at our information center mention they wish they’d planned an extra day to spend in the Southern Black Hills. At minimum, you’ll want to plan for two days in & around Hot Springs. We’re also close enough to all the sights and you can use Hot Springs as a home base for your Black Hills trip! You could even book a Black Hills Vacation Package based out of Hot Springs and get great deals on area attractions.
Or, if you visit and find you fall in love with the town the way thousands have before you, why not relocate and stay forever?