Hot Springs Travel Guide

Situated in southwest South Dakota, Hot Springs is the state’s warmest town and also the launching point for visits to the world famous Wind Cave National Park. Although the small town itself doesn’t hold much of interest, there is plenty to see here including Wind Cave, Mammoth Site and the hot springs themselves.

The town of Hot Springs South Dakota takes its name, funnily enough, from the many mineral springs found in the area. These springs were used by the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians for their healing properties. Evans Plunge is a popular tourist attraction and has become the largest natural warm-water indoor pool in the world, having been fed by these springs.

However, it wasn’t until 1974 that Hot Springs was put on the map after the discovery of mammoth remains during building work. The mammoths had fallen into an ancient sink hole during the Ice Age and many remains are now on display.


Wind Cave National Park: is one of the largest karst cave systems in the world; and is just north of Hot Springs.

Evans Plunge: was established about the same time as the caves in the late 1800s, although and these natural mineral springs have been developed and now include pools with waterslides.

Mammoth Site: was originally fed by the springs and is what drew the mammoth here. You can still see the remains of these magnificent beasts.

Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary: boasts herds of wild horses and foals. Guided bus tours leave from town.

Angostura Dam State Recreation Area: popular hang-out among boaters and jet-skiers is this vast reservoir, shaped by surrounding sandstone bluffs.