Mammoth Site, Hot Springs, South Dakota

More than 26,000 years ago, a karst sinkhole dropped into the Earth taking massive Columbian and wooly mammoths underground where they remained unearthed for millennia. In 1974, during construction of a housing development in the area of Hot Springs, South Dakota, builders discovered one tooth which led to a broader excavation of a hillside... as interested parties started digging in, they quickly realized that this was an important historical site, one where the largest collection of preserved Columbian mammoths exists on Earth today.

A typical tour through the building winds through an active research site where visiting scientists, researchers, and students continue to methodically excavate it in search of additional species, fossil records, and clues to our living past. They have so far uncovered 61 mammoths as well as several other extinct plant and animal species that lived on the planet during the last Ice Age.

Even those who aren’t into paleontology, history, and science will love visiting Mammoth Site for a chance to stand inside of a page from history to witness ancient animals frozen in time… it’s almost like you can imagine it happening before your eyes.

Getting to Mammoth Site is easy -– it is located just 8 miles from the south entrance of Wind Cave