Hot Springs South Dakota

Hot Springs South Dakota is a hot little town loaded with "cool" to-do's!

Make sure to put time aside to visit little Hot Springs South Dakota while you are here!

This is such a cool little town loaded with activities to see and do, I think you will be surprised at all there is to see and do here!

This town was founded in the late 1800's by early Pioneer Settlers. Prior to them moving in, this area was a source of tension and frequent battles between the Cheyenne and Sioux Tribes, who fought to have control over the "healing" warm waters.

The early Pioneers quickly got the idea to turn the warm healing waters into a popular destination for the wealthy as a spa/health resort.

Cattle Ranching also helped to shape and form this early town. With miles of flat land and tall grass in the surrounding areas, it was a perfect opportunity to raise them.

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Fast Hot Springs Facts

  • One of the warmest places in SD
  • Population is just under 4,000
  • There are 35 preserved Sandstone Buildings downtown
  • Fall River runs thru the City
  • River water temperature is 87 Degrees!
  • Has a "Top Rated" 18 Hole Golf Course, rated 4.5 stars consistently by Golf Digest
  • The areas oldest Tourist Attraction is found here
  • The National Trust for Historic Preservation voted Hot Springs the 2009's Dozen Distinctive Destinations Award
  • Hot Springs was originally names Minnekahta, which meant "Warm Waters"
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River Walk Statue Hot springs SD
Cascade Falls Hot Springs SD

Our Top of the List

The Wild Horse Sanctuary

You will feel as though you have literally stepped back in time when you visit the Wild Horse Sanctuary. The real wild West.
Along the tour you will see sights you WILL NOT see anywhere else. Our favorites? The ancient Petroglyphs! You will also see active Native American Ceremonial Sites. Breathtaking views from the top of Hells Canyon. And, of course, wild horses, lots of wild running free horses.
The bonus to all of this? Everything you spend here literally saves the lives of horses that are saved from slaughter. Worth it!

The Mammoth Site

Mammoth Site Hot Springs South Dakota

I am not sure where else in the World that you can visit an active Archeological dig site. But I do know you can see one here!
Many, many years ago there was this tar pit...and these poor critters got stuck in it. Now they are being dug up. No one ones how many they will find, but to date? They've got a count of 60 Mammoths!
This is the World's largest Mammoth research facility, and an active Paleontological dig. They have hands on exhibits, a baby mammoth replicas and kids excavation programs.
No doubt you will want to put this on the list while you are here of things to see. Especially if you have kids! We love sneaking in learning stuff in the disguise of "fun", don't you?

Wind Cave

Wind Cave is located just 6 miles North from Hot Springs South Dakota. If you are into caves, or have never BEEN to a cave, need to see this! Wind Cave is one of the LONGEST caves in the world!
We love both Wind Cave and Jewel Cave. Where else can you explore the bowels of the earth (safely on a guided tour that is)?
Wind Cave offers up some of the best boxwork formations known to caves. It is open year round, and they offer several different cave tours. You decide which is best for you, based on abilities, or bravery! They have simple 1 hr tours which take you thru the elevator to the main cavernous large room for a educational tour that stays right there. They also offer more strenuous tours, even crazy ones like the Candlelight tour and the 4 hr wild caving tour. No matter which you choose you will be happy you saw the cave. Oh, and even if it is 100 degrees topside? Bring a light jacket with you on the tour. It is a a little chilly down there!
There is a lot to see and do around Wind Cave, including some of the BEST opportunities in our area to see elk. Ask any of the staff or Rangers at any time where the herd was seen last to maximize your chances of seeing them. Have fun!

Evans Plunge

If you like to swim, or if you are traveling with kids, you should put this on the to-do list while you are in Hot Springs South Dakota. Great way to end the perfect day!
This is the whole area's oldest attraction, being established in 1890. Evans Plunge is more then just a swimming pool. It is a all natural, spring fed, no artificial anything, swimming pool! How cool is that??!!
The Hot Springs water temperatures are 87 degrees, and one big spring and several small springs feed this pool, pumping in an astonishing 5k gallons a minute! All natural warm mineral water..that's it! No chlorine (I seriously dig that part!) and no need for heaters. The water is crystal clear, there are natural rocks on the bottom. For the fun part they have 3 great slides, tarzan rings a kiddie pool and inertubes. A lifegaurd is always on duty too.
It is open from April to Oct. 1st. and your pass it good for the whole day, so make the kids super happy and start and end your day here!
In Rapid City the hot water place to cool off is Watiki.

Honorable Mentions

If you are into golf (I don't play) you will think I am plum CRAZY for not putting the golf course on the top of the list! Sorry! It is not because it isn't worth, I just don't "get" golf, and the top 4 are just so fantastic, I had to choose, so that's the way it "played" out.

  • Southern Hills Golf Course is a 18 hole, par 70, 5,905 yard Golf course. Was rated by Golf Digest to be the #1 Resort Course of South Dakota
  • Trout Haven Ranch If you want to fish, but do not want to invest in a license and the equipment, then Trout Haven Ranch is just your ticket! especially for the youngsters, you are sure to catch yourself a trout
  • Pioneer Museum is right in Hot springs town and is housed in the old sandstone schoolhouse. See how the Pioneers lived with oodles of old equipment and props. If you love Museums you will love the ones in Deadwood, if you want great old West history of our area. For Native American Museums, check out Crazy Horse, or the Journey Museum in Rapid City.


River Walk in Hot Springs SD

They say some of the best things in life are free. When it comes to traveling, I for sure agree with that! There are plenty of places to spend your money on when you visit the Black Hills, but there are also some wonderful, free, money couldn't buy it anyways type of places. Here are a few found in Hot Springs, South Dakota.

  • Walk the Fall River Freedom Trail where you will go under a waterfall. Make sure to have a seat and dip your feet in the warm natural water that put this town on the map.
  • Visit the Depot Visitor Center and take a step back in time walking tour of the city via their free guide (similar to Keystone's)
  • Stop for a fantastic picnic at Cascade Falls while on your way to the Wild Horse Sanctuary. this place is so beautiful! You can go back down to Fall River in an area where you can wade and swim and play if you want.
  • Head on over to Coldbrook Reservoir and see this beautiful little lake. Great off the beaten path place to camp too!

Tell us your favorite!

What was YOUR favorite "to-do" in this town?

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

The Wild horse Sanctuary 
Our 9 Yr old Daughter and us LOVED this place! We took the 2hr bus tour and loved our guide and everything we learned. Very educational. We stopped at …

Trout Haven & Cold Brooke Reservoir.... Not rated yet
Took kids to Trout Haven for their first fishing experience. Had a blast!! Clean Spring Fed water with running stream water!! Staff was SO friendly! …

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Top of Hot Springs South DakotaHomeDeadwoodRapid City


Hi, I am Jo. Welcome!
I have lived and played in the Black Hills all my life. I grew up camping, fishing, hiking, kickin it up at the Motorcycle Rallies and touring our area attractions. I want to show you the locals Black Hills, our secret  places to play, visit and eat! Please stay and browse around, and come back often too, I am always adding new reviews. Thanks for stopping by.

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