16 Best Things to do in Hot Springs, South Dakota

Searching for issues to do in Hot Springs? Search no extra! From prairies, glowing springs, and pink rock canyons to nationwide landmarks, climbing trails, woolly mammoths, and cultural websites, Hot Springs provides a wide selection of issues to do for households, {couples}, and group vacationers.

Located in southwestern South Dakota in Fall River County of the Southern Black Hills, the small city of Hot Springs is backed by the beautiful pink rock and sandstone canyons of the Black Hills National Forest and the Badlands area.

As the title implies, Hot Springs, South Dakota is known for its sizzling therapeutic springs. The city was based as a well being spa as a result of heat mineral springs (the recent spring waters had been thought-about sacred by Native American Sioux and Cheyenne folks) in Fall River Canyon the place six thermal springs come collectively in a canyon.

Pack your digital baggage (and begin interested by the real-time baggage) and let’s begin our exploration of the Mount Rushmore state with Hot Springs issues to do.

Getting to Hot Springs

Hot Springs Municipal Airport (HSR) is the closest airport to Hot Springs. Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP) is about 47.3 miles away from Hot Springs. Use Skyscanner to get the perfect charges when reserving flights and lodges whereas planning your subsequent trip.

Medical situations, emergencies, and unexpected climate occasions can occur. For peace of thoughts whereas touring, be sure you verify into journey insurance coverage with World Nomads. You could by no means want it, however it’s value its weight in gold in the event you do.

The pure sizzling springs of Hot Springs are about 45.5 miles from Hill City. Keystone and Mount Rushmore are about an hour from Hot Springs and Fall River County.

They make nice day journeys. Booking Hot Springs leases from a web site equivalent to is an effective method to make sure you have a secure and reliable car in your subsequent journey.


Need that information on the highest spots in Hot Springs proper flipping now? Don’t say we don’t do something for you!

1. Roam with the Dinosaurs at World Fossil Finder Museum

Dinasour fossil

One of essentially the most distinctive pure historical past museums in Fall River County, the World Fossil Finder Museum in Hot Springs is all about science, humanity, and fossil training.

Future paleontologists in your crew can take a look at the fossil types of early mastodons, mammoth bones, marine predators, and the most important Tylosaurus ever present in South Dakota!

2. Indulge in Thermal Springs at Evans Plunge Mineral Springs

The largest mineral spring, and oldest vacationer attraction (established in 1890), in Hot Springs, Evans Plunge Mineral Springs is a enjoyable and refreshing indoor water park with year-round 87-degree climate. Relax, rejuvenate, and get in just a little train at this enjoyable spot.

Enjoy water slides, two sizzling tubs, water volleyball and basketball, two children’ swimming pools, a steam room, and extra at Evans Plunge. The water at this native thermal springs swimming gap is stored toasty heat by a thermal spring on the finish of the pool. It permits 5,000 gallons of water per minute to circulate into the pool.

The spring on the north finish of the park, which is the most important, is called the “original Indian spring” as a result of it was used for ingesting and bathing by Native Americans.

Hotels close to Evans Plunge embody Red Rock River Resort, which provides a 24-hour spa in the event you haven’t gotten sufficient of the therapeutic sizzling springs South Dakota indulgence at Evans Plunge. There’s a bar and a lounge in addition to free Wi-Fi and bicycle rental.

See Related: Best Places to Visit & Things to do in South Dakota

3. Be Adventurous Along the Minnekahta Trailhead

Minnekahta Trailhead Sign things to do in hot springs

The Minnekahta Trailhead, on the George S. Mickelson Trail rail path, is the place to be for climbing, biking, and geocaching by way of the mountains and forests of the Black Hills. You’ll discover it between Hot Springs and Edgemont off US Highway 18.

If you’re trying to find close by Hot Springs lodges, give Sunrise Ranch a attempt. It’s a couple of 12-minute drive from the Minnekahta Trailhead. Located on the foot of the Black Hills, you’ll be able to benefit from the leisure, solitude, and leisure of ranch life. Take path rides, go climbing, go searching, or take part in ranch chores. The lodge can accommodate 16 friends, and there are six RV hook-ups exterior.

4. Go on a Dig on the Mammoth Site

Dig site of Mammoth death

Craving the Jurassic life whereas in Hot Springs? It’s time to take a look at the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs. You’ll get a real-life look right into a paleontological dig web site with Ice Age fossils and the world’s largest assortment of mammoth stays on the planet. The Mammoth Site Bonebed is a sinkhole that you may really tour inside the world’s biggest focus of woolly mammoths.

As the world’s largest mammoth analysis facility, the Mammoth web site has the world’s largest focus of woolly mammoths on show. There are at the moment 58 Columbian and three woolly mammoths at this Hot Springs south location.

More into botany and geology? Visit the boreal forest, shrubland, grassland, and woodland trails at this lively paleontological web site.

Looking for lodges in Hot Springs close to the Mammoth Site?

Baymont inn suites entrance

Baymont by Wyndham Hot Springs is a couple of mile from the Mammoth Site space and 5 minutes from Evans Plunge. With an indoor pool and free Wi-Fi, it’s a terrific alternative for households visiting the Mammoth web site.

There’s additionally a sizzling tub, a health heart, a enterprise space, and a each day breakfast. Guest rooms have a mini-fridge, a microwave, and a espresso maker.

See Related: Wall Drug of South Dakota

5. Explore the Great Outdoors at Buffalo Gap National Grassland

Buffalo Gap National Grassland Sign

Go tenting, climbing, horseback driving, and searching at Buffalo Gap National Grassland in Hot Springs south. This 322,689-acre park encompasses two areas. One is south and northeast of the city heart of Hot Springs and one is south and west of Wall. 

It’s the second-largest grassland within the nation and a pure habitat for prairie canine, jackrabbits, coyotes, bison, bighorn sheep, and far more.

Need lodging close to Buffalo Gap National Grassland and the Black Hills?

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River Falls Lodging – Black Hills, South Dakota provides river and mountain views in a lodge setting. With knotty pine partitions, these rustic visitor rooms have the fashionable conveniences of both full kitchens or kitchenettes with microwaves, a fridge, and an oven. There’s a backyard and services for barbecuing and picnicking on the property’s three acres.

6. Check out the Lake Scene at Cold Brook Lake Recreational Area

Cold Brook Lake Recreational Area

Created by a dam, Cold Brook Lake provides 36 acres for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, swimming, tenting, and cross-country snowboarding. There’s a ship ramp, a picnic space, and a seashore in the event you’re on the lookout for water-based actions in Fall River and Hot Springs.

Hidden Lake Campground and Resort provides cabins, tent websites, and RV campsites working alongside this lovely lake setting. Spacious cabins have a residing space and full loos.

Most have full kitchens or kitchenettes as properly. RV campsites are both pull-through or back-in varieties. The campground has a bathe home, laundry services, a playground, and a lodge retailer for requirements.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to do in Medora, North Dakota

7. Tee off at Southern Hills Golf Course

Golf Pole with ball

The 18-hole municipal golf programs at Southern Hills Golf Course provide beautiful views of ponderosa pine and pink rock canyons as you’re employed in your swing.

This difficult course has 5 completely different teeing areas and greater than 380 ft of elevation change within the Hot Springs space.

See Related: Best Geyser and Hot Springs within the World

8. Cool off at Cascade Falls Mineral Springs

Cascade Falls Mineral Springs

Located inside the Black Hills National Forest, Cascade Falls Mineral Springs is fed by six springs that feed right into a pure “pool.” While not a sizzling spring just like the naturally heat mineral water of different heat water springs (the water is roughly 67 levels), Cascade Springs makes a refreshing go to on a sizzling summer season day.

Cascade Falls isn’t your typical waterfall, because the water is extra of a cascade spring that ripples down over the rocks right into a swimming gap.

J.H. Keith Park and Whitney Preserve, positioned at Cascade Springs, provide picnic areas close to the nice and cozy waters of the springs at Cascade Falls.

See Related: Best Things to Do in North Dakota & Places to Visit

9. Go Underground at Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave National Park Sign

The 33,849-acre Wind Cave National Park is America’s seventh National Park. Along with a wide selection of crops and timber, you’ll be able to catch sight of elk, bison, prairie canine, and antelope roaming throughout the prairie at Wind Cave National Park.

Explore the sixth longest cave on the planet at this nationwide park within the Southern Black Hills. The caveat Wind Cave National Park is 140 miles lengthy and residential to fascinating issues equivalent to uncommon boxwork formations.

Looking for Hot Springs lodges within the Southern Black Hills close to the nationwide park?

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Chalet Motel is roughly a 17-minute stroll from Black Hills National Forest. Guest rooms have non-public loos and free Wi-Fi. Some visitor rooms have seating areas in the event you’re in want of more room to unfold out. Enjoy a continental or a la carte breakfast at this lodge close to Wind Cave National Park.

10. Explore Prairie History on the Pioneer Museum

Check out early pioneer historical past on the Pioneer Museum, which options 25 reveals that inform the story of the pioneers who lived within the space. Located in a Nineteenth-century former elementary faculty, there’s unique artwork, sculpted alabaster and marble items, historic pictures, tapestries, and heirloom quilts.

You may view outdated washing machines, wooden cookstoves, kerosene lamps, handcrafted instruments, a health care provider’s workplace, a college classroom, and a rustic retailer at this Hot Springs, South Dakota museum.

The Pioneer Museum is about 12 minutes from Wind Cave National Park. The Mammoth Site is only one.5 miles from the Hot Springs Pioneer Museum. Either attraction makes an amazing alternative to incorporate in your go to to the Pioneer Museum.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to do in Minot, North Dakota

11. Take a Day Trip to Mount Rushmore National Monument

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Located in Keystone, Mount Rushmore National Park is about an hours-drive from Hot Springs. If you’re this shut, you’ll be able to’t miss the prospect to cross it off your bucket record. The 60-foot-high granite sculpture options the faces of Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Theodore Roosevelt. Take a guided tour or discover at your individual tempo.

While you’re there, and after taking a number of selfies with the previous presidents, take a look at the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center and the Sculptor’s Studio. You can see reveals, watch a video on the carving course of, and take heed to the ranger discuss concerning the monument. Stop by customer facilities for maps of trails and websites.

The Presidential Trail takes you nearer to the monument as you take a look at the encompassing nature and wildlife. Enjoy ice cream or lunch on the Carver’s Café afterward.

If you’re concerned with extra climbing, head to the Blackberry Trail, a one-mile gravel path that connects up with Centennial Trail within the Black Elk Wilderness. Along the path, you’ll discover picket bridges, picnic tables, small water crossings, and beautiful views.

12. Learn About Native American History at Crazy Horse Memorial

Crazy Horse Memorial Monument

Another can’t-miss attraction close to Hot Springs is the Crazy Horse Memorial. Located in Custer County, it’s modeled after the Oglala Lakota warrior Tasunke Witko. Under building on sacred land since 1948, the monument continues to be unfinished, however there’s a accomplished 87-foot-tall head of the legendary warrior on the web site, together with many different reveals and cultural points of interest that embody historical past museums, a cultural heart, a sculptor studio, and cultural program alternatives.

The mission of the South Dakota memorial is to protect the tradition and heritage of Native Americans and their each day lives. Special occasions embody laser gentle reveals, summer season instructional applications, excursions, musical performances, Navajo flutists, art work periods, and extra.

The memorial is about 31.5 miles away from Hot Springs. If you’re on the lookout for a lodge that’s handy to the world, contemplate Holiday Inn & Suites Custer-Mount Rushmore.

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Surrounded by the Black Hills National Forest, it has a health heart, an indoor pool, a sizzling tub, and free Wi-Fi. Guest rooms have a microwave, a mini-fridge, and a espresso machine.

13. Get Cultural on the Indian Museum of North America

Museum entrance

Located on the Crazy Horse Memorial web site, the Indian Museum of North America options artwork, artifacts, and the wealthy Native American historical past of greater than 300 Native American nations.

Another cultural web site, the Native American Educational, and Cultural Center, additionally tells the Native American story by way of artwork, sculpture, well-known prints, artists in residence, and historic reveals.

14. Stay within the Middle of Things at Custer State Park

Lake on Middle of the thins at Custer State Park

Named for Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer, Custer State Park encompasses 71,000 acres of timber, crops, and ingenious wildlife in a balanced ecosystem within the Black Hills. Boating, biking, birdwatching, and fishing are widespread actions at this Hot Springs park.

Within the park, there are 4 non-public lodges with eating places and guided actions in addition to trendy cabins and lodge rooms at Custer State Park Resort. The resort is positioned about 21 miles south of Rapid City alongside the Peter Norbeck Scenic Parkway. Don’t miss the herd of 1,300 free-roaming buffalo.

See Related: Best Things To Do in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

15. Go Trail Riding at Sage Meadow Ranch

Young woman riding a horse

Sage Meadow Ranch focuses on non-public guided path rides. Located within the southern foothills close to Hot Springs, the ranch sits on acres of prairie land and rolling hills. Enjoy horseback driving after a day of sizzling springs, historical past museums, and a nationwide park or two.

Sage Meadow Ranch is close to the Minnekahta Trailhead, so you might pencil in a path journey after a rugged hike.

16. Angostura Recreation Area

Water lovers in your crew have to pay a go to to Angostura Recreation Area! With 36 miles of shoreline and crystal clear water, outside fans can go boating, fishing, and swimming in addition to biking and birdwatching.

There are a number of boat ramps across the South Dakota reservoir. Anglers can reel in northern pike, walleye, bass, and perch.

The recreation space is roughly 10 miles southeast of Hot Springs. Shep’s Canyon Lodge is a terrific alternative for lodging close to the water. It options two rooms and a front room and kitchen space. Outdoors, there’s a horse corral for individuals who carry their equine buddies alongside on their travels. There are miles and miles of driving trails within the space.

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