The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs is home to the world’s largest Columbian mammoth exhibit. Additionally it is a research center for Pleistocene studies. Currently they boast a total of 61 mammoths (58 Columbian and 3 woolly mammoths). But mammoths aren’t the only thing you will find here. To date over 85 species of animal have been unearthed. In addition to mammoth, camels, wolves, and giant short-faced bears have also been found.
What to Expect
A guided tour is the best way to visit the site. Start your journey with an educational film. Afterward you will explore the edge of the sinkhole and hear more about the discoveries within. Watch the professionals at work as they further reveal the skeletal remains. Finally you will get a peak at the lab where all the research happens. Bring your furry friends along! The Mammoth Site is pet friendly. The site is also wheelchair accessible.
For the Kids
Children 4-12 can become junior paleontologists. This program teaches the proper way to uncover ancient bones. Additionally kids will learn to identify mammoth and short-faced bear remains. Kids 10 and older can take part in the advanced paleontology program. From within a mock bonebed, kids will learn proper excavation techniques. They will also be taught bone identification with replicas made from site discoveries. Mammoth Site also offers several educational opportunities. Including summer classes, internships, and Geology Merit Badge for Scouts.
Join the Dig
Of course kids aren’t the only ones that can experience the dig. The Mammoth Site offers Summer programs for the whole family. The Family Dig Program is held 7 days a week throughout the summer. This hands-on class encourages families to work together to extract fossils in a simulation dig site using the same tools as the professionals. Families learn how to excavate and preserve fossils as well as jacketing fossils. You can even create your own fossil jacket to take home as a souvenir. The Atlatl Throwing Class allows participants to explore the spearthrowing hunting method used by early humans. Learn the technique and then try it out for yourself. See if you have what it takes to be an ancient hunter. Close toe shoes are required and participants must be at least 8 years old. Check out all of the details and additional classes here.
Mammoth Site of Hot Springs – 1800 US18 Bypass Hot Springs, SD 57747 – (605) 745-6017