Hot Springs, South Dakota
A haven on the southern end of the Black Hills, Hot Springs, SD offers more than just its namesake natural hot springs. Keep reading to find out what…
Located to the south of Custer National Park and Black Hills National Forest, Hot Springs, SD is famous for the very thing that gives the town its name, the natural warm water springs that soak away stress and aches. Beyond the waters, however, this historic town has much to offer. Here visitors can witness mammoths being unearthed, wild mustangs galloping across the grasslands, and walk in the footsteps of frontier men and women.
The Waters of Hot Springs
The soothing mineral waters that bubble to the surface here made this a special place long before it was settled as a town. It was the waters that first drew settlers and visitors, and once the railroad reached Hot Springs the town grew swiftly around the waters.
Today the naturally warm mineral waters remain one of the greatest attractions of the areas, with modern spas offering a luxurious experience. Options range from historic bathhouses to high-end spas incorporating a range of services. Evans Plunge, which has stood for over a hundred years, is the world’s largest natural indoor pool, and today features waterslides and more family fun.
Hot Springs Attractions
Hot Springs offers more than its namesake for visitors to enjoy. Among the top attractions are the wild horses carefully preserved in their natural habitat at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. These mustangs that once roamed the grasslands freely are fewer in number now, but their majesty can still be seen today at this 11,000-acre sanctuary.
Just to the north of Hot Springs lies Custer State Park and one of the largest caves in the world, Wind Cave, which takes its name from an air pressure phenomenon that causes a feeling of wind at the entrance. Magnificent and rare rock formations can be viewed on tours of this enormous labyrinth.
Dig up a little of the past at the Mammoth site, where you can view fossilized remains of enormous mammoths still lying as they were found. The 26,000-year-old wooly mammoth skeletons are a rare and fascinating site protected by the building constructed around them to allow year-round viewing.
The Black Hills
Just to the north of Hot Springs visitors can explore Black Hills National Forest and Custer State Park, both of which offer numerous opportunities for recreation as well as sightseeing.
Hiking and mountain biking trails snake across the landscape, inviting explorers. Rock climbers are called to majestic granite peaks. Fishing, swimming, and boating are just a few of the ways to enjoy the fresh waters of the lakes and streams.
A symbol of the American spirit known worldwide, Mount Rushmore rises 500 feet above the forest floor, where four Presidents gaze out across the land they helped create. Not far away, a tribute to the native people of America is still in progress; the Crazy Horse Memorial is still being carved from the mountain.
Staying in Hot Springs
Thanks to the draw of the warm waters, Hot Springs has grown to offer a wide array of options for lodging. The hotel and spa combinations here range from world-class luxury to more affordable choices. There are small motels and independent hotels as well as chains. Choose from a bed and breakfast in a historic home, or sleep under the stars in an RV park or campground, such as the Hot Springs KOA offering everything from tent camping to cabin rentals.
Dining is as varied as the accommodations here, and visitors will find everything from a hot, fresh pizza, to a fine dining experience to rival any other city in the nation.
The friendly streets of Hot Springs are lined with charming shops where visitors will find an array of unique merchandise, including local arts and crafts.
Getting to Hot Springs
Hot Springs, SD is located at the junction of Highway 385 and Highway 18, an easy drive off Interstate 90 through beautiful Black Hills country. It can also be reached from Interstate 25 to the south via Highway 20 and Highway 385.
Rapid City offers a major airport for those wishing to fly into the area, and car rentals make it easy to find your way to the warm, welcoming waters of Hot Springs.