Visiting Mammoth Dig Site and Evan's Plunge

On our way  to the house we were renting in Rapid City, South Dakota from our hotel in Cheyenne, Wyoming, we decided to stop in Hot Springs Rapid City and check out the Mammoth Dig Site and Evan's Plunge (an indoor mineral hot springs).

Mammoth dig site is an active paleontological dig site where 61 mammoth remains have been found so far.  We had a fantastic time touring the site with our guide and learned a lot about the various species of mammoths as well as other animals that have been found in at the site.

Before entering the dig site we did watch a movie about how this site was discovered and what they have done to preserve it.

The site is completely enclosed and there are walkways all around.  You an volunteer to dig in the summer and both my boys and I were bummed we didn't live closer as they would have loved a chance to dig themselves!

This is the largest chamber with the lowest levels they've dug through so far.

An intact pair of tusks.

Tools of the trade!  Digging is painstaking work usually done with brushes and small picks.

A mostly intact remain-- see the ribs and head, and femur bones?

This shows all the layers that they have dug through so far.

A close up of mammoth teeth/jaw bone.

This red rock indicates where the mud hole these mammoths and animals were trapped in ends and the surrounding area begins.

This pole shows the different heights that different bear species can reach to when on their hind legs... I am so thankful that the giant short- faced bear went extinct as he would reach to the roof of the room we were standing in!

The boys had fun seeing where they measured up.

Another look at all the layers of the earth.

When we finally tired of the main dig site room we went to check out the other rooms they had that showcased some of the paleontological finds from this region as well as around the world.  We also got to take the elevator down a level and peek inside the lab where they treat, catalog, and label what they bring out of the dig site.

A replica of a Native American home built using bone and animal hides.

When we tired of the dig site we got in the car and drove over to Evan's plunge.  I thought the mineral hot springs would be much warmer than they were.  The water maintains an average temperature of 87.

Because the water bubbles into the pool naturally there is a rocky bottom to the pool, which can be a bit rough on feet.

We made the best of it since we didn't have water shoes and the kids had a great time trying out the water slides, the rings, and even playing with the balls, nets, and other assorted toys around.

Other posts from this trip include:

Driving from Denver to Cheyenne
Wildlife Loop Trail at Custer State Park
Visiting the Reptile Gardens
Visiting Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo


  1. What fun adventures. That dig is so cool. My boys would’ve loved both.

    1. My boys told me they'd happily help dig next year if I paid to have them flown out for the summer! :)

  2. That hot springs is so cool! We went to one that was outdoors, and it didn't have any fun things like slides, etc!

    1. It was a lot of fun but just wish it had been a tad warmer. The boys didn't care though and played for a good hour at least if not two.

  3. I think my boys would like to visit a place like this!

  4. Looks like an interesting and fun place to visit!! Thanks so much for linking up at the #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 5. Shared.

  5. Oh my goodness, I would love to visit this place.

    1. It really was amazing to see; the pictures just don't do the size justice.

  6. This place is so interesting. I always loved anything archaeological.

    1. It really was so neat! I wish we had been able to see them actually digging (or even better yet volunteer to dig with them!) but our timing was a bit off.

  7. This is amazing. How wonderful you got to visit. i feel like you took us along. I bet it was impressive in person. Thanks for sharing at "Love Your Creativity."

    1. It really was quite impressive; it's amazing to think how much they find each summer.


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