Great American Vacation 2012 - Mammoth Site

We travel back to prehistoric times

Great American Vacation 2012 – Mammoth Site

Great American Vacation 2012 - Mammoth Site

June 9, 2012

The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, South Dakota, is the world’s largest mammoth research facility where we travel back in time when Ice Age mammoth, camel, and giant short-faced bear roamed the Great Plains of North America.

In 1974, a construction worker, George Hanson, unearthed unusual bones while the area was being prepared for a housing subdivision. Later a museum and building enclosing the site were established. Today, the museum contains an extensive collection of mammoth remains, with ongoing research and excavations at the site.

The fossil bones of Columbian and woolly mammoths are found scattered throughout the sinkhole. The bones are displayed as they were discovered, in the now dry pond sediments. To date, 55 mammoths have been identified, along with the remains of a giant short-faced bear, camel, llama, prairie dog, wolf, fish, and numerous invertebrates.

The Mammoth Site’s Ice Age Exhibit Hall features replica skeletons of the American lion, giant short-faced bear, and pygmy mammoth. A full-sized mammoth model and walk-in mammoth bone hut are the most popular exhibits.

One of the finest private collections of earliest North American artifacts found in the Black Hills and Badlands area and featuring Clovis and Folsom points is on display in the museum.

There’s also a working paleontology laboratory where researchers can date and test fossils and learn about the history of this site.


Video from our visit:


Photos from our visit:



About Chris Disdero

Occupation: Software Engineer; Favorite Languages: C++ C# Objective-C; Favorite Challenge: Connecting complex programs together so that elements of one UI interoperate within the other UI; Passions:
Learning new things. Photography. Electronic Music. Astronomy. Model Railroad Miniatures, Designing web sites; Favorite Getaway: San Juan Island; Personal Motto: “No matter where you go, there you are.”

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