Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Hot Springs, South Dakota, United States

Aug 4, 2017 - Hot Springs SD

On a foggy Tuesday morning we headed back west again on I-80 to Ogallala where we picked up U.S. 26 and headed north till it turned into Highway 385, through countless corn, wheat, sunflower fields and vast pastures and then onto our home for 2 nights in Hot Springs on the southern end of the Black Hills about an hour south of Rapid City. We got set up in our very uneven site at the KOA, then hopped aboard the trusty Jeep to backtrack again. Yep, we headed about 50 minutes back south on Highway 385 to Chadron, Nebraska to visit another...

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Oct 4, 2016 - Wind Cave National Park and Mammoth Site

2016-10-04. Wind Cave NP and Mammoth Site Yesterday, we drove the 65 miles to Wind Cave National Park, the fifth oldest park in the national park system. Have any of you heard of this park? We certainly hadn’t and if it had not been so close, we would probably still be ignorant of this national treasure. This park was established before the national park service was born and was the first park created to protect and showcase a cave. Yes, Mammoth and Carlsbad are more well-known and spectacular by virtue of their size and cave formations but...

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Sep 19, 2016 - No Way to Staying at Kemo Sabay

Our original plan for this night was in a small RV park that looked amazing in the pictures online. It said it was on 90 acres and had old farm equipment on it. It looked like it was off the beaten track and cozy. Turns out it was on the side of the road, very small, super uneven sites (would have been okay for smaller rigs)! No one was around, it was purely self register. We had to wind around small streets in town to get to it and low and behold: it was right off the highway! We both walked around and decided, no way! There was a KOA sign...

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Aug 19, 2015 - Wildlife in South Dakota

Every day when I went sightseeing I saw wildlife including wild turkeys, bison, prairie dogs (impossible for me to photograph), elk, deer, and mule deer. In addition, probably the most interesting were the pronghorn, the fastest mammal in the Western Hemisphere. The animal is often mistaken for an antelope. South Dakota is truly a beautiful part of the US.

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Aug 10, 2015 - Hot Springs

Hot Springs SD is known for the warm mineral springs located along the Fall River which never freezes as the river flows through town. It once was a popular tourist destination with bath houses, hotels, hospitals, and sanitariums. There is also an active VA Medical Center built 107 years ago and a Veterans Home in Hot Springs along with a National Cemetery. An early businessman named Fred Evans developed Evans Plunge where you can soak in the 87-degree water year round. The Plunge is known as the world's largest naturally heated spring-fed...

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Aug 7, 2015 - I Made It to South Dakota

After spending a second night on the road (this time at the Fort Worth TX Sheraton), American Airlines managed to fly me to Rapid City. Jerry Dunn met me at the airport and we drove to his home in Hot Springs, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, where he bought a 1950s era motel which he calls Lean Horse Landings. I'm looking forward to a month of sightseeing in South Dakota.

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Jul 22, 2014 - Hot Springs, S.D.

When we visited Wind Cave yesterday, we drove a few more miles to see the nearby town of Hot Springs. The more we see of South Dakota, the more we love it. Everywhere we go we find more to explore. This town is known at one of the warmest places in South Dakota, it was 104 when we visited, so we totally agree. YIKES! We loved this one and would love to spend time at one of the campgrounds in the area. Surrounded by rugged canyons and pine-covered hills, the town of 3,700 boasts the Mammoth Site, mineral water health spas, Evans Plunge,...

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Jun 10, 2014 - Mammoths and Buffalo

After leaving Wounded Knee we headed toward Hot Springs. In the middle of nowhere was a casino. Since we had to use the restroom, we stopped to relieve our bladders and our wallets. In Hot Springs we visited the Mammoth Site. This is an actual dig site of mammoths who died in a sink hole. Their bones were preserved, but not fossilized. Very interesting. We then made our way north driving through Wind Cave National Park and finally got to see some bison.

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Trip Journal

Our Dakotas Trip

May 20, 2014 - Hot Springs, SD

We start the day arguing with our GPS. She is not having a good day. We head to town for a Wal-Mart stop but it is closed. There is a power outage. We take Route 385 north. We parallel the railroad tracks. We see train after train waiting. Alliance is a major maintenance hub. Backups are common. We stop in Alliance to visit Carhenge. The pictures speak for themselves. There is more to see than I expect. We continue north to Route 20. It is a Nebraska Scenic Byway. The rolling hills are beautiful. In Chadron, we stop at the Museum of the Fur...

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Aug 3, 2013 - Mount Rushmore & Windy Caves

This is our first big stop. Windy Caves was an interesting national park. I am still struggling with my ankle that I broke last year, so I still favor it on stairs. This tour includes a visit to the natural entrance of Wind Cave where visitors can see where the cave was discovered and learn how it got its name. Participants enter the cave through a man-made entrance and journey through the middle level of the cave. Wind Cave's famous boxwork is abundant throughout this trip. Most of the 300 stairs along this route are down. This moderately...

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Jul 3, 2013 - Mammoth Site - a true SD treasure

We toured the Mammoth Dig Site outside of town and it was super interesting. More than 26,000 years ago, large Columbian and woolly mammoths were trapped and died of starvation, exhaustion or drowning when they fell into and were trapped in a steeply-sided pond. The watering hole, active for about hundreds of years, slowly filled with layers of drying silt, sediments, and dying mammoths. The mud, which had aided in trapping the mammoths, now entombed and preserved the mammoth remains. For centuries the bones lay buried, until they were...

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Jul 3, 2013 - Hot Springs, SD - a cool little town

While eating with our friends at a Hill City restaurant one evening, we met a couple who lived only a couple miles from our old TX house in Carrollton. What a small world it really is! John and Cyndi Esch were heading the opposite direction on their summer trip than we were, but they planned to go through Hot Springs, SD on their way to Colorado, so we planned to spend the day together. We took two vehicles - I rode with Cyndi and John rode with Fred south to the little town of Hot Springs. In our other trips to SD, we had not made it to...

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