When we were planning this trip, we did not have the Mammoth Site on our to do list for the Black Hills. Once there our hosts talked about the site and Carol added it to the list. I was neutral. I have to say that it was well worth the time and I found it most interesting.
It seems that when the earth was forming and the volcanic actions were pushing the Rockies, Devils Tower and other formations up, A fairly large pit was formed. The area beneath the pit was "super heated" . Even during the cold of winter, grass was readily available around the rim. The speculation is that the Woolly Mammoths and Columbian Mammoths came for an easy meal and slipped into the pit. They were unable to climb up the walls of the pit and fell prey. The estimate is that an average of three mammoths fell in every ten years over a period of three hundred years.
The land was purchased by a man who was going to develop it. When grading was begun they discovered a tusk and it was soon identified as a Woolly Mammoth. A non profit corporation was formed, funds raised and the owner sold the property for the same price he paid. A building was built over the property where the pit is located. A core sample was taken to a depth of sixty feet. So far excavations have reached the forty foot depth and sixty Mammoths have been uncovered.
Following is a small sample of the pictures that I took.
The picture below is model of what a Woolly Mammoth would have looked like.
This is a picture of what an ancient hut may have looked like. It was constructed of mammoth bones covered with animal hides.
A skeletal model of a mammoth. This is a frontal view of the head.
The site is located very near Hot Springs, South Dakota. We are talking about a repeat trip just to stay in the cabin and relax. However, we did agree that the Mammoth Site and Custer State Park would be the only two repeats.