There’s nothing like resting your sore muscles and weary legs after a huge day spent exploring this state’s spectacular scenery.
South Dakota is truly one of a kind. From the grand, sweeping prairie grass plains to several extraordinary national parks bursting with native animals and unforgettable landscapes, this state is spoilt when it comes to natural beauty, and its abundance of hot springs is no exception.
From the naturally warmed water of Moccasin Springs to the family-friendly pools of Evans Plunge, these hot springs in South Dakota are not only guaranteed to loosen your body and prepare it for the rest of your mid-western adventure but they’re also in a town called Hot Springs. Go figure.
Boasting four outdoor, natural mineral spring pools, Moccasin Springs knows exactly what your mind, body, and soul need in order to feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Ranging in temperature from a pleasant 88°F to a toastier 102°F, these pools have an earthy feel and are designed to encourage physical and mental healing.
Whether you fancy floating in the synonymous Moccasin Pool with its natural red rock floor and 93°F year-round temperature or want to take in the garden and hillside views from the Hot Pools while soaking your body’s aches and pains away, these special pools will leave you with a calmness in your mind and a (hot) spring in your step.
2. Cascade Falls
One of the more enchanting places to go for a dip in South Dakota is the beautiful and somewhat secluded Cascade Falls. While this natural swimming pool isn’t hot (you can’t have everything), it is surrounded by lush and rare vegetation such as ferns, prairie gentian, and orchids, making you feel as though you’ve stumbled across a magical slice of untouched paradise.
Acting as a public swimming hole for well over a hundred years, this turquoise-colored pool is suitable for kids (and those who still act like one) with slow-moving water and varying depths. Considered to be the perfect place to connect with nature thanks to the whispering falls and harmonic birdsong you’ll hear from your vantage point in the water, Cascade Falls is a spot you simply can’t miss.
3. Fall River
Conveniently running through the center of Hot Springs is the enjoyable Fall River, a body of water that’s fed by thermal warm springs on the outskirts of town. Perhaps not as impressive as the rest of the natural swimming holes on this list, Fall River is still a great place to hang out and have a swim in as it connects two of the town’s most beloved parks: Centennial Park and Brookside Park.
Meaning you can set up a picnic on the banks of the river, enjoy the sunshine, and have a splash with the kids in one of the shallower sections of the river for a fun-filled day out you won’t forget in a hurry.
Established in 1890 as a way for locals to naturally replenish their energy and restore muscle strength after suffering from a range of illnesses, Evans Plunge has now evolved into a tourist attraction bursting with fun-inducing activities such as four slides (including a seven-meter outdoor one), two hot tubs, a sauna and steam room, equipment for both water basketball and volleyball, and of course, several naturally warmed pools.
Maintaining an average temperature of 87 degrees Fahrenheit, these pools are fed by thermal springs located at the north end of the recreational area which allows 5,000 gallons of water per minute to flow directly into the pools. Boasting crystal clear and scentless water you could easily spend hours in, Evans Plunge promises a day of excitement for the kids and a day of relaxation for you.