Evans Plunge is one of those attractions in the Black Hills that everyone seems to have been to as a kid. I mention it to several friends, and they each recalled a story from their childhood. Some remember the rocky bottom (the rocks are still there). Some mention how cool the waterslides were.
Disclosure: Evans Plunge provided a complimentary family pass for my family to visit. All opinions, thoughts and typos are my own.
Updated: March 22, 2019
My first visit was as a mom, so I don’t have that nostalgic recollection. My kids will someday. I was invited to visit Evans Plunge on my recent family road trip through the Badlands and Black Hills. It’s located in Hot Springs, a small town in southern South Dakota known for nearby hot springs. This location isn’t in a natural setting of a hot spring, just so you know.
We went early one weekday morning, so we didn’t contend with other tourists save for one other family. Everyone at the pool at that time was local – kids in swim lessons or adults in exercise classes. It meant no lines for the slides.
Evans Plunge is a spring-fed water park of sorts – it’s mostly a large swimming pool with some fun features like kid-friendly water slide, three larger slides and Tarzan swings. The water is warmer than most pools because of the spring water – 87 degrees.
We got lifejackets at the check in for our beginner swimmers. They weren’t needed in the kid pool, which was 3 feet deep with a small frog slide. They were handy in the larger pool. There are also a couple tubes on deck to use.
The waterslides are definitely for big kids (and parents). I only went down one, and while it wasn’t scary fast or anything, I knew better than to ask my kids if they were interested in trying it out.
Since we were there early, I had to ask for the slides to be turned on. And because of the timing of our visit, the outdoor pool wasn’t open yet (it opens at 11 a.m.). But we enjoyed an uncrowded pool and no lines for anything.
You could easily spend an hour here, and likely more when you’re with kids. If you’re feeling the need for some strength training, there is a fitness center upstairs that’s included with admission. Need a snack or lunch? There is a small concession stand there, as well.
The great thing, I learned from one helpful lady at the pool, is that our wristbands are good for the whole day. You could leave to eat lunch, nap, whatever, and then return in the evening.
If you go
Where: 1145 N. River St., Hot Springs, South Dakota
Hours: Mondays through Fridays, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 10 to 9 p.m.
Tips: Admission is 50% off if you visit within the last two hours of the day. You can get 10% off your admission if you bring a receipt showing that you’re staying at a hotel, motel or campground in Hot Springs.
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Planning a trip to South Dakota and Western Nebraska? I wrote a series of posts and reviews of kid-friendly attractions, lodging and a photo-heavy trip recap. Check them out:
Comfort Suites and Convention Center (Rapid City, South Dakota)
Firehouse Brewing Company (Rapid City, South Dakota)
Reptile Gardens (Rapid City, South Dakota)
Dakotah Steakhouse (Rapid City, South Dakota)
The Hills Inn (Hot Spring, South Dakota)
Mammoth Site (Hot Springs, South Dakota)
Chadron State Park (Chadron, Nebraska)
Fort Robinson State Park (Harrison, Nebraska)