Wind Cave National Park, Wind Cave National Park

Must see · Cave · National Park
Wind Cave National Park is an American national park located 10 miles (16 km) north of the town of Hot Springs in western South Dakota. Established on January 3rd, 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, it was the seventh national park and the first cave to be designated a national park anywhere in the world. The cave is notable for its calcite formations known as boxwork, as well as its frostwork. Approximately 95 percent of the world's discovered boxwork formations are found in Wind Cave. The cave is recognized as the densest cave system in the world, with the greatest passage volume per cubic mile. Wind Cave is one of the longest caves in the world with 149.01 miles (239.81 km) of explored cave passageways, as of 2018. Above ground, the park includes the largest remaining natural mixed-grass prairie in the United States.

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Wind Cave National Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
630 reviews
  • The views were amazing. There is a gravel road for a while that made us feel lost, but thankfully we weren't. It was where we saw a group of antelope, a long buffalo, many prairie dogs, and a herd of....  more »
  • The park is nice. We were too late for the cave tour. There is a trail leading to a place where you can feel the cool air rushing out. Buy tickets early or you may not get into the cave tour. You are....  more »
  • We arrived at 8am and the line to get tour tickets was already about 100 families long. By the time we got to the ticket purchase there were no tickets available for any tours before 10am. We were...  more »
  • Very nice park. We enjoyed the tour of the natural cave entrance as well as the visitor center. The rangers all seemed very dedicated to making the stop at their park interesting and worthwhile, which we were impressed with. But the elevator still isn't working; it's a bummer not to be able to enter the cave.
  • Beautiful park! Wind Cave Visitors Center was very informative. The building was kept up nicely and the park rangers were very helpful and friendly. The elevator was not working when we were there, so there were no cave tours at all. There were lots of activities at the visitor center at least. The gift shop had a lot of options for souvenirs and were reasonably priced.
  • The elevator is down for maintenance so no cave tours. If I would have known that, I wouldn't have driven the 50 miles round trip from the hotel I stayed at. On the bright side it meant more time at Custer State Park.
  • Elevators that provide access to the inside of the cave were not functioning this trip. I don't know what I was expecting when we were offered a tour of the largest natural opening, but I was a bit surprised. The story behind its discovery and the emergence story for the native peoples were engaging. Glad we went to the visitor's center, but I'd have enjoyed it far better were the full tour operational.
  • Despite seeing no cave tours on the park website, I decided to visit anyway. You can really tell that the staff are working hard to make this a worthwhile trip despite no cave tours. For example there are ranger talks pretty much being offered at all times. I went to two of them and they were cool! They even made a cardboard cave for kids to explore (I was too big for it though). The exhibits were informative. After spending like an hour at the visitor center, I went on a short hike. I finished just as the sun was starting to sink in the sky... it was beautiful. Overall I'm glad I stopped here. I'll just have to wait til next time to take a cave tour.

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