Wind Cave National Park Near Rapid City
Located 65 miles southwest of Rapid City is one of the longest and most complex caves in the world. Wind Cave National Park is one of the oldest parks in the country and showcases beauty both above and below the surface. Above ground, visitors can explore 28,000 acres of mixed-grass prairie, hike on 30 miles of trail, picnic or camp. Below the surface, ranger-guided tours wind through narrow passageways filled with intricate boxwork and other geological phenomenon.
Open daily and year-round.
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
|April 28 - June 9||8:00am - 6:00pm|
|June 10 - August 18||8:00am - 7:00pm|
|August 19 - September 22||8:00am - 6:00pm|
|September 23 - October 13||8:00am - 5:00pm|
|October 13 - late April||8:00am - 4:30pm|
|Wind Cave National Park participates in the National Park Service's Junior Ranger Program.|
The Visitor Center contains exhibit rooms featuring cave exploration, cave formations, early cave history, the Civilian Conservation Corps, park wildlife and resource management, as well as an informational video about the park.
There are a variety of tours available ranging in length and difficulty. Visitors can spend thirty minutes or four hours exploring this national treasure. There is even a historic candlelight tour where visitors explore the undeveloped, unlit part of the cave. All tours leave from the Visitor Center; times and fees vary.
There are more than 30 miles of hiking trails located in Wind Cave National Park. These trails wind through the mixed grass prairie and pine forests, revealing natural wonders and an abundance of wildlife. There are also three shorter nature trails, The Elk Mountain, Prairie Vista and Rankin Ridge trail, which have gentle slopes and natural grades.
ELK MOUNTAIN CAMPGROUND
The Elk Mountain Campground is located in the mixed-grass prairie section of the park and accommodates tents, campers and RVs all year. Water is turned off in the winter.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE VISITING
65 miles southwest of Rapid City on US Hwy 385 and SD Hwy 87.
The temperature inside the cave is a chilly 54 degrees at all times. Wearing a light jacket and sturdy walking shoes is recommended for all cave tours.
Tour tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis. During the summer months the wait for tours can be long so the park recommends getting to the cave for morning tours when lines are not as long.
For more information, including tour costs, call 605-745-4600 or visit the Wind Cave National Park page on the National Park Service website.