Wind Cave National Park

Wafer-thin sheets of rust-colored rock hang in rows from the ceiling, like feathers on an ancient wing. Sheets of petrified calcite seem to fold and drape along the cool cave walls.

This is “boxwork” and “cratework,” two of the rare rock formations that make Wind Cave National Park so special.

The park extends across and beneath more than 28,000 acres of pine forest and grassland. Above ground, you can wander trails cut through the ponderosa and prairie. Stop to listen for the movement of bison, mule deer, and prairie dogs.

Below the surface lies a mystifying labyrinth of tunnels that have fascinated geologists since they were discovered in 1881. To date, spelunkers have ventured 132 miles into the earth, making Wind Cave the fourth longest in the world. And still, much of it remains unmapped.

Visit one of the oldest national parks and the first created to protect an underground resource. At Wind Cave National Park, you’ll discover how the caves were formed, what geologists have learned from them, and how you can support efforts to preserve them.

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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

BB

June 20, 2014

A great cave tour. Ranger April was the best. Her narrative brought the space to life. Well worth the stop.

Neil Patrick Harris

May 5, 2014

hi! im visiting this park on May 17 with my husband David Burtka and my two lovely children. Hope I have a great experience

Eddie Murphy

December 13, 2013

My daughter asked me if we could visit this national park as a camping experience...honestly I am disappointed but my daughter loved the website.....expect our arrival in the near future.

person

November 16, 2013

My dad, my brother and I went to Wind Cave last summer. it was so cool and fascinating! All of the beautiful formations!The box-work was so pretty!

TonkaKate

October 3, 2013

Wind Cave was awesome, but a great surprise to my children and me were all the trails and back roads in the park. We watched heards of bison along the Centenial Trail and were on the lookout for elk, and if we were lucky, a black-footed ferret. But my personal favorite hike was the Boland Ridge Trail before dusk. The colors in the sky mirrored the reds of the earth. Looking down across the valley with only the sound of the breezes brushing through the grasses was so calming. It was a great place to get rejuvenated. Can't wait to bring my husband next time!

Diane

July 24, 2013

We love this park. We travel here every year. It's the best place to see Elk in all of South Dakota.

Carolyn

July 5, 2013

We just returned from an amazing trip in South Dakota. We enjoyed the Wind Cave and the Jewel Cave. As "rock" lovers, we found the caves just fabulous. We would recommend doing the tours of the caves when traveling in South Dakota. Our guide was very informative and knowledgeable.

Maggie

August 27, 2012

We loved this park. The guide did an excellent job of informing and educating us about the cave. We would recommend it to anyone visiting South Dakota. It isn't as well known as some of South Dakota's other attractions but well worth the visit.

Porkwatch

July 22, 2012

Caves all have some interesting things in common - namely, Nature’s ability to create, remove, and replace rock and minerals, resulting in some great formations to look at. Plus, of course, creating the caves that house them. I agree with Roger - Tia needs to go where she can be entertained by noise and lights. Exploring Nature isn't for her.

Roger

July 9, 2012

Great little park and as someone who has gone to quite a few caves around the country I found this one very impressive. The cave guide was very good. @ "Tia"... you can always go to Disney, I'm sure it will be more to your liking and will provide more intellectual stimulation"

Mike

March 26, 2012

Wind Cave is a smaller park, not a spectacle like Yosemite or Yellowstone, but quiet and peaceful. Hiking in the back country provides for great solitude, and the cave tours are informative and fun. I've been here twice and really found it relaxing and enjoyable.

tia that girl:)

February 7, 2012

this national park was boring and looked dead to me!

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