Caves and Mines

Wind Cave National Park Hot Springs

Where is it at?

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Wind Cave National Park
26611 U.S. Highway 385
Hot Springs
SD
57747
Tel: 605 745-4600

Directions

Wind Cave National Park is located 6 miles north of Hot Springs, SD. The Visitor Center is 11 miles north of Hot Springs on U.S. Route 385. For visitors traveling on I-90: At Rapid City, SD, exit onto U.S. Route 79 south. Follow Route 79 south approximately 50 miles to U.S. Route 385. Turn right onto U.S. Route 385 North, which will take you through Hot Springs and into Wind Cave National Park. Follow signs to the visitor center for cave tours and general park information.

Where are we going today?

Did you know that underneath the rolling grasslands and plains of South Dakota, with roaming bison and elk, lies one of the LONGEST and most complex caves in the world?

Welcome to Wind Cave National Park!

Wind Cave was named for barometric winds that can be found at it's entrance, and is actually a maze of passages how to box work - a unique formation which isn't really found anywhere else in the world. Now THAT is impressive!

The Visitor Center is a great place to start your experience. There are three exhibit rooms, which feature information about the cave exploration, the formations, and the early cave history. There is also an 18 minute movie that is shown throughout the day which gives you a great insight into what you are about to witness!

To explore the caves themselves, you need to take a cave tour, which are offered daily. The caves are always 53 degrees, so make sure you take a jacket!

It's amazing to see how the Wind Cave National Park is really two different worlds. One is deep under your feet within the earth, and the other is 30 miles of hiking trails, nature trails, and exploration of those amazing prairies.

Wind Cave National Park is also perfect for horse-riding and back-country camping!

Wildlife is abundant in the area, and great for wildlife spotting. You can see bison, pronghorn, prairie dogs and a host of different birds. 

An amazing adventure above AND below ground in South Dakota!

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How much does it cost?

  • AdultsTours from $10
  • ChildrenTours from $5 (ages 6 to 16)
  • Free Under: 5 years
LAST UPDATED 2015

When can we go?

Park open 24 hours. Visitor Center 8am - 4:30/5pm. Tour times vary

Visitor Center closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day

Teachers corner

They have junior ranger programs, as well as on-line educational fun. .

I'm Hungry!

There aren't any lodging or restaurants in the park, so bring some food to enjoy your own picnic!.

Any Top Tips?

A jacket and sweater are a good idea for the caves, and make sure you have great walking shoes!.

Doing our bit

The environmental education programs at Wind Cave National Park help students discover relationships between the mixed grass prairie, the ponderosa pine forest, water, the cave, the plants and animals that live in these environments and themselves. .

Need a little extra help?

There are tours just for those with special needs, at a discounted rate. .

Can I get one of those?

The Visitor Center has books, maps and other items you can take home!.

More information

There are no fees for those wanting to hike or drive through the park.

What people are saying?

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    A beautiful corner of the Black Hills region. Prairie dogs are entertaining to us easterners. Bison are imposing critters. Staff was knowledgeable and helpful. Jr Ranger book was one that both kids liked a lot.

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    We loved the tour. We had a great tour guide and the caves are amazing. We would love to have gone deeper so my only advice if you plan on visiting is decide what tour & time you want to go on and arrive 45 minutes before it is supposed to start!

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    The Cave and tour guide was great. The park ranger Austin Jones harassed myself and my family the entire time we were there. It ruined the experience that we wanted to have. He followed us around the whole time we were there trying to find something to write us up about. I am a law abiding citizen and Mr. Jones made comments to me like 'If I gave you a ticket and it went to court I would win'. It was totally unnecessary. It would have been great if Austin Jones was not so arrogant about his authority.

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    Good tour, we walked about half a mile through the cave. With the exception of about two or three open rooms the cave is not much wider than a few feet so everyone in the group has to walk single file. Which wouldn't be an issue if they took groups of about 10, instead they take you down in groups of 40. I didn't spend much time at the front of the line so I was only able to hear what the guide was saying when we came to a large enough clearing to fit the entire group.

    Pros: Hundreds of steps down elevator up at the end, dry, free of critters,...Read More

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    Very good tour. We took the natural entrance tour. Our guide was entertaining, unscripted and articulate. There are only a few parts of this cave that open up into large enough rooms to fit a small group in, it is mostly narrow passages, but when it does open up our guide stopped and talked a bit about how it was formed and how some of the structures were formed. There is a cool part about halfway through when the guide turns off all the lights and asks everyone to hold their breath or breath softly and you get to see and hear just how dark...Read More

Submit a review

by Jason Trupe

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Good tour, we walked about half a mile through the cave. With the exception of about two or three open rooms the cave is not much wider than a few feet so everyone in the group has to walk single file. Which wouldn't be an issue if they took groups of about 10, instead they take you down in groups of 40. I didn't spend much time at the front of the line so I was only able to hear what the guide was saying when we came to a large enough clearing to fit the entire group.

Pros: Hundreds of steps down elevator up at the end, dry, free of critters, inexpensive.

Cons: Groups are too large, unable to see or hear the guide during most of the tour.

by Michael Willoughby

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Very good tour. We took the natural entrance tour. Our guide was entertaining, unscripted and articulate. There are only a few parts of this cave that open up into large enough rooms to fit a small group in, it is mostly narrow passages, but when it does open up our guide stopped and talked a bit about how it was formed and how some of the structures were formed. There is a cool part about halfway through when the guide turns off all the lights and asks everyone to hold their breath or breath softly and you get to see and hear just how dark and silent a cave is. Very cool.

I would highly recommend. Our tour lasted about 75 minutes and we walked about a mile I think but a lot of steps so be warned.

The Weather

Tuesday

Conditions: Clear
Temp: 48° F / 9° C
Humidity: 34 %
Wind: WNW - 10 MPH

Wednesday

Conditions: Clear
Temp: 53° F / 12° C
Humidity: 34 %
Wind: WNW - 12 MPH

Thursday

Conditions: Clear
Temp: 51° F / 11° C
Humidity: 38 %
Wind: WNW - 7 MPH

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