Wind Cave National Park, Custer

Wind Cave National Park, Custer - Address, Phone Number

Address: Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota, United States

Phone: +1-6057454600

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Time Required: 03:00 Hrs

Timings: 24-hrs Details

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National Park, Park, Wildlife Park, Family And Kids, Nature

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About Wind Cave National Park, Custer

Wind Cave National Park intends to preserve and conserve the natural resources. Wind Cave National Park is spread over 33,851 acres. Because of its really small size, park managers all over states took an active part in helping the ecosystems function as they used to function in the past. This mainly requires the understanding of how everything in the park works and how the naturally operating system would have initially functioned. Park rangers pair up with researchers to replicate the natural system which uses prescribed fires, biological control of exotic plant species and bison round-ups.

With an aim of restoring some of the missing pieces to the park's ecosystem with the help of US Fish and Wildlife Service; park biologists put in one of the known predators of the prairie -the black-footed ferret. These rare animals survive on prairie dog towns and consume over 100 prairie dogs in a year. This is how the continued the long existing heritage of this particular park.

Wind Cave National Park Information

  • Tours for Visitors with Special Needs - $5.00 for adults 17 and older, $2.50 for children 6-16, children 5 and under are free, $2.50 for holders of the Golden Age (Senior)/Access Passports. Sign-language capable rangers are available for the hearing impaired.
  • Animals in the park are wild and unpredictable. Do not feed the wildlife. Fed animals may become dependent on handouts and fail to survive the winter.
  • They also become attracted to highways where they can be struck by passing vehicles.
  • Use caution when encountering all wildlife and bison in particular. Bison are amazingly fast and quick!
  • Pets are permitted in the visitor center area and campground, as well as the Elk Mountain and Prairie Vista Nature Trails. Pets are not permitted in the backcountry, including areas near roadways and all other trails, to protect your pet and park wildlife.
  • Pets may not be left unattended and must be on a leash at all times. Be aware that ticks are common in high grass and may affect you, your pet, or both.
  • No matter the season, exercise caution and expect wildlife on the roads. Obey all speed limits. They are strictly enforced to protect you and park wildlife.
  • Vehicles and bicycles must be on the roadways at all times. Off-road driving or bicycle riding is prohibited.
  • During winter icy roads, poor visibility, and changing wildlife patterns create hazardous driving conditions throughout the park. Bison often crowd along highways and are extremely difficult to see at night.
  • Accidents involving bison or other large wildlife have the potential to cause serious injuries to drivers and their passengers.

Wind Cave National Park Ticket Prices

Entrance Fees

  • There are no fees to drive through or hike in the park. Enjoy!

Cave Tour Fees:

  • Tickets for most cave tours are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are accepted for schools or large groups, the Historic Candlelight Tour (recommended), and the Wild Cave Tour (required). Groups need to make arrangements several weeks in advance.


  • Garden of Eden Cave Tour: $10.00 for adults 17 and older, $5.00 for children 6-16, children 5 and under are free, $5.00 for holders of the Golden Age (Senior)/Access Passports.
  • Natural Entrance Cave Tour: $12.00 for adults 17 and older, $6.00 for children 6-16, children 5 and under are free, $6.00 for holders of the Golden Age (Senior)/Access Passports.
  • Fairgrounds Cave Tour: $12.00 for adults 17 and older, $6.00 for children 6-16, children 5 and under are free, $6.00 for holders of the Golden Age (Senior)/Access Passports.
  • Historic Candlelight Cave Tour: $12.00 for adults 17 and older, $6.00 for children 8-16, $6.00 for holders of the Golden Age (Senior)/Access Passports. Reservations are strongly recommended and may only be made by telephone up to 30 days in advance of the tour.
  • Wild Cave Tour: $30.00 for adults, half price for holders of the Golden Age (Senior)/Access Passports. Reservations are required and may only be made by telephone up to 30 days in advance of the tour.

Visit the website for additional ticket prices.

Wind Cave National Park Opening and Closing Hours

  • The Park is open all day, every day. The visitor center is open daily except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Days.

How To reach Wind Cave National Park by Public Transport

  • 11 miles north of Hot Springs off U.S. Hwy 385, about 1/2 mile west from the highway.

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Wind Cave National Park, Custer Reviews - Write a Review

  • Great tour with a mini museum in the main building. I want to come back during the tourist season for a candlelight tour of the cave! My wife was excited to see a bison for the first time.

  • AMAZING!!! Highly recommend. The camp ground in the park is great and there are some pretty amazing hikes here. Excellent wildlife viewing opportunities right from your car (buffalo, prairie dogs, antelope, hawks). The cave tours are also worth it (~$11/person). I recommend going in the edge season (early September) if you can, there were no lines for cave tours plenty of space in the camp grounds and you still get great weather for hiking and exploring. I would recommend scheduling yourself for at least 2 days here if you like hiking because they have some spectacular trails here to check out.

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  • Beautiful natural surrounding. We saw buffalo, elk and coyote within one minute. Wind cave, itself is unbelievable...if you like going deep underground!

  • This was a wonderful place. Ranger Nate was an excellent guide through the Natural Entrance Cave Tour. The campground has restrooms, no showers. Dogs are allowed at the campground but not on any of the trails. Ranger Anthony gave an excellent presentation on bats at the campground amphitheatre. Overall, an excellent experience with so much to do and see we did not complete it all.

  • Camping on the prairie and exploring a very unique cave, Wind Cave National Park is a solid national park. The campgrounds are quite well done and easily accessible with the self-pay station. The ranger programs are well-done, as always from the National Park Service. Spend some time to explore the prairies above ground as well as booking a tour under the surface. If anything, it is amusing to see one of the natural entrances to the cave and feel the wind blowing out of or into the cave. I was lucky enough to visit when the internal cave pressure was higher than the atmospheric pressure, so I had a nice little air-conditioning vent blowing approx. 55 degree F air across me. Of course, a cave tour will provide a nice break from the heat and sun as well. Certainly book a cave tour if geology has any interest to you or your family. The boxwork formations in this cave are not immensely striking from a visual perspective, but knowing that one is looking at something so rare in the world is quite an experience. If on a road trip out to the Black Hills, this is a great stop to see the transition zone between the Black Hills forest and the prairie. There are very few intact prairie segments left on the Great Plains, and it is striking to see what little remains of the ecosystem with which the Sioux nations lived.

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