Wind Cave National ParkCurrently Open
- Address: Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota, United States, Custer
- Timings: 24-hrs Details
- Phone: +1-6057454600
- Ticket Price: Free
- Time Required: 03:00 Hrs
- Tags: National Park, Park, Wildlife Park, Family And Kids, Nature
Wind Cave National Park - Review
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
- 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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Things to Know Before Visiting Wind Cave National Park
95% of people who visit Custer include Wind Cave National Park in their plan
10 AM - 11 AM
36.36% of people start their Wind Cave National Park visit around 10 AM - 11 AM
People usually take around 3 Hrs to see Wind Cave National Park
95% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Wind Cave National Park
Wind Cave National Park Map
Wind Cave National Park Trips
Wind Cave National Park, Custer Reviews
Wind Cave National Park was a stop on my honeymoon. This is about as neat as a cave can get! On a 100 degree day cool off 50 degrees mighty fast! There are a lot of impressive stats and stories that the Park Ranger and guide will share with you on your tour. Note: that the various tours cost an extra $10 -$ 12 adults, $5-$6 for seniors, and are Free for ages 6 and under! The most expensive tour is 4 hours long (only for those who are 16 years old and older) This Wind Cave Tour costs $30.00 U.S. with an age limit of 16 years old and older, Seniors 62 and older pay $15. Note: These fees are on top of your National Park Pass and/ or Senior Pass All cave tours are ranger-guided and leave from the visitor center. Tour sizes are limited. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are available for the Candlelight and Wild Cave tours, as well as for large groups. Long waits are common during peak summer visitation. To avoid waits, tour the cave during the early hours of the day or on weekends. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the busiest days.
A surprisingly interesting park with great wild life & cave tours. Generally, 3 tours to choose from, mostly $12/each with less for children under 17 and seniors. Well worth the short distance from the multiple tourist traps of the Black Hills. A great educational park for the kids. Our children always enjoyed the cave tours, but I think they liked the wildlife more as they got older. Highly recommended!
The whole family enjoyed going on the cave tour. Our guide was extremely friendly and funny. Make sure to get there early to get good tickets though. We arrived 30 minutes before the visitor center opened and there was already a line of 30+ people. Well worth the wait though and plenty of tickets were available.
Pretty neat experience. Our timing was off a bit, so had to wait two and a half hours to go on the next available tour but well worth it. We just explored the surface trails. My wife and I are both in our 60s with with total knee replacements in the past year and handled the underground tour just fine. Be sure to bring a flashlight, so you can look into the nooks and crannies you would otherwise not see.
You can take a ranger led tour of the cave which lasts about 1-2hrs. There are several tours a day but tickets get sold out 1-2 hrs in advance apparently but we were able to get tickets for the natural entrance tour just 5 minutes prior on the 4th of July. There are other more popular tours like candlelight cave tour which give you the same experience as a cave explorer a 100 years ago and I would recommend doing that (reservations required). The natural entrance tour was pretty cool if you’ve never been in a cave but otherwise nothing special. Only recommend to check out the cave if it’s on your path and you have spare time. Definitely not a National Park worth planning for and visiting.