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 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
73.33% 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 Trips
Wind Cave National Park, Custer Reviews
We only went on the hour long tour. As far as caves go, this tour didn't have much to offer. We got to see a few features in the cave, but most of the tour was standing in places for periods of time listening to the park ranger talk. She was a very delightful young lady.
We did't make a reservation ahead of time so most of the tours were sold out but the short tour we took was educational. Our guide was very knowledgeable about the cave. Very interesting site. Kids enjoyed going in the cave and completing the Junior Ranger Program. If the kids want to do a little extra, print out the Cave Specialist booklet, complete it and bring it with you. They can turn it in at this cave and receive a "special" badge. My kids were extremely excited!
We took both the Natural Entrance and Candlelight tours at Wind Cave National Park. Christina was or guide for the Natural Entrance Tour and Alex was or guide on the Candlelight Tour. Both guides were exceptional; they exuded a passion for their responsibility and privilege as guide and Ranger to us, sharing the history of the cave as well as instilling the importance of preservation and protection of sites like Wind Cave. They were both excellent! The cave was fascinating and beautiful to behold. I heartily recommend a visit to this National Park.
I will admit, I was not particularly thrilled about going to this park on our trip to explore the Black Hills but I was very surprised by this one. The surrounding countryside is absolutely beautiful! We spent so much of our time watching buffalo and exploring trails that we ran out of time to explore the caves. With that said, we didn’t feel like we missed out on anything. Highly recommend this one for anyone exploring the area!
The tour was great, informative and easy. There are several tours offered, I took the Garden of Eden tour because they had one spot left on the tour leaving when I arrived... I would have had to wait over an hour for any other tours. The Garden of Eden tour uses the elevator to get both in and out of the cave. There are some steps on the tour route, but other than ducking and steps it was not physically demanding and is probably a good option for those who can't go on difficult hikes. The boxwork was beautiful, and the tour guide was trained and educated about multiple aspects of the cave. The land around the park were pretty and provided for nice wildlife viewing (prairie dogs and bison)