Wind Cave National Park, Custer

Currently Open
  • Address: Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota, United States, Custer
  • Timings: 24-hrs Details
  • Phone: +1-6057454600
  • Time Required: 03:00 Hrs
  • Tags: National Park, Park, Wildlife Park, Family And Kids, Nature
  • Map

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.

Love this? Explore the entire list of things to do in Custer before you plan your trip.

Fancy a good night's sleep after a tiring day? Check out where to stay in Custer and book an accommodation of your choice.

TripHobo Highlights for Wind Cave National Park

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Things to Know Before Visiting Wind Cave National Park

  • 28.03% of people who visit Custer include Wind Cave National Park in their plan

  • 26.12% 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

Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday

95% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Wind Cave National Park

People normally club together Iron Mountain Road and Hollingsworth Horses while planning their visit to Wind Cave National Park.

People also prefer to end their day with Wind Cave National Park.

* The facts given above are based on traveler data on TripHobo and might vary from the actual figures

Wind Cave National Park, Custer Reviews

  • The area of this cave that they allow you to tour was much bigger than I expected! Our tour guide Tegan was awesome and gave us a lot of interesting information about the geology and history of the cave. She was also very patient with the small kids on our tour. It was a great learning experience for all involved!

  • This was a beautiful cave. There is so much to do in this beautiful part of the country and touring the caves in the area are certainly worth the effort to drive to and hike through. You can also use your park pass to get in here. Be sure to pack a jacket even in the summer months because it is much much cooler beneath the Earth.

  • Wonderful experience in winter. Wildlife is more prevalent and natural. Watched 3 coyotes hunting prairie dogs. Buffalo were everywhere. Park and road service keep the roads open and well maintained. They had just gotten 12" of snow when we were there.

  • I wish I planned more time to do more than one tour here, because this was breathtaking. Definitely worth a stop! The guide was wonderful, and my favorite part was learning about the Sioux origin story and it's ties to Wind Cave- the most memorable part of my trip. The cave itself stays at a stable temperature all year long, but it is still damp, so bring a jacket. Caves are one of the most fascinating things in the world to me- and such a treat to get to explore.

  • Lots to do here! You can drive though the park and check out the beautiful scenery and incredible wildlife. Lots of bison around. The wind cave itself is fantastic. You can take a tour and you will see the amazing boxwork formations. 3rd longest cave in the U.S. The tour guide was fun and full of information. Very worthwhile.

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