Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave National Park

Quick Facts

Wind Cave National Park

South Dakota

(605) 745-4600

Map Directions

Things To Do


One of the world's longest and most complex caves and 28,295 acres of mixed-grass prairie, ponderosa pine forest, and associated wildlife are the main features of the park. The cave is well known for its outstanding display of boxwork, an unusual cave formation composed of thin calcite fins resembling honeycombs. The park's mixed grass prairie is one of the few remaining and is home to native wildlife such as bison, elk, pronghorn, mule deer, coyotes, and prairie dogs.

Map of Wind Cave

Latitude, Longitude: 43.578610, -103.428752



  • Camping

    Elk Mountain Campground is located among rolling hills, prairie and ponderosa pine forest. While camping visitors have a unique opportunity to view the plants and animals of the southern Black Hills. The campground is open all year.

    The backcountry of Wind Cave National Park offers visitors a great opportunity to experience and enjoy the abundant resources of the park. Backcountry camping is limited to the northwest area of the park. This area, north of Beaver Creek, east of Hwy. 87, south of NPS 5 and west of Highland Creek Trail, is outlined in red on the map. Within this area are several different habitats - prairie, forest, and riparian - with a variety of plants and animals living there. There are maintained and marked trails within that section and throughout the park, however, the entire park is open to hiking.

  • Caving

    All cave tours are ranger-guided and leave from the visitor center. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations for organized groups are available. For more information please call (605) 745-4600. The same number is used for TTY.

  • Hiking

    Exploring any of the 30 miles of hiking trails, one of the three nature trails, or just hiking cross-country gives visitors the opportunity to experience the amazing prairie and forest worlds of the park. The Elk Mountain, Prairie Vista and Rankin Ridge nature trails are all loops and all are one mile in distance.

  • Horseback Riding

    Wind Cave National Park offers a variety of activities for visitors, including horseback riding opportunities. The park's 28,295 acres of rolling prairie and ponderosa pine forest are ideal spots for horseback riding.

  • Picnicking

    There is a picnic area 1/4 mile north of the visitor center with easy access to the visitor center and the start of cave tours.

  • Wildlife Watching

    The park is home to a herd of bison, which were reintroduced here in the early 1900s. Other animals, like pronghorn and elk, were reintroduced to the park at the same time. Because of this effort, park visitors can see elk, bison, pronghorn, turkeys and even prairie dogs.


Park open year-round. Visitor center open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Days.

Park Partners

Black Hills Parks & Forests Association

The Black Hills Parks & Forests Association is a non-profit cooperating association that partners with state and federal agencies to promote public understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of the Black Hills natural and cultural heritage.

The Black Hills Parks & Forests Association sells books, maps, and other park related publications online and in visitor centers at Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, Custer State Park, the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands, and Black Hills National Forest. The association publishes books and material about these areas.

The association uses the proceeds from its sales to provide financial aid to its partner agencies. The monetary donations are used to print interpretive publications, fund internship positions, purchase educational supplies and equipment, serve as matching funds for grant requests, and provide assistance toward research projects.

They also supply bookstore materials to the 1881 Custer County Courthouse Museum in Custer, SD and the Hudson Meng Bison Kill in Crawford, NE.



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 18. 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. Visitors can also reach the park by following U.S. Route 16 west out of Rapid City onto U.S. Route 385 south. Visitors traveling from Nebraska can follow U.S. Route 385 north to the park.


Nearest commercial airport is in Rapid City, SD.

Public Transportation

No public transportation serves the park.

Phone Numbers


(605) 745-4600