Hi there! Are you ready to plan an exhilarating trip to Wind Cave National Park?! It’s time to discover this beautiful area in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Whether above ground or underneath, you are sure to find something here that everyone in your group will LOVE.
Wind Cave is a place where memories are made — and somewhere you will talk about for years to come. The native Lakota spoke of a small hole that blows air, and the natural entrance to Wind Cave is a sacred area for their people. Over time, the cave has also become a special place for many people around the world!
There is so much to do. You may have already looked at a map and been a little overwhelmed — and eager — to make sure that you don’t miss the best sights.
I’m a former park ranger, and I’ll help you plan your vacation down to the details. I’ve extensively explored Wind Cave National Park and am here to help! Whether this is your first time to Wind Cave, or if you are returning after many years and would like to be reintroduced to the park, this list of 5 things is for you.
What You Need to Know
- Wind Cave National Park was established in 1903 (13 years before the National Park Service was established). It was the first national park set aside to protect a cave. The cave has almost 150 discovered miles of passages, making it one of the longest in the world!
- Entrance fees are not collected at this park, but you do need to buy a ticket if you want to tour Wind Cave.
- There are no services or amenities within the park boundaries. For food, lodging, or gasoline, you’ll need to drive into the nearest towns of Hot Springs or Custer.
- Wind Cave has one developed campground, and it is first-come, first-served. No other lodging is available within the park.
- Besides the impressive cave, this park also encompasses peaceful prairies and hills. If you plan to explore above ground, be aware that large, slow-moving thunderstorms are common during summer afternoons.
I’ll make sure that you don’t miss the most popular sights, but I also want to provide a few treasures that are off-the-beaten-path as well. Let the adventure begin!