Wind Cave National Park

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View unusual crystalline patterns underground and wildlife, pleasant prairies and forests above ground at this park created on land once inhabited by Lakota Indians.

The main attraction of Wind Cave National Park is the giant cavern stretching beneath the surface of South Dakota’s Black Hills. Early Lakota Indian inhabitants noticed wind coming from a small hole in the ground. Area explorers were amazed as they discovered mile after mile of connected underground passages, grottos and waterways. Visit the park’s cave, now equipped with a revolving door entrance and handrails in some sections.

More than 140 miles (220 kilometers) of underground passages at three levels have now been charted, with unexplored area remaining. See the boxwork crystalline calcium deposits in honey-comb shapes and branching helictite bushes up to 6 feet (3 meters) tall.

The park offers interesting scenery and wildlife even if you don’t enter the cave. Hike along the 30 miles (48 kilometers) of trails. Try all three 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) nature trail loops with interpretive stops to learn as you walk.

Trails with greater challenges take you through the dominant mixed-grass prairie of the park to areas of pine and creekside habitats. Follow the 1.8-mile (2.9-kilometer) Wind Cave Canyon Trail to see many of the parks birds, including cliff swallows, great horned owls and several types of woodpecker.

If you’re driving, stop at designated viewing points to see elk and bison roaming freely and blacktail prairie dogs poking their heads out of their underground towns. Bring your leashed pet to some of the nature trails and campground, but not in the cave or backcountry areas.

Hiking and driving through the park are free. Check the website for information on tours regarding seasonal availability, fees, discounts and hours. Some tours recommend reservations while others are first-come/first-served. In general, arrive early in the day to avoid crowds. Call ahead for an accessible cave tour. Prepare for cool temperatures underground.

While in South Dakota, visit Mount Rushmore National Monument, the Badlands and other preserved public areas. U.S. national parks offer affordable access to adventures in some of the country’s most scenic areas. Enjoy your visit to the caves and prairies of Wind Cave National Park.

Top Hotels Close to Wind Cave National Park

Log Cabin on 21 Private Acres with Game Room! Adjacent to National Park
Log Cabin on 21 Private Acres with Game Room! Adjacent to National Park
Custer, SD
Stay at this family-friendly cabin in Custer. Enjoy free WiFi, onsite parking, and an arcade/game room. Our guests praise the comfy beds and the family amenities ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (127 reviews)
Very remote!
"Our stay with old friends was indeed wonderful there. And viewing the night sky was perfect because we were so far away from anything. Maybe too far at times, as we spent more time in the car than planned. But other than that it was great!"

Reviewed on Oct 5, 2022

Log Cabin on 21 Private Acres with Game Room! Adjacent to National Park
Wind Cave Cabin ~ Just Wonderful
Wind Cave Cabin ~ Just Wonderful
Hot Springs, SD
Stay at this family-friendly cabin in Hot Springs. Enjoy a water park, WiFi, and a spa tub. Our guests praise the comfy beds and the family amenities in our ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (94 reviews)
Autumn stay
"Cabin was as described in listing. Beautiful views from the deck. Central location for all the sightseeing we had planned. We enjoyed our stay."

Reviewed on Nov 18, 2022

Wind Cave Cabin ~ Just Wonderful
Cabin - Southern Hills Serene Getaway
Cabin - Southern Hills Serene Getaway
Hot Springs, SD
Stay at this family-friendly cabin in Hot Springs. Enjoy free WiFi, a water park, and onsite parking. Our guests praise the WiFi in our reviews. Popular attractions ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (120 reviews)
Wonderful cabin in a beautiful setting!
"We were so blessed to experience a weekend at this location Peaceful, quiet setting with friends and family in a well stocked cabin... what more can you ask for?! The hosts were very helpful to accomodate our needs. They went above and beyond to help us when we had an unfortunate situation arise. ..."

Reviewed on Oct 7, 2022

Cabin - Southern Hills Serene Getaway
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit


Best Lodging Options Near Wind Cave National Park

Americas Best Value Inn by the River Hot Springs
Americas Best Value Inn by the River Hot Springs
2 out of 5
602 Sulphur Springs Street, Hot Springs, SD, 57747
Americas Best Value Inn by the River Hot Springs
Log Cabin on 21 Private Acres with Game Room! Adjacent to National Park
Log Cabin on 21 Private Acres with Game Room! Adjacent to National Park
Custer, SD
Log Cabin on 21 Private Acres with Game Room! Adjacent to National Park
Wind Cave Cabin ~ Just Wonderful
Wind Cave Cabin ~ Just Wonderful
Hot Springs, SD
Wind Cave Cabin ~ Just Wonderful
Cabin - Southern Hills Serene Getaway
Cabin - Southern Hills Serene Getaway
Hot Springs, SD
Cabin - Southern Hills Serene Getaway
Ridge View Cabin
Ridge View Cabin
3.5 out of 5
13006 Ridgeview Springs Road, Hot Springs, SD, 57747
Ridge View Cabin
Trail Boss Cabin
Trail Boss Cabin
3.5 out of 5
12978 Windmill Rd, Hot Springs, SD, 57747
Trail Boss Cabin
Trappers Cabin
Trappers Cabin
3.5 out of 5
12974 Windmill Road, Hot Springs, SD, 57747
Trappers Cabin
Stay USA Hotel & Suites
Stay USA Hotel & Suites
2.5 out of 5
1401 Hwy 18 Bypass, Hot Springs, SD, 57747
Stay USA Hotel & Suites
Rowynn's Retreat is a cozy quiet cabin
Rowynn's Retreat is a cozy quiet cabin
Hot Springs, SD
Rowynn's Retreat is a cozy quiet cabin
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.