Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota

Last Updated: January 28th, 2020

Park Information

Rating: ★★★★★(5/5) - Must Visit

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Located on the southeastern edge of the Black Hills of South Dakota, Wind Cave National Park boasts that it has two parks to explore: the over 140 miles of cave passages and 28,000 acres of land above ground. Experience the cave in one of several daily cave tours led by rangers, ranging from the easy Garden of Eden tour to the strenuous 4 hour Wild Caving Tour. The park was also the first national park to reintroduce bison, and it is highly likely you will see these massive mammals roaming the prairie while driving through the park or hiking the many miles of trail. Camping is available at the large, developed Elk Mountain Campground, or further away in other Black Hills campgrounds in Custer State Park or Black Hills National Forest. Lodging is available in the nearby towns of Custer or Hot Springs.

The Rankin Ridge Trail is an easy hike to the top of the highest point in the park, providing panoramic prairie views -- a highly recommended hike for any first visit to the park. Most of the trails in the park connect, so you can easily create a loop hike that suits your physical needs and time restraints. The Boland Ridge Trail is a more isolated trail accessed via a dirt road, but is suggested for anyone looking for a more challenging hike with solitude and good wildlife viewing.

Hikes

Looking eastward from the top of Rankin Ridge at the rolling prairie below
Rankin Ridge Loop
Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota
★★★★☆(4/5)
Experience this otherworldly environment in Wind Cave
Garden of Eden Cave Tour
Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota
★★★☆☆(3/5)

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Nearby Parks