• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

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  • Trail Closure Information

    The Highland Creek Trail is closed. Backcountry Zones 1 and 2 are closed to all off-trail travel and use. The Sanctuary and Centennial Trails remain open to through traffic.

  • Temporary Road Closure Information

    Oct. 18 & 19: NPS 5 and 6 are closed for the entire weekend. Monday, Oct. 20, through Wednesday, Oct. 22, NPS 5 will be closed from Highway 87 to NPS 6. Highway 87 will be closed from Road 342 (Beaver Creek Road) north to the park boundary.

Birth of a National Park - Visiting the Cave

Wind Cave Excursion by Stage Poster

Wind Cave Poster

NPS Photo Archive

The Stablers built a hotel near the entrance to Wind Cave to accommodate visitors. An excursion to the cave included a stagecoach ride to and from the cave and a meal at the hotel. After arriving, visitors were given a candle. They entered the cave through a trap door, descending a series of ladders to begin their adventure.
 
Wind Cave Hotel
Wind Cave Hotel and stagecoach (left).  Wind Cave hotel and cave entrance (right).
NPS Photo Archive
 
Collecting Formations from the Cave

Collecting Formations from the Cave in the Pre-Park Days

NPS Photo

Collecting and Selling Formations

The cave was being advertised as having more miles of passageways than any other cave, being 97 miles long. McDonalds and Stablers were also selling cave formations and minerals. Katie Stabler opened a store in town to advertise the cave and sell formations.

 
Katie Stabler's Specimen Price List

NPS Photo

Katie Stabler's Specimen Price List
 
John Stabler Business Card

NPS Photo

John Stabler's Business Card
 

Did You Know?

A picture of Alvin McDonald in his caving hat.

Alvin McDonald was the first systematic explorer of Wind Cave. He explored the cave from 1890 until his death in 1893. More...