• 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.

Defining Moments - Cave Management Begins

The beginning of the cave management program

Warren Netherton

Warren Netherton

NPS Photo by Jim Pisarowicz

The park's surface area had been serving as a laboratory on the plains for decades with researchers studying the park's plants and animals. During the same period, very little research occurred in the cave. In 1984, at the insistence of the Assistant Chief of Interpretation Kay Rohde, seasonal ranger Warren Netherton was hired into a part-time position to start a cave management program. Netherton monitored the cave's climate, developed a cave inventory procedure, and worked to reduce algae in the cave. It was this position, later made permanent and initially filled by Jim Nepstad, that lead to the establishment of a cave management operation that sought to preserve and manage the cave based on science.

Did You Know?

Stemless Hymenoxys

The scientific name for the Stemless Hymenoxys is Hymemoxys acaulis. Acaulis means "stemless" and referes to the leafless stalks which bear the flower heads. More...