• 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 - Prescribed Fire Program

The beginning of the prescribed fire program

 
Fire Jeep

Fire Jeep

NPS Photo

In the late 1960s, after decades of helping to saturate the public with the message, "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires," the National Park Service began a program to reintroduce fire, a natural process, back into the park ecosystems. Wind Cave was one of the first parks to embrace this revolutionary idea with a small burn in 1973 along roads in the eastern part of the park. Since that famous burn, then park has developed a plan to burn a small portion of the park each year until, every ten to twelve years, the entire park is burned - mimicking the natural fire regime. The use of fire as a tool to manage the prairie and the forest has been critical to the park and it speaks to the role natural processes play in the park's management plans.

Did You Know?

Star Lily

The Star Lilly (Leucocrinum montanum) has several common names including sand lily, sage lily, mountain lily, wild tuberose, and Star-of-Bethlehem. The word Leucocrinum comes from Greek meaning "white lily." More...