• 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.

Abstract - The Formation and Detailed Description of a Portion of Wind Cave-Garden of Eden Vicinity

Hanscom, Watson. 1959. The Formation and Detailed Description of a Portion of Wind Cave-Garden of Eden Vicinity. Geological Engineering Department, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (for partial fulfillment of a Bachelor of Science Degree). 18 p.


The part of Wind Cave that was studied is within a portion of the Pahasapa limestone that ranges in elevation from 3960-3900 feet. The ceilings of rooms in the vicinity of traverse C53A-P do not extend far above a layer of red clay that is underlaid by banded dolomite, conglormorate, and finely divided boxwork. The red clay was the controlling factor in the roof collapse that is responsibe for dolomite are postulated to have resulted from cave formation during the time interval following deposition of the Pahasapa limestone, and preceding deposition of the overlying Minnelusa formation. Later the Pahasapa was fractured and the fractures were filled with red crystalline limestone. The red crystalline limestone remained as boxwork after solvents removed the limestone during the present cave forming epoch. The period of solution was followed by a period of deposition during which dog-tooth spar was formed in small cavities in the limestone. The less soluble dolomite sand was left as coating on rock surface, and popcorn and aragonite formed on the walls. Later the ceilings of rooms collapsed and a red dust collected on upper surfaces. The dust and rubble has been cemented by a thin film of calcium carbonate. Collapse to the right of station C53K was during relatively recent times.

Did You Know?

Porcupine in tree

Porcupine babies are called porcupettes. When they are born they have 15,000 quills. Porcupettes are born in the spring and, lucky for mom, the quills are soft. They can climb trees within an hour of birth. More...