Cave / Karst Systems
Photo by Art Palmer
Wind Cave has always been a world class natural resource. However, it was not until explorers first entered, and then continued to push further underground, that the significance of Wind Cave began to be realized.
When most people think about the importance of Wind Cave they tend to dwell on boxwork, the winds at the cave entrance, or the cave's vast length. Over many years of exploration and mapping, Wind Cave has grown to be one of the world's largest known caves. Currently nearly 140 miles [224 km] of passages have been mapped in Wind Cave. This places Wind Cave as the third longest cave in the United States and sixth longest cave in the world. As people explore the cave, they learn more about the geology and formation of the cave, and about how it became the world-class resource that it is today.
Did You Know?
Alvin McDonald was the first systematic explorer of Wind Cave. He explored the cave from 1890 until his death in 1893. More...