Natural Features & Ecosystems
Wind Cave National Park protects one of the longest, most complex maze-cave systems in the world and contains an amazing amount of the rare cave formation called boxwork. It is a great place to learn about the unique geology of the cave and to hear about the adventures of cave explorers as they actively search for more cave. However, if you only learn about the park through the cave, then you have missed half of what makes this park so special.
Surrounded by a Sea of Grass
Imagine yourself surrounded by a sea of grass softly illuminated by gold-tinged afternoon sunlight. A gentle breeze brings the sweet vanilla scent of the ponderosa pine. In the distance, a heard of bison silently graze while a nearby meadowlark whistles a pleasant song.
As your eyes scan the prairie, you discover not only its signature grasses, but a wide variety of delicate wildflowers. Creamy-white sego lilies, purple coneflowers, and golden-yellow sunflowers add intermittent splashes of color to the carpet of green and brown grasses. Here you can also see the native animals, such as bison, elk, pronghorn, mule deer, coyotes and prairie dogs, who make this place their home.
Wind Cave - Two Worlds
Wind Cave National Park protects two very different worlds - one deep within the earth, the other a sunlit world of many resources.
Did You Know?
Winds caused by changes in barometric pressure are what give Wind Cave its name. These winds have been measured at the cave's walk-in entrance at over 70 mph. The winds at the natural entrance of the cave attracted the attention of Native Americans and early settlers.