• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • 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.

Wildlife Management - Conservationists and Hunters Rally to Protect Wildlife

Bison Conservation Poster
Bison Conservation Poster
NPS Photo Archive
Bison Herd

Bison Herd

NPS Photo

Recognizing the Problem

Late in the 1800s, the plight of the bison attracted the attention of conservationists and hunting organizations. They witnessed the extinction of many species such as the passenger pigeon and the eastern elk. They wanted to make certain that other animals would not follow the same path.

Taking Action

Organizations such as the American Bison Society and the Boone and Crockett Club began raising funds and seeking out lands where bison and other animals could be restored. In 1911, Wind Cave National Park and the surrounding area was selected as a place to start bison, elk, and pronghorn on the road to recovery.

Bull Bison

Bull Bison

NPS Photo

A New Home

The rolling plains and ponderosa pine forest of Wind Cave National Park were superb habitats for prairie animals. The prairie, with its seemingly endless sea of grasses, was perfect for grazing. The forests provided shelter. The American Bison Society purchased lands adjoining the park and in 1912, a bill was passed in Congress creating the Wind Cave National Game Preserve.


Did You Know?

Bull elk in the park.

A Rocky Mountain bull elk weighs between 700 - 800 pounds. Rocky Mountain elk were introduced to the park in 1914 and 1916. More...