Plan Your Visit
Wind Cave Visitor Center is open daily from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm all year except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. During the summer the Visitor Center hours are expanded (schedule).
All cave tours are ranger-guided and leave from the visitor center. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
During the summer months long waits may be encountered. To avoid waits, the best time to visit the cave is during the early hours of the day. During the summer weekends are good times to visit; Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the busiest days.
The visitor center is located 11 miles north of Hot Springs, SD on US Hwy 385. (Do not use your GPS to find the visitor center - you will get lost!) Stop in at the visitor center for information, cave tours, exhibits, slide and video programs, maps, books, backcountry permits, Senior and Access Passes, and Federal Recreational Lands Passes. Holders of the Senior (Golden Age)/Access Passes are eligible for half price tickets for the cardholder only. The America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass (Annual Pass) does not waive Expanded Amenity Fees such as cave tours.
The Visitor Center contains three exhibit rooms featuring cave exploration, cave formations, early cave history, the Civilian Conservation Corps, park wildlife, and resource management. An 18-minute movie: Wind Cave: One Park, Two Worlds; is shown throughout the day.
Cave Tours are offered daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. All cave tours are ranger-guided and leave from the visitor center. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. During the summer months long waits may be encountered. To avoid waits, the best time to visit the cave is during the early hours of the day. During the summer weekends are good times to visit; Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the busiest days.
The visitor center and the cave are accessible to people with disabilities, please inquire at the visitor center. The park is opened all year. There are 30 miles of hiking trails where visitors can view the native plants and wildlife of the prairie ecosystem.
Click here for a description of park activities. For scripts of the major walking tours for the hearing impaired click here. Click here for a program about What to do at Wind Cave National Park. (2.8 mb). Click here to see a video about Wind Cave National Park Video Real Video (13.1 mb)
Elk Mountain Campground offers campers a unique opportunity to view the plants and animals of the southern Black Hills.
The campground will open with limited services starting May 24, 2013. C Loop will be closed and maintenance of the facilities will be limited due to the 5% across-the-board cut in the park's operating budget. The campground fee is $12.00 a night per site when water and toilet facilities are available. In late fall through early spring when the water is turned off, the fee is $6.00 a night per site. Visitors holding a Senior or Access Pass, or a Golden Age or Golden Access Pass pay half price a night per site. For more information go to the campground information page. Group camping and back-country camping are also available. For more information visit the Group Camping or Back-country Camping information page.
Did You Know?
White Penstemon is the most widespread penstemon or beardtongue in the Great Plains. The insides of the blossoms are bearded and often spotted with purple. More...