For Your Safety
We want you to be aware of the special conditions that exist in Wind Cave. The cave temperature is 53°F (11°C) year-round and a jacket is recommended. Wear comfortable, low-heeled, non-slip walking shoes. All tours involve negotiating stairs. There are handrails available for most stairs, usually on the right side of the trail. There are low ceilings under which some people may have to bend or stoop. The cave is dimly lighted, for best viewing of its features, but the lighting is frequently inadequate for sign-language communication. You may wish to carry a flashlight. As a courtesy, however, please do not distract the group with the flashlight.
The tours are moderately strenuous. If you have any difficulty walking, negotiating stairs or bending, or heart trouble, respiratory difficulties, or balance problems, you may want to reconsider going on a tour, or opt for a shorter tour. There are no places to sit in the cave, and leaning on the walls of the cave or touching the rocks and cave formations will cause damage. Canes and crutches are permitted as long as they are necessary for walking through the cave. You must stay with the group and stay on the paved trail.
If you go on a tour with a group of visitors, we strongly urge you to be in front, with the ranger. Even if the ranger is not sign-language capable, the ranger can assist you and point out hazards. One of the highlights of some of the tours is a demonstration of total darkness, during which the ranger will turn off the cave lights. This may last from a few seconds to several minutes. Sign-language communication would be impossible and balance might be affected. If you are concerned about the darkness, please let your ranger know beforehand. The demonstration can be shortened substantially or entirely eliminated. The ranger will let you know when the total darkness demonstration would begin.
There are no restrooms in the cave. Eating, drinking, smoking, or chewing gum or tobacco is not permitted in the cave. Flash and video photography is allowed but tripods for cameras are not.
For more information, please read the safety information on your tour ticket or ask a ranger.
Three tours of Wind Cave on paved and lighted trails are offered during the main summer season. At least one of these tours is available year round, but schedules are subject to change. Please purchase tour tickets at least 5 minutes before the scheduled tour time.
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...