Schools

Wind Cave National Park offers educational tours or field trips of the cave throughout the year. These tours last about 1 1/2 hours. We have designed previsit activities for to help you and your students prepare for the trip. The information is helpful in providing background information for you and your students to better understand the unique features of Wind Cave. Reservations for educational cave tours may be made by calling 605-745-1132. Wind Cave is opened all year long (except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Days).

If you would like to schedule a field trip to the cave we suggest that you contact the park early and be flexible in scheduling as all group reservations are done on a first-come, first-serve basis. To arrange a trip to Wind Cave please call 605-745-1132. Please review all rules and responsibilities and safety messages with your students before arriving at the park.

The park's Environmental Education program "Connections" is offered in late April and early May only. The program allows students and teachers to discover relationships between the mixed-grass prairie, the ponderosa pine forest, the cave, the plants, and the animals that live in these unique habitats, and themselves. Students generally spend most of the school day at the park, with the program lasting 4 to 5 hours. The program includes required pre- and post-visit activities. Reservations for the Connections Program are accepted beginning early March. Reservations may be made by calling 605-745-1132.

The park also offers Water in the Environment, a comprehensive hydrology program that involves students in activities that will provide them with an understanding of the water cycle. These hands-on activities demonstrate how much of the planet is made of water and how scarce fresh water is. This program is also offered in May and students generally spend 4 to 5 hours in the park. Pre- and post-visit activities are provided to the teachers. Reservations for the "Water in the Environment" program are accepted early March. Reservations may be made by calling 605-745-1132.

 

High school trigonometry students can use their skills learning to map part of one of the world's longest caves. Working in small groups, students in pre-calculus classes use a compass, clinometer, and measuring tape to collect data in the cave before using their trigonometry skills to develop a cave map. "We find this is a great way to bring to life some of the concepts we teach in the classroom," said one of Custer High School math teachers. "It takes the lesson out of the classroom and places it into a real-world scenario." Students first determine the vertical distance between the cave's Lower and Middle Elevator Landings by traversing passages, stairs, and rooms that connect the two landings. Next they collected data that allowed them to draw a map of the Garden of Eden Tour Route. This program is offered throughout the school year. Reservations may be made by calling 605-745-1132.

All of the park's educational programs are designed to reinforce classroom studies and can be adjusted to coincide with particular school subjects. There are no fees to participate in the Connections or Hydrology programs. There are fees for cave tours, however if your field trip relates to the resources of the park fee waivers may be available.

Last updated: October 20, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs, SD 57747

Phone:

(605) 745-4600

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