News Release

Wind Cave Tours Canceled Due to Elevator Issues

A cow bison and calf walking across the highway blocking traffic on a bright sunny summer day.
Wildlife viewing opportunities abound at Wind Cave National Park.

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News Release Date: July 2, 2019

Contact: Tom Farrell, 605-745-1130

WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, S.D. – Cave tours at Wind Cave National Park have been suspended pending elevator repairs. A safety problem was identified last Friday which necessitated the shutdown. Cave tours may be canceled for longer than a month while parts are ordered, manufactured, and installed.

In the meantime, the visitor center remains open with rangers offering a variety of free interpretive programs. Exploration talks will be held on the half-hour from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. in the visitor center. These 20-minute programs tell the story of Wind Cave’s exploration and how it was surveyed. There will also be talks at the Natural Opening, located near the visitor center, on the hour from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. about the significance of Wind Cave to the Lakota people.

“There are still many things to see and do here,” said Park Superintendent Vidal Dávila. “We have rangers giving a variety of programs, including a children’s program at 8 p.m. and our 9 p.m. campfire program, both held nightly at the Elk Mountain Campground. Or visitors can spend some time wildlife watching.”

In addition, beginning Monday, July 8, there will be bird walks offered at 8:30 a.m. from the visitor center.* Come with binoculars and a bird book if you have them. Be prepared for a 90-minute hike over level ground. Participants will learn some basic birding skills including keeping a checklist of birds seen while learning about the birds of the area. This walk is offered Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Rangers  will be offering tours of the Sanson Ranch and Buffalo Jump on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, beginning Saturday, July 6.* These three-hour, tours of the Sanson Ranch and Buffalo Jump are approximately one mile long, moderately strenuous, and will explore a historic bison jump and homestead. Participants should meet at the park visitor center at 8:30 a.m. dressed for the weather with water, sunscreen, hiking shoes, and insect repellant. Participants will then car caravan out to the Sanson Ranch. Program may be canceled or modified to due poor weather or road conditions. Call the park at 605-745-4600 to confirm program availability. 

*Bird Walks and Sanson Ranch/Buffalo Jump Hikes are concluded for the season effective August 27, 2019.


Last updated: August 27, 2019

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26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs, SD 57747


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