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Contact: Tom Farrell, 605-745-1130
WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, SD - Free tours and special activities are scheduled at Wind Cave National Park to celebrate this year's National Park Week. From Saturday, April 16, through Sunday, April 24, all tours at Wind Cave will be free. In addition to these below ground programs, special hikes will also be offered.
Wind Cave will offer free Natural Entrance Tours lasting 75 minutes beginning at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. through April 23. On Sunday, April 24, tours will be offered at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 4:30 p.m. This half-mile tour is moderately strenuous with approximately 300 stairs. Visitors will experience one of the most complex caves in the world and view the rare cave formation called boxwork.
Rangers will be offering family orientated hikes beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Sundays April 17 and 24. The hikes will travel off-trail near Beaver Creek to see the results of last fall's American Elk Prescribed Burn. This is an opportunity to view the regrowth just beginning to take place and see the burned area up-close. This moderately strenuous two-hour hike meets at the visitor center and then caravans to the hike's trailhead. Participants should be dressed for the weather, wear clothing that can get dirty, carry water, and wear good hiking shoes.
Wind Cave rangers will also present a special bird hike on Sunday, April 24, beginning at the visitor center at 9 a.m. This 90-minute walk will focus on exploring the park's birds of early spring.
Cave temperature is 53ºF. A light coat or sweater and sturdy walking shoes are recommended. All tours and activities begin at the visitor center and cave tour tickets will be issued on a first come, first served basis. Tours can be extremely popular resulting in long wait times and possible "sold out" tours. Call the park at 605-745-4600 for more information.