Access into the cave is through ranger-led tour only. Accessible cave tours and special arrangements are available for those with limited mobility, vision and hearing. See information below regarding special tour accomodations. Please note that all cave tours with the exception of the Accessible Tour include walking, standing, bending, stooping, and climbing up and down stairs. Stairs can be strenuous, with anywhere between two and eight flights of stairs climbed succession.
Accessible Cave Tour
Limited areas of the cave are accessible to wheelchairs and those with limited mobility. These half-hour tours serve as an introduction to the cave and boxwork, the cave's signature feature, is shown. The tour includes riding the elevator into and out of the cave, and the elevator building is located about 200 yards south of the visitor center. Accessible Parking is available at the elevator building. Please call the visitor center at 605-745-4600 to make arrangements or ask at the information desk for an Accessible Tour. The fees for this tour are listed below.
Visitor CenterThe visitor center is accessible to wheelchairs and those with limited mobility. Restrooms are accessible and there is an elevator in the building.
CampgroundThere are two wheelchair accessible sites, B2 and D3. For more information, visit the campground page.
There is an accessible picnic area about a half mile north of the visitor center. It is accessed via vehicle.
Natural Entrance to Wind CaveThe natural entrance of the cave is accessible to wheelchairs. It is accessible from the visitor center, or from a gravel trail that starts at the picnic area.
The Department of Justice published revised final regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for title II (State and local government services) and title III (public accommodations and commercial facilities) on September 15, 2010, in the Federal Register. These requirements, or rules, clarify and refine issues that have arisen over the past 20 years and contain new, and updated, requirements, including the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design (2010 Standards).This publication provides guidance on the term "service animal" and the service animal provisions in the Department's new regulations.
Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person's disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.
Wind Cave National Park's Superintendent's Compendium states:
36 CFR 2.15 - Pets: (a)(1) All caves, hiking trails, and backcountry areas are closed to pets. Service dogs are allowed on paved cave trails if medically necessary. All public use buildings are closed to pets except for service dogs.
The Access Pass is available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who qualify for federal disability benefits, as based on the assessment of a licensed physician. The pass is available for free at all federal fee areas upon documentation of qualifying factors (either presenting documentation or signing an affidavit).
Benefits available to holders of the Access Pass include the waiver of entrance fees for most parks, as well as discounts at some park campgrounds and some fees such as cave tours. The benefits of the Access Pass vary from park to park. Visit this page for general information on the Access Pass.
Last updated: September 19, 2019