Accessibility

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Facilities

 
An accessibility tour in Wind Cave

Cave

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.

Accessible Cave Tour Fees
Adults 17+ $5.00
Age 6-16 $2.50
Senior or Access Pass Holders $2.50
Under 6 years old Free



Hearing and Vision Accomodations
Cave trails are dimly lighted, often narrow, and may be wet and slippery in certain areas. There are numerous stairs along all of the tour routes. Persons with vision impairments should be cautious when entering the cave. Bringing an extra flashlight could assist visitors with vision impairments see steps and ceiling areas better. Special arrangements may be made in advance for a special tour for visitors with special concerns.

For sign-language programming, please contact the park at least two weeks ahead of time to arrange accommodations. You may find cave tour scripts below.

· Garden of Eden Cave Tour

· Natural Entrance Cave Tour

· Fairgrounds Cave Tour

 
The front exterior of the visitor center.

Visitor Center

The visitor center is accessible to wheelchairs and those with limited mobility. Restrooms are accessible and there is an elevator in the building.
 
A tent in the Elk Mountain Campground

Campground

There are two wheelchair accessible sites, B2 and D3. For more information, visit the campground page.
 
A picture of picnic tables

Picnic Area

There is an accessible picnic area about a half mile north of the visitor center. It is accessed via vehicle.

 
The Natural Entrance with the rock wall surrounding.

Natural Entrance to Wind Cave

The 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.
 

Service Animals

 
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.
  • Beginning on March 15, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA.
  • A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.

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.
 
A ranger presenting an interpretive program to two visitors, one of whom is in a wheelchair.
Ranger Mary Laycock presenting a special tour

NPS Photo

Access Pass

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

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs, SD 57747

Phone:

(605) 745-4600

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