Frequently Asked Questions
Can I visit the cave?
No, there is no way to see Wind Cave at this time.
Wind Cave’s elevators went down for repairs in June 2019. Repairs are complete but tours remain suspended due to the pandemic and the inability to socially distance from others in the cave or the elevator.
Can I see the cave without a tour?
Unfortunately, no. The maze-like passages make it easy to get lost without a guide, which is why the cave has been tour-only since the park was established in 1903.
Why doesn’t the park offer walk-in/walk-out tours?
Walk-in/walk-out access is not practical due to steep stairs and narrow passages. Medical extractions are extremely difficult without use of the elevators.
When will repairs be done?
Repairs were completed in late November 2020. The availability of cave tours will depend on CDC and state and local guidelines due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Is the closure because of the pandemic?
Cave tours were suspended before the Covid-19 pandemic hit due to needed elevator repairs. Cave passages are narrow and rooms are small, to say nothing of the airlocks entering and exiting the cave, and the elevator ride. Cave tours will not resume until social distancing rules are no longer recommended by public health officials.
Is there any part of the cave I can see now?
Yes! The cave’s Natural Entrance is ¼-mile from the visitor center. You can walk from there or drive to the Picnic Area and follow the trail. A sign outside the visitor center provides directions.
Should I visit the park even if I can’t see the cave?
Absolutely! Wind Cave National Park offers scenic drives and over 30 miles of hiking trails through prairies and ponderosa pine forests. It’s home to bison, prairie dogs, elk, and numerous other species of birds and wildlife. Kids can earn their Junior Ranger badge. There is no fee to enter, drive or hike through the park, or stop by the visitor center.