Guided Tours

A ranger points to the Wind Cave map during a cave tour.
A ranger points to the Wind Cave map during a cave tour.

NPS

PLEASE NOTE: Tours of Wind Cave have been suspended indefinitely as of June 29th, 2019. Please check the alerts on this website or call the Wind Cave Visitor Center for the status of cave tours.
 

Tour Information

  • All cave tours are ranger-guided and leave from the visitor center.
  • Tour sizes are limited. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are available for large groups.
  • Long waits are common during peak summer visitation. To avoid waits, tour the cave during the early hours of the day or on weekends. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the busiest days.
 

Safety Information

All cave tours are ranger guided and are limited in size. All tours involve walking up and down stairs and occasional low ceilings. Cave tours are not recommended for anyone with claustrophobia, heart or respiratory conditions, recent surgeries or illnesses, knee or back problems, or other physical limitations. There are no restroom facilities in the cave.

The following items are prohibited in Wind Cave: Food, candy, gum, water and other drinks, tobacco products, firearms, purses, backpacks including baby back carriers, walking sticks, tripods, monopods, selfie sticks, pets and comfort animals.

The following items are recommended in Wind Cave: Long sleeves or jackets, comfortable shoes with non-slip soles. Sandals are discouraged. Handheld photography is allowed.

Absolutely no touching of cave walls or formations is permitted. Please stay on the trail and with the tour group at all times.

 

Tour Descriptions

Garden of Eden Tour

Duration: 1 hour
Distance: 1/3 mile (1/2 kilometer)
Total stairs: 150
Difficulty: Moderate; stairs can be steep, slippery and dimly lit. Bending and stooping required.
Description: See boxwork, frostwork and cave popcorn along this compact route.
Price: $10.00 general admission, $5.00 ages 6-16, or senior interagency passholders. 5 and under free.

Natural Entrance Tour

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Distance: 2/3 mile (1 kilometer)
Total stairs: 300
Difficulty: Moderate. Paths are uneven, and stairs can be slippery, steep and dimly lit. Bending and stooping required.
Description: See boxwork and cave popcorn along this route.
Price: $12:00 general admission, $6.00 ages 6-16, $6.00 senior or access interagency passholders. 5 and under free.

Fairgrounds Tour

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Distance: 2/3 mile (1 kilometer)
Total stairs: 450
Difficulty: Strenuous. Paths are uneven, and stairs are steep. Bending and stooping required. This tour includes 89 stairs up at once.
Description: See boxwork, frostwork and cave popcorn along this strenuous route.
Price: $12:00 general admission, $6.00 ages 6-16, $6.00 senior or access interagency passholders. 5 and under free.

Specialty Tours

Reservations required. Follow the links for reservation instructions.

  • See sections of undeveloped cave along the Candlelight Tour. This strenuous tour requires reservations, and the minumum age is 8.
  • Wild Cave Tour - Very Strenuous: Crawling required. Minimum age is 16 (with signed parent permission).
  • Accessible Tour - this tour is offered to those with limited mobility or other special needs.
 

Tour & Program Schedule

Visitor Center Open Daily 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Cave tour Natural Entrance - 10:00 and 1:00

Garden of Eden - 3:00
Visitor Center Open Daily 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Cave Tour Garden of Eden or Natural Entrance - 9:30, 11:30, 1:30 and 3:30
Visitor Center Open Daily 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Cave Tour Natural Entrance - 9:00, 10:30, 11:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 4:00
Visitor Center Open daily 8:00 - 6:00 pm
Cave Tours Natural Entrance - 8:40, 9:20, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, and 5:00

Garden of Eden - 10:00, 12:00, and 2:00

Fairgrounds - 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00
Visitor Center Open daily 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Cave Tours Natural Entrance - 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, and 5:00

Garden of Eden: 1:30 and 3:30
Reduced tours August 2-8 See below.
Visitor Center Open daily 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Cave Tours

Natural Entrance - 8:40, 9:20, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, 5:00, 5:30 and 6:00

Garden of Eden - 10:40, 12:40, and 2:40

Fairgrounds - 9:40, 10:20, 11:40, 12:20, 1:40, 2:20, 3:40, and 4:20

Specialty Tours Candlelight tours - 10:30 am, 1:30 pm (Reservations strongly recommended)

Wild Cave Tours - 1:00 pm (Reservations required)

Note: Reservations are accepted one month before the tour and must be made in person or by phone at 605-745-4600
Campfire programs Nightly at the Elk Mountain Campground amphitheater at 9:00 pm.


August 2-8, 2020

Visitor Center Open Daily 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Cave Tours Natural Entrance - 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, and 5:00

Garden of Eden: 10:30, 1:40 and 3:40

Fairgrounds: 9:30, 11:20, 1:20, 3:20
Specialty Tours Candlelight Tours - 1:30 pm daily (Reservations strongly recommended)

Wild Cave Tours - 1:00 pm daily (Reservations required)

NOTE: Reservations are accepted beginning one month before the tour and must be made in person or by phone at 605-745-4600.
Campfire Programs 8:30 pm nightly at the Elk Mountain Campground amphitheater
Visitor Center Open Daily 8:00 - 6:00 pm
Cave Tours Natural Entrance - 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, and 5:00

Garden of Eden - 10:30, 1:40, and 3:40

Fairgrounds - 9:30, 11:20, 1:20, and 3:20
Specialty Tours Candlelight Tours - 1:30 pm daily (Reservations strongly recommended)

Wild Cave Tours - 1:00 pm weekends only (Reservations required)

NOTE: Reservations are accepted beginning one month before the tour and must be made in person or by phone at 605-745-4600.
Campfire Programs 8:00 pm nightly at the Elk Mountain Campground amphitheater.
Visitor Center Open Daily 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Cave Tour Natural Entrance - 9:00, 10:30, 11:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30, and 4:30
Autumn Evening Activity Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at the Elk Mountain Campground at 7:00 pm through September 20th.
Visitor Center Open daily 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Cave Tour Garden of Eden - 10:30 and 3:30

Natural Entrance - 9:30, 11:30 and 1:30
Visitor Center Open Daily 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Cave Tour Natural Entrance - 10:00 and 1:00

Garden of Eden - 3:00

Last updated: October 23, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs, SD 57747

Phone:

(605) 745-4600

Contact Us