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.

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Tour Information

  • Check at the visitor center for current Covid-related safety precautions. Face coverings may be required during periods of high infection rates.
  • All cave access is by ranger-guided tour only. All tours leave from the visitor center.
  • Beginning June 15, 2022, Wind Cave will only accept credit/debit cards or digital payments for all cave tours, campground fees, Interagency Passes.
  • Tour sizes are limited to 40 people or less for most tours. The Garden of Eden tour is limited to 30 people.
  • Advanced reservations are available for some tours. See "Tour Reservations" below for more information. Tickets for all other tours are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis the day of the tour at the visitor center.
  • Tours often sell out 1-2 hours in advance during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. Tours may be sold out for the day by mid-afternoon during very busy periods.
  • White-nose syndrome is known to affect bats around the Black Hills and the country and has been found on bats in Wind Cave. All visitors must walk across a decontamination mat when exiting the cave.
 

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

For tour prices see the Fees & Passes page.

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.

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.

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.


Accessible Tour - This tour is offered to those with limited mobility or other special needs.
 

Tour & Program Schedule

  • All cave access is by ranger-guided tour only. All tours leave from the visitor center.
  • Beginning June 15, 2022, Wind Cave will only accept credit/debit cards or digital payments for all cave tours, campground fees, Interagency Passes.
  • Tickets are available through advanced sales (see below) or in person on a first-come, first-served the day of the tour.
  • Due to high demand, long waits are common during spring, summer, and fall for in-person sales. Tours often sell out 1-2 hours in advance. Tour may be sold out for the day by mid-afternoon.
 
Visitor Center  Open Daily 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Cave tour Fairgrounds Tour -1:00

Garden of Eden - 10:00 and 3:00
Visitor Center Open Daily, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Tour Times Fairgrounds Tour: 9:30 am, 1:30 pm

Garden of Eden Tour: 11:30 am, 3:30pm
Visitor Center  Open Daily 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Cave Tour Natural Entrance Tour -9:00 am, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm

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

Fairgrounds Tour: 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 3:00pm

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

Fairgrounds Tour: 8:40 am, 10:40 am, 12:40 pm, 2:40 pm, 4:40 pm

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

Garden of Eden - 12:00, 2:00, and 4:00

Fairgrounds - 9:00, 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00
Visitor Center Open Daily 8:00-4:30 pm
Cave Tours Natural Entrance - 9:30, 10:30, 11:30, and 1:30
Garden of Eden - 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 2:00, and 3:00
Visitor Center Open Daily 8:00 am -4:30 pm
Cave Tours Fairgrounds - 9:00 and 1:30
Garden of Eden - 10:00, 11::30, 1:00, and 3:00

Tour schedule subject to change.

Visitor Center Open Daily 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Cave tour Fairgrounds Tour -1:00

Garden of Eden - 10:00 and 3:00
 

Tour Reservations


Tickets may be purchased in advance through www.recreation.gov. Reservations are recommended as tours often sell out March through October and on holiday weekends throughout winter. Reservations can be made 3-120 prior to the tour date.

Roughly half of all tour tickets are held in reserve for same-day sales. These tickets are first-come, first-served at the visitor center the day of the tour. Same-day tickets often sell out an hour or more before tour times.

Tour schedules are subject to change. The tour schedule above provides a general idea of tour availability at different times of year. Dates will be updated as exact schedules are finalized.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the reservation window?
Tickets can be reserved 3-120 days prior to the tour date.

What is the cancellation policy?
Full refunds (less a $1/ticket handling fee) are available up to 3 days prior to the tour date for most tours.* After that, all sales are final.
*Candlelight and Wild Cave Tour tickets must be cancelled at least 7 days prior to the tour date.

I have a reservation. When should I arrive?
Plan to arrive 30 minutes before the tour time. This allows extra time for road work, bison jams, parking, restroom, etc., before your tour.

Where do I claim my reserved tickets?
Claim reserved tickets at the visitor center front desk.

I don't have a reservation. When should I arrive?
At least an hour before the tour time you want. Same-day tickets often sell out well in advance of the tour time.

There are no more reservations available for the date I want. Does that mean you're sold out?
No. About half of all tour tickets are held in reserve for sale on a first-come, first-serve basis at the visitor center the day of the tour.

Why aren't more tickets available for reservation?
Many Wind Cave visitors decide to visit the park less than 24 hours before they arrive. To provide options for all, about half of all tickets are held in reserve for same day sales. We monitor visitation patterns and may adjust reservation capacity from time to time in response to visitor trends.

Last updated: June 14, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs , SD 57747

Phone:

605 745-4600

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