Guided Tours

A uniformed park ranger is orienting visitors about proper cave safety.  There are four visitors around the ranger in a half circle.

NPS

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 the Candlelight and Wild Cave tours, as well as 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.
  • To ensure a safe visit, please review the Cave Tour Safety Information page.

NOTE: Tour schedules are subject to change.

 
Tour Descriptions
Follow the links below for in-depth descriptions about each tour.

Regular Walking Tours
Specialty Tours
  • Candlelight Tour - Strenuous: Includes some off-trail travel. Minimum age is 8 years old.
  • Wild Cave Tour - Very Strenuous: Crawling required. Minimum age is 16 (with signed parent permission).
 

Tour & Program Schedule

January 2 - April 13, 2019 (subject to change)

Visitor Center

Open daily 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Cave Tour

Natural Entrance - 10:00 and 1:00

Garden of Eden - 3:00

April 14 - April 27, 2019 (subject to change)

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


April 28 - May 24, 2019 (subject to change)

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

May 25 - May 27, 2019 Memorial Day Weekend (subject to change)

Visitor Center

Open daily 8:00 am - 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


May 28 - June 2, 2019 (subject to change)

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

June 3- August 17, 2019 Reduced tours August 4-10. See below. (subject to change)

Visitor Center

Open daily 8:00 am - 7:00 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 beginning 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. Tuesdays and Thursdays in July be prepared for a prairie night hike. These hikes meet at the amphitheater for a short program and then car caravan to explore the prairie at night.


August 4 - 10, 2019 (subject to change)

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, and 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 p.m. nightly at the Elk Mountain Campground amphitheater.


August 18 - September 2, 2019 (subject to change)

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 - 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 p.m. nightly at the Elk Mountain Campground amphitheater.


September 3 - September 28, 2019 (subject to change)

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 20 only.

September 29 - October 5, 2019 (subject to change)

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

October 6 - Early 2020 (subject to change)

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: March 11, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs, SD 57747

Phone:

(605) 745-4600

Contact Us