Guided Tours

ranger and visitors on tour

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

Early 2016 - April 15, 2016 (subject to change)

Visitor Center

Open daily 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Cave Tour

Garden of Eden* - 3:00

Natural Entrance* - 10:00 and 1:00

*No tours will be offered on January 1

April 16 - April 30, 2016 (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


May 1 - May 27, 2016 (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 28 - May 30, 2016 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 31 - June 4, 2016 (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 5 - August 20, 2016 Reduced tours August 7-13. 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 21 - September 5, 2016 & August 7-13 (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

Nightly at the Elk Mountain Campground amphitheater. Call 605.745.4600 for times.


September 6 - September 30, 2016 (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, and 4:30

Autumn Evening Activity

Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at the Elk Mountain Campground at 7:00 pm through September 24 only.

October 1 - October 8, 2016 (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

November 8 - Early 2017 (subject to change)

Visitor Center

Open daily 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Cave Tour

Abbreviated Natural Entrance* - 10:00, 1:00, & 3:00

*Due to a problem with both cave elevators, only abbreviated Natural Entrance Tours are available at this time. Tours are only available on weekdays, not on weekends or holidays. Tours will descend 155 stairs to the Post Office, which will need to be ascended upon return. Tour size is limited to 20 people. Reduced fees apply.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs, SD 57747

Phone:

(605) 745-4600
Park information

Contact Us