Permits & Reservations

A ranger with a family in a dim cave passage, all are holding candle buckets.
Two cave tours, the Candlelight and Wild Cave tours, require reservations.

NPS Photo / Sheena Harper


Tour Reservations

Approximately half of all cave tour tickets are available for advanced purchase through Reservations are recommended as tours often sell out March through October and on holiday weekends throughout winter. Tickets can be purchased from 3-120 days before the tour.

Remaining tickets will be available for purchase on a first-come, first-served at the visitor center the day of the tour. Same-day tickets often sell out 1-2 hours or more before tour times.


Backcountry Camping

All backcountry campers must have a backcountry use permit in their possession. These free permits can be obtained at the visitor center information desk. Permits provide a measure of safety for backpackers in the event of an emergency as well as help park managers monitor potential impacts to sensitive resources.

Horseback Riding

Horses are permitted throughout Wind Cave National park under the following provisions:

  • All horseback riders must have a permit, which can be obtained at the visitor center. All horseback riding permits are for day-use only, no overnight stays are permitted.
  • Horseback riding is prohibited near water sources, directly on any maintained hiking trail, on park roadways, and in the campground and picnic areas.
  • Hay and feed must be certified as weed free.
  • Vehicles and trailers must be parked so they do not destroy natural resources and do not impede the flow of traffic.
  • Hitching horses so as to damage, injure, deface, or disturb natural or cultural resources is prohibited.
  • All parking areas must be cleaned of feed and manure.

Other Permits

For information on all other permits, visit Do Business With Us.

Last updated: March 18, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs, SD 57747


605 745-4600

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