A leashed dog on the Prairie Vista trail
Brownie the Bark Ranger patrols the Prairie Vista trail. As a Bark Ranger, she ensures that all pets are cleaned up after and leashed.

NPS photo

Pets are welcome at Wind Cave National Park within the following limits.

At all times pets must be restrained on a leash no longer than six feet in length. Leashes protect dogs from becoming lost and from potential encounters with wildlife as well as protecting park wildlife and plants.

  • Pets should not be left unattended. Summer sunshine poses a threat to pets left in vehicles. On a sunny day, even in temperatures as low as 60° F, temperatures inside a vehicle can reach dangerous levels. On an 85-degree day the temperature inside a car –even with the windows cracked –can reach over 100 degrees within 10 minutes.
  • Pet owners are responsible for removing pet waste from campgrounds, picnic areas, parking lots, roads, and other developed areas.
  • Pets are not permitted in the back-country areas of the park. This includes areas near park roadways and most of the trails –see below for exceptions.

Where CAN I go with my pet?

  • Grassy Areas near the Visitor Center
  • The Elk Mountain campground
  • Prairie Vista Nature Trail, located near the visitor center
  • Elk Mountain Nature Trail, located at the campground

Where CAN'T I go with my pet?

  • Ranger-led programs and Cave Tours
  • Public buildings, including the visitor center
  • The backcountry or trails except those listed above

Pet Boarding in Hot Springs and Custer:

  • Fall River Veterinary Clinic 605-745-3786 Must have proof of vaccinations.
  • Mutt House 605-745-3999 Pets must be dropped off before 11:00 AM.
  • Anise's Personal Touch Pet Care 605-745-7455

More Information

For more information about pet rules and regulations at Wind Cave, read the 36 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) 2.15 in the Superintendent's Compendium.

Last updated: September 26, 2019

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Mailing Address:

26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs, SD 57747


(605) 745-4600

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