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Is Wind Cave National Park Worth Visiting?

Is Wind Cave National Park Worth Visiting?

More than 33,000 acres of breathtaking scenery and underground marvels may be found inside Wind Cave National Park, which is located at the point where the Northern Great Plains and the Black Hills converge.

Famous fauna, dense woods, undulating hills, and one of the earth’s biggest and most amazing caverns. There is a lot more to Wind Cave than first appears. So, make sure to add Wind Cave National Park to your bucket list because it is worth it!

Keep reading below for more information.

Is Wind Cave Worth It?

Well, yes, because even after taking a few tours, you can continue exploring other Wind Cave areas. Tours to underground caverns may be done regardless of the weather, making them perfect for wet days. 

But, if you have young or frightened children, we would suggest delaying cave trips for a while.

Some say Wind Cave is the most underappreciated national park in the United States. Wind Cave allows escaping the crowd and taking in breathtaking views above and below ground. It is sometimes neglected and overshadowed by the more well-known Mount Rushmore, Black Hills, Badlands, and Custer State Park.

For more information on Wind Cave National Park, watch this video below:

Wind Cave National Park | The Spectacular Black Hills

Reasons Why Wind Cave National Park is Worth It

This section lists all of the reasons why Wind Cave National Park is worth visiting. When visiting this serene place, you can:

Discover the Cave

It is evident where we should start our list of reasons why Wind Cave National Park is worth it. 

Three distinct cave excursions, each lasting an hour to an hour and a half, are available at the site. Two of the trips are rated as being rather challenging, while one is rated as being tough. However, each of the three can be a breeze and can be done leisurely.

It’s crucial to remember that you must sign up for a tour to explore the cave, which entails a small additional price (often around $15 for adults and much less for children). Online reservations for certain tours are available.

The good news is that 50% of all tour tickets are returned for same-day sales for individuals who can’t book their vacation months in advance. To guarantee that you acquire one of those tickets, you must arrive early in the morning.

It’s no secret that the rangers and tour guides employed by the National Park Service are the best in the business; thanks to them, caving is an enjoyable and risk-free experience for visitors of all ages.

Because cave closures and schedule changes happen often, it is important to check the park’s website for the most up-to-date information on admission costs, cave restrictions, and tour services.

Throughout the cave excursions, it’s quite easy to knock your head, so keep an eye out for any hazards and wear a hat to avoid cuts.

Take a Natural Entrance Tour

This could be your favorite Wind Cave tour out of all of them. Viewers descend via the cave’s original entrance during this trip. You’ll find out more about its early exploration and discovery.

The famed “box work” of the cave, in addition to other remarkable features, may be seen on this trip rather frequently.

Take a Garden of Eden Tour

This tour is the shortest and easiest one the park offers, making it ideal for individuals with limited time or mobility.

There will still be many opportunities for you to view the cave’s well-known box work and discover its intriguing history.

Take the Fairgrounds Tour

The Fairgrounds Tour is the longest and most thorough tour of Wind Cave. Although it is true that there are many steps and a lot of bending over and that the park classifies it as demanding, in our opinion, the difficulty is more moderate.

That is a lot of steps, though, so you might want to leave Grandma and Grandpa in the visitor center for this one.

By taking the Fairgrounds Tour, you may explore the underground marvel in great detail and truly get a sense of Wind Cave’s extensive network of tunnels and caves.

See the Bison

During a journey to Wind Cave, it’s difficult to avoid seeing bison, but the chance to see these magnificent beasts from a safe distance shouldn’t be passed up.

You can see bison throughout most of the park’s open regions, so finding them should be easy.

You must always maintain a minimum distance of 25 feet between you and any animals, especially bison, to ensure both your safety and that of the animals. Don’t try to pull up near a bison because they can harm your car if you get in their way.

Go on the Rankin Ridge hike

Rankin Ridge is the ideal hike for tourists expecting breathtaking vistas without the hassle of a tough climb. A fire tower (which is off limits to the public) and an interpretative sign with details on the nearby land phenomena are located atop the ridge.

This is the shortest and easiest trip in Wind Cave, but it delivers the most bang for your buck, making it the go-to option. Before the vistas of the prairie’s undulating hills become visible, you rise through a grove of Ponderosa pines and stones.

The prominent geographical feature known as Buffalo Gap and Badlands National Park may both be seen from the summit.

Take a Drive Wind Cave Geology Tour

Despite sounding like it belongs in a fluorescent-lit classroom, the Geology Tour is a 20-mile gravel road that travels through the center of the park.

Interpretive signs and numerous rock formations that detail the park’s history may be seen along the journey. Of course, you’ll also get stunning countryside views and lots of chances to observe animals, including bison.

The trip, which may take up to an hour, is a terrific opportunity to escape the crowds and take in the splendor of this special place without having to set out on a strenuous climb.

Go on a Boland Ridge Trail Hike

This challenging 5-mile out-and-back trek provides expansive vistas of the Black Hills and distant rolling plains.

The ideal months to hike Boland Ridge are May, June, and September when the weather is often pleasant and fair. It is recommended to avoid the hike during the hottest part of the day and to pack lots of water if you decide to undertake it in the summer.

Boland Ridge offers excellent chances to see the park’s elusive elk early in the morning or late at night, just before sunset.


There are many places to view and things to do in Wind Cave National Park. It’s arguably one of the most underrated places in the United States. So, make sure to visit it, and we guarantee it will be unforgettable.