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Wind Cave National Park Activities

Wind Cave National Park features almost thirty thousand acres of rolling prairie and pine forest in South Dakota's Black Hills. As one of the country's oldest national parks, Wind Cave has been entertaining visitors of all ages for over a hundred years.

Wind Cave National Park has tons of great outdoor activities to choose from, beginning with excellent camping either at the Elk Mountain Campground or in the park's back country.

At Elk Mountain Campground both tents and RV's are welcome on a first-come, first-serve basis. A quieter camping option than many in the Black Hills, the Elk Mountain Campground also provides easy access to many of the park's activities.

If your prefer the back country option, several of the park's 30 miles of hiking trails lead into the northwest area of the park where camping is allowed. Here, you can enjoy great views of the forest and prairie, and take in the diversity of the region's plant and animal life.

Keep an eye out for majestic elk, wild prairie dogs, and howling coyotes. Meanwhile, since the American Bison Society took steps to reintroduce bison to the Wind Cave National Park in 1913, today herds of bison can still be seen roaming freely on the prairie.

No trip to the park would be complete without a trip to the system of caves that give the park its name. Considered the fifth longest cave system in the world with over 137 miles of passageways, the secrets of Wind Cave are still being discovered.

Wind Cave is known for its boxwork calcite formations. These strange, honeycomb-like features, although abundant in Wind Cave, are extremely rare. In fact, the boxwork at Wind Cave make up over 90% of the world's known formations.

Since Wind Cave is considered one of the world's densest cave systems, navigating it means traversing a maze of passageways full of mystery. Luckily, ranger guided cave tours are offered throughout the year. From extremely strenuous to relatively painless, the tours offered at Wind Cave National Park range in difficulty, making the cave an experience that everyone in the family can enjoy.