Cave Tour Information

Wind Cave closed to tours on June 29, 2019 due to needed elevator repairs. A timeline for resuming tours is not known at this time but we won’t be offering tours until CDC rules on social distancing are relaxed. See the Frequently Asked Questions below for more information about accessing Wind Cave.

Elevator Update:
On June 8th the park contracted with a Texas company to complete the needed repairs. The company has run into delays and work will continue through at least early October. A more difficult question to answer is, When will tours resume? For the safety of visitors and rangers alike, we won’t be offering tours until CDC rules on social distancing are relaxed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I visit the cave?
No, there is no way to see Wind Cave at this time.

Wind Cave’s elevators went down for repairs in June 2019. Cave tours have been suspended since then.

Can I see the cave without a tour?
Unfortunately, no. The maze-like passages make it easy to get lost without a guide, which is why the cave has been tour-only since the park was established in 1903.

Why doesn’t the park offer walk-in/walk-out tours?
Walk-in/walk-out access is not practical due to steep stairs and narrow passages. Medical extractions are extremely difficult without use of the elevators.

When will repairs be done?
We are hopeful the repairs will be completed sometime this summer, but the availability of cave tours will also depend on current restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Is the closure because of the pandemic?
Cave tours were suspended before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, but it may impact when tours resume. Cave passages are narrow and rooms are small, to say nothing of the airlocks entering and exiting the cave, and the elevator ride. Cave tours are not likely to resume until social distancing rules are no longer recommended by public health officials.

Is there any part of the cave I can see now?
Yes! The cave’s Natural Entrance is ¼-mile from the visitor center. You can walk from there or drive to the Picnic Area and follow the trail. A sign outside the visitor center provides directions.

Should I visit the park even if I can’t see the cave?
Absolutely! Wind Cave National Park offers scenic drives and over 30 miles of hiking trails through prairies and ponderosa pine forests. It’s home to bison, prairie dogs, elk, and numerous other species of birds and wildlife. Kids can earn their Junior Ranger badge. There is no fee to enter, drive or hike through the park, or stop by the visitor center.

Last updated: September 14, 2020

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Mailing Address:

26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs, SD 57747


(605) 745-4600

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