Frequently Asked Questions

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Ranger Programs and Cave Tours


Can we go in the cave or go on a cave tour?
Yes! All access to the cave is by guided tour only. Tours operate year round. For more information on tour descriptions, times, and Covid-related impacts visit the Guided Tours page.

Is there a fee to visit the cave?
Yes. Visit the Fees & Passes page for tour prices.

Can I reserve tickets for a tour ahead of time?
Yes. A portion of tour tickets are available for advanced purchase through www.recreation.gov. Remaining tickets may be purchased in person at the visitor center the day of the tour. Tickets cannot be reserved or purchased over the phone.

What time should I be at the park to get tour tickets?
The visitor center opens at 8:00 am daily and tickets for all tours are sold starting then. Arriving close to opening time, especially in summer months, provides the best opportunity to get tickets for a time that works for you. During winter months tours usually do not fill up.

What can I do if I get tickets and it's still hours before my tour starts?
Consider a hike, scenic drive, wildlife watching or other things to do in the park. Custer State Park and the Mammoth Site are two other nearby attractions to spend a few hours before a tour.
 

Stamps, Park Information, and Park Passes


Is there a fee to get into the park?
No. Wind Cave National Park does not have entrance fees.

Can I buy an Annual or Senior Pass at the park?
Yes, at the visitor center during normal hours, 8:00am-4:30pm.

Can I get an Access or 4th Grade Pass at the park?
Yes, at the visitor center during normal hours.

Where can I get a stamp for my passport?
Park stamps are available in the park store which is located at the visitor center.

Are there bathrooms available in the park?
Restrooms are available in the visitor center. A vault toilet is located at the picnic area 1/4-mile north of the visitor center. A vault toilet or seasonal flush restrooms are available in the campground 1/2-mile north of the visitor center.

Can I get a map of the park?
Park maps are located in both the brochure and park newspaper currently available on the information board in front of the visitor center or inside the visitor center during normal business hours. Please contact us if you would like a brochure mailed to you.

What about a map of the Black Hills?
Maps of the Black Hills area are also available on the information board in front of the visitor center or inside the visitor center during normal business hours.

Can I still buy stickers, passport books, or other souvenirs?
Yes. The park store located at the visitor center is open daily from 8 am to 4:30 pm. You can also order online from the Black Hills Parks and Forests Association's website.
 

Junior Ranger Program


Can my child still get a Junior Ranger book and earn their badge?
Yes! Junior Ranger books can be picked up from the information desk inside the visitor center or an online version of the booklet can be found here. Once your child has completed the activities, they can turn their book in to the ranger at the visitor center during normal business hours or books can be mailed in or emailed to the park address listed in the Junior Ranger book.

My child has completed the Junior Ranger book we printed at home. Can they still get the badge?
All Junior Ranger books can either be turned in to the ranger inside of the visitor center during normal business hours, emailed or mailed in to the park address listed in the Junior Ranger book.

Due to a small staff and the amount of Junior Ranger books mailed to the park, it may take awhile before we are able to send books back with badges. Thank you for your patience.
 

Camping


Is camping available in the park?
Wind Cave has one campground, the Elk Mountain Campground. Please check the alerts for information about closures and available amenities. For those interested in pitching a tent away from roads and trails, backcountry camping is also available.

Are there electrical hookups, showers, or laundry available in the campground?
There are no electrical hookups, showers, or laundry facilities in the park.

When does the campground fill up?
On a normal year, the Elk Mountain Campground rarely fills up. However, seasonal closures may affect the number of sites available. Despite current conditions, Wind Cave continues to see a steady number of campground guests each night. It is recommended to arrive before 4 or 5 pm in order to have more campsite options.

Where do I pay for the Elk Mountain Campground?
You will pay at the bulletin board at the entrance to the campground. Please follow payment instructions on the bulletin board. If paying with cash, please use exact change only. Park staff cannot issue refunds for the campground. Camping permits at the visitor center are for backcountry camping only.

I'm interested in backcountry camping. How do I obtain and fill out a backcountry camping permit?
Free permits are available at the visitor center on the information board. Please follow the attached instructions and provide all required information including vehicle information, location and dates of entry and exit in the backcountry, and zone you will be camping in. All backcountry campers must fill out a permit before heading out. A ranger is available at the visitor center daily to assist and answer any questions you may have.

Can I camp in my car in the park?
No. Car camping is only allowed in the Elk Mountain Campground after you have paid for a campsite.


Please call the visitor center during normal business hours if you have any questions: (605) 745-4600

Last updated: March 14, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs , SD 57747

Phone:

605 745-4600

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