Wild Cave Tour

two people with helmets, headlamps, and caving clothes crawl through a low cave passage
Much of the Wild Cave Tour is spent crawling on your hands and knees.

NPS Photo

 

Explore the cave away from the developed trails with this introduction to safe caving techniques. On this very strenuous tour, visitors will each get helmets, kneepads, and headlamps and see what it's like to explore Wind Cave as cavers do today.

Tour is only available during the summer months.

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Required

  • Long, sturdy pants such as jeans. Pants must not have any holes in them. Sweatpants, leggings, or yoga pants of any kind are not allowed.
  • Long sleeved shirt.
  • Sturdy, lace-up boots or shoes with non-slip soles. Footwear with ankle support is highly recommended. Tennis shoes, five-fingered toe shoes, sandals, cowboy boots, and climbing shoes of any kind are not allowed.
  • Clothing worn in Jewel Cave or any other cave is not permitted on this tour to prevent the spread of White-Nose Syndrome.

Features

  • On this 4 hour tour visitors will be introduced to basic, safe caving.
  • Visitors will need to fit through a space that is 10 inches tall and 3 feet wide (25.4 cm by 91.4 cm).
  • Wear old clothes and gloves, as much of the trip will be crawling.
  • The park provides helmets, lights, and kneepads. Visitors may bring a bandana to help keep their helmet in place.
  • This tour is limited to 10 people and the minimum age is 16.
  • We require a signed consent form for those 17 and under (Release Form).
  • For safety reasons, photography is not permitted on this tour and cameras and phones are not allowed.
  • Please do not bring jewelry, watches, or other valuables on the tour.
  • Reservations are required. We begin taking reservations one month before the tour date.
  • Reservations may only be made by telephone: (605) 745-4600
 

Safety and Conservation


Cave passages are not lit and trail surfaces are uneven. Some surfaces may be wet and slippery. Some of the cave ceilings are low and some passages have a very steep grade, requiring bending, stooping, crawling, and climbing. Most of the tour is spent crawling on your hands and knees.

DUE TO THE STRENUOUS NATURE OF THIS TOUR, PERSONS WITH HEART CONDITIONS, KNEE, NECK, OR BACK PROBLEMS, VISON OR MOBILITY ISSUES, BALANCE PROBLEMS, OR OTHER PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS SHOULD RECONSIDER.

Please stay with the tour group. For the protection of the cave, please do not touch cave formations, remove formations or cave rocks, or step off the trail.

There are no restrooms in the cave. Pets are not permitted in the cave.

Eating, drinking, smoking, chewing gum or tobacco are not allowed in the cave.

 

Fees*

Age 16+

$30.00

Senior or Golden Age/Access Passholders*

$15.00

Under 16

Not Allowed

*Interagency Annual Park Passes are not applicable for these fees.

Last updated: October 31, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs, SD 57747

Phone:

(605) 745-4600

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