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gem icon Wind Cave Guided Tours

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Overview

While the open prairie ecosystem draws many visitors to Wind Cave National Park, it is the incredible cave system itself that truly sets this park apart. With over 140 miles of explored territory in this spectacular maze cave, you won't want to pass up one of the National Park Service's Guided Tours.

This cave features some of the most visible and rare "Speleothems," or cave features found in the world, and the best way to see these unique forms is to make your way underground to see them in their natural settings. Along the way, you'll be exposed to more common stalagmites and stalactites, but you'll also have the opportunity to see flowstone, dogtooth spar crystals and popcorn, as well as the more rare frostwork, rafts, and boxwork. Wind Cave is especially famous for this last cave feature, which appears as thin fins of rock that project from the bedrock surface. In reality, the bedrock has succumbed to the processes of erosion, and the minerals that make up this complex lattice are especially resistant to erosion. There is much debate as to how the exemplary boxwork of Wind Cave formed, and while scientists have put forth many hypotheses, no conclusive theory has been accepted.

While below ground, you'll enjoy taking in the vast size of this cave, and will wonder at the various rooms and caverns. Known as a maze cave, Wind Cave expands in three dimensions, and this gives visitors a sense of how vast the cave system truly is. The geologic history of the region is an important part of the cave formation, and the effects of slow-moving groundwater can be seen in the incredible shapes and features visible within the cave.

There are multiple tours available to the public, each visiting a different part of the cave. Whether you have hours to spend exploring the depths of the cave on a Wild Cave Tour or have a short amount of time and prefer the Garden of Eden Tour, setting out on a tour is an exhilarating way to see all that Wind Cave has to offer.

Short Run: All guided tours of Wind Cave are led by rangers and depart from the visitor center. Tickets for cave tours are required and are distributed on a first come, first served basis. Reservations are recommended for the Candlelight and Wild Cave tours. Call (605) 745-4600 to make a reservation or visit the park's website for more information.

  • Natural Entrance Cave Tour: A moderate tour that is the most popular and great for families. $12 per adult / $6 for children age 6-16 / children 5 and under are free.
  • Fairgrounds Cave Tour: A more strenuous tour with the widest array of features and the most stairs. $12 per adult / $6 for children age 6-16 / children 5 and under are free.
  • Garden of Eden Cave Tour: An easy tour ideal for those with limited time or abilities. $10 per adult / $5 for children age 6-16 / children 5 and under are free.
  • Candlelight Cave Tour: A more strenuous tour with some off-trail travel. $12 per adult/ $6 for children age 8-16 (minimun age is 8 years old).
  • Wild Cave Tour: Very strenuous with some crawling required. $30 per person - minimum age is 16 (with signed parent permission).

Family Friendly: The whole family will love getting to explore underground, and a variety of tour options means that there is one suited for a variety of ability levels.

Gem Type: Organized Tour

Shared by:
Mikhaila Redovian

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Shared by Mikhaila Redovian on Jun 30, 2016. All Page Views: 130. Last Month: 4.