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Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota, United States - OutdoorPlaces.Com

Cave Tours At Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota, United States

Garden of Eden Tour
Natural Entrance Tour
Fairground Tour
Candlelight Tour
Caving Tour

 

Box Work, Wind Cave National Park, National Park Service Picture, Public DomainWind Cave National Park offers a wide variety of tours to satisfy the curiosity of almost anyone.  Whether you want to take an easy stroll through a cave environment, or put on your headlamp and explore, the National Park Service has a variety of programs for the public to enjoy.

The Garden of Eden Tour is the most basic at Wind Cave.  Lasting about one hour, this 1/4 mile tour goes through the upper level of the cave.  You enter and exit through an elevator and you will take about 150 stairs.  during this tour you will get an excellent opportunity to see cave popcorn, frostwork, and box work.  The Natural Entrance Tour starts at surface and exits through an elevator.  Although there are 300 stairs, most of is down.  This tour is one of the best opportunities to see box work in the world.  The tour lasts about 1-1/4 hours and takes you through about 1/2 mile of passageways.

The Fairgrounds Tour take you into some larger rooms of the cave.  An even wider variety of cave features can be experienced on this tour, as well as the ever present box work formations that are found here.  This 1/2 mile tour lasts about 1-1/2 hours and includes climbing about 450 stairs.  Practically anyone can enjoy any of these three tours.

A two hour Candlelight Tour is also offered.  The Candlelight Tour offers a historic perspective while carry a candle powered bucket lantern on your tour.  The section explored is unlit and unimproved, offering a truly unique adventure.  However the tour is strenuous, and will require you to bend, flex, and contort to an extent over this rugged trail.  You should be prepared to get dirty!  Unlike the tours on the improved trails, reservations can be made for the Candlelight Tour up to a month in advance and are strongly recommended.  If you have a problem with claustrophobia, or are of a sizeable girth, you should talk to a ranger at the park before going on the tour.
 

 
TOUR TIPS: 
Cave weather in Wind Cave National Park is slight warmer to it's bigger brother in the west, Jewel Cave National Monument.  With a year round temperature around 53 degrees and many stairs (depending on the tour) make sure to wear long pants and close toed shoes with firm soles.  A small AA powered flashlight is also good to bring on the tour, but you should only use it with your guides permission.  Photography is allowed, but tripods are not.
 

 
Finally
, for a real adventure a Caving Tour is also offered for those visitors desiring the true caving experience.  This four hour tour takes you through areas of the cave not regularly visited by the public.  The park service will provide you with your headlamp, hardhat, and knee pads, but you will be required to provide all other equipment.  Long pants, shirt, lace up boots, and gloves are required.  Keep in mind that you will get dirty on this tour and cotton holds moisture (the cave humidity is 98%).  This is a demanding tour and most of your time will be spent crawling on your hands and knees.  A backpack or fanny pack will be a liability on this tour.  People with claustrophobia should take those concerns into account.  Children under 16 are not permitted and advanced reservations are required.  A truly wonderful adventure if you are up to the challenge.  Reservations are required and can be made up to a month in advance.

If you are a true caver, there are exploration opportunities at Wind Cave National Park.  A number of organizations are still exploring the deep recesses of the cave.  For additional information on those programs, you can contact the management at Wind Cave National Park directly.

Hiking At Wind Cave National Park...
 

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