Wind Cave

Wind Cave Fast Facts

  • Wind Cave National Park covers a total area of 28,295 acres
  • The number of people visiting Wind Cave in 2016 was 617,377 *
  • Wind Cave was made a national park on January 9, 1903
  • The lowest elevation found in Wind Cave is 3,559 feet at Beaver Creek
  • The highest elevation found in Wind Cave is 5,013 feet at Rankin Ridge
  • There is no entrance fee for Wind Cave National Park, but there are fees for cave tours
  • Wind Cave National Park lies in the Mountain time zone
  • We last visited Wind Cave National Park in September 2017
* Complete annual visitation stats can be found at Wind Cave Visitation Statistics

Random Facts About Wind Cave

  • Wind Cave is among the largest mapped caves in the world. 143 miles have been mapped to date, making it the third largest cave in the United States, and the seventh largest in the world.
  • The third longest cave in the world is Jewel Cave, the centerpiece of Jewel Cave National Monument, and is only a 45 minute drive from Wind Cave. Jewel Cave is at 175 miles as of March 2015, and there is believed to be much more ahead.
  • The name Wind Cave comes from the wind that naturally blows out (and in) of the small natural entrance to the cave. The direction the wind blows depends on barometric pressure. When pressure inside the cave exceeds the current air pressure outside, wind blows out.
  • Wind Cave is the sixth oldest national park in the United States, created in 1903. It was the first national park in the world to be created to preserve underground features.
  • Wind Cave is most known for its delicate calcite formations called “boxwork”. The vast majority of the world’s discovered boxwork, 95%, is found in Wind Cave.

Where is Wind Cave National Park?

Wind Cave National Park is located in southwestern South Dakota, with the city of Hot Springs just to the south of the park. Badlands National Park, South Dakota’s other national park, is a drive of about two hours to the north and east. Further directions and maps can be found at Getting to Wind Cave.


Wind Cave Visitor Center
(43.55869126092454, -103.47926419977739)

More About Wind Cave

We have pages on all sorts of things about Wind Cave National Park. Choose from the menu above the map, or from right here. We have sections on Weather, Getting to the Park, Lodging, Camping, and pages to buy Books and Trail Maps. You could also check out the park’s Photo Gallery.