Planning Your Visit Hiking, camping and Cave Tour Schedules
Page 2 backcountry Page 6 and 7
2002 Visitor’s Guide to Wind Cave National Park
Wind Cave Prairie
in Wind Cave. These sites
S waying grasses blown by a
gentle wind create a fasci-
nating motion on the prairie; the
are rated on their diversity
and management plans.
grasses seem to move in waves. The park itself is recognized
Seeing these wind-caused waves as an exemplary site because
prompted early travelers to call of the quality and diversity
the prairie a "sea of grass." The of plant communities found
prairie conjures many images. here and the natural way
For people living on the prairie, they are managed.
there is no sight equal to the Why is diversity impor-
sweeping view of a land stretch- tant? Plants are the basis of
ing for miles under a towering most food chains and are
sky. To Stephen Long crossing critical to the survival of
the prairie in 1820 it was "a region animal life. The blending of
of hopeless and irreclaimable diverse plant communities
sterility." He was puzzled by the means that the park has
abundance of wildlife, but con- hundreds of species growing at
cluded that they survived only different times. This variety does
through stupidity. more than look pretty; it ensures
There is no sight equal to the sweeping view of a land
stretching for miles under a towering sky.
This sea of grass or prairie is against biological disaster.
very much like an ocean. It con- During wet years, tall grasses
tains many habitats, with numer- dominate. During dry years,
ous species of plants. Wind Cave short grasses thrive. Some
National Park is part of this sea grasses grow in warm seasons,
of grass. It is also part of the others in cool seasons. When aged to protect prairie ecosys-
Black Hills. It is in a meeting insects or diseases strike, some tems and their natural processes.
zone, a mixed-grass prairie that plants suffer - others survive. Wind Cave National Park is
combines many of the features of These plants have evolved to one of those places. Here we can
the eastern tall-grass prairie and withstand drought, drying explore grassland communities,
the western short-grass prairie. It winds, grazing, and frequent behold thundering herds of
is a place where the mountains fires. Confronting adversity dance of little bluestem grass in bison, or listen to the riotous
touch the plains. through diversity ensures that one place and an abundance of noise in a prairie dog town.
Confronting adversity through diversity needle-and-thread grass in To experience these diverse
another. The understory of the communities, drive the park
ensures that there will always be a prairie. ponderosa pine forest may roads or hike the trails. The grav-
change from wheatgrass to el roads, NPS 5 and 6, travel
Because it is a meeting zone, there will always be a prairie and sunsedge. These different com- through the prairie portions of
or an ecotone, Wind Cave food for the wildlife. munities supply the required the park. The more than 30 miles
National Park has many different Animals eat different plants. habitats for the large variety of of hiking trails allow you to
vegetative, or plant, communities. Some prefer grass; some prefer animals living in the park. explore many different habitats.
According to The Nature wildflowers; some prefer to Today, much of the prairie that As you travel, look for the vast
Conservancy these communities browse on shrubs. This helps once stretched across the Great array of life supported by the sea
are noteworthy because of their them avoid competition in Plains has been plowed and set- of grass in this remarkable
condition. The obtaining food. There are over tled. There are few places man- national park.
Nature Conser- 20 different vegetative communi-
vancy evaluates ties within the park. For the
ecosystems based casual observer, there are three
on their health and major categories: the forest, the
diversity. They have prairie, and the riparian or Contacting the park:
identified 16 exem- stream habitats. However, within
plary vegetative those categories there are others. In case of Emergency dial 911
sites within the Each community is characterized Visitor Center: 605-745-4600
Black Hills. Nine of by its dominant plant species. In
those sites are with- the prairie, you may see an abun- Wind Cave’s website: www.nps.gov/wica/
Visitor Information 2
CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE RANGER PROGRAMS
I f you are planning your visit or
doing a project about Wind
Cave, look for us at
W hen you are planning
your visit, plan to
attend a ranger-led program.
www.nps.gov/wica/ on the There are many interesting pro- topics vary.
Internet. Our website has grams each day. Programs Check with
almost anything you might want include a hike on the prairie or the camp-
to know about the park, the in the forest investigating the ground
cave, the animals, or the plants. natural history of the park. hosts or at
We have even included some Topics might include edible the visitor
animal sounds. If you want to plants, the relationships of the center
know what's happening in the park's animals and plants, the information
park, this is the place to be. effects of exotic plants, or the desk for more information.
importance of fire to the park's Cave tours are offered daily
ecosystems. For more informa- (except Thanksgiving and
tion, please ask at the visitor Christmas) throughout the year.
FOOD, LODGING AND GASOLINE center information desk. Tours provide opportunities to
Nightly, during the summer discover new things about this
T he park operates one
campground and has lim-
ited food and beverage vending
months, park rangers present
campfire programs. These are
unusual cave. Tour schedules vary
throughout the year. The schedule
great opportunities to learn is listed on page 7.
services in the visitor center.
There are no lodging, gasoline,
grocery, or restaurants available
VISITOR CENTER EXHIBITS
in the park. These services are
cave formations and the colorful
available in the nearby towns of
Hot Springs (15 minutes south)
T he Visitor Center is a
great place to start your
park visit. Whether you are
history of the park. A slide pro-
gram explains the development
and Custer (25 minutes north). Custer State Park, bordering
intrigued with the cave, prairie, of the cave. A video about the
The town of Pringle (10 minutes Wind Cave National Park on the
or both, it is easy to discover cave, the prairie, and the park is
west) has gasoline and limited north, has campgrounds, restau-
more about the park by explor- shown in our auditorium.
food services. For information rants, motels, and some grocery
ing the exhibit rooms. The Stop in the visitor center for
regarding services in Hot services. Information about
upper exhibit room has displays cave tours, maps, exhibits, book
Springs, call 605-745-4140 or Custer State Park is available by
ranging from how the Plains sales, backcountry permits, and
800-325-6991. In Custer, call calling 605-255-4515. For infor-
Indians used the bison to how Golden Age and Golden Access
605-673-2244 or out of state call mation about state park lodging,
the park manages the prairie. Passports, or National Parks
800-992-9818. please call 800-658-3530.
The cave exhibit room explains Passes.
W ind Cave National Park
and the rest of the
southern Black Hills are much
pared for them. Large hail is
common and the storms can
produce severe lightening. Slow
warmer and drier than the moving storms can dump great
northern hills. Winter snowfall amounts of rain over a small
averages 30 inches annually. The area. The steep canyons, rock
spring and fall can be warm and cliffs, and small creeks of the
sunny, or rainy and snowy with a Black Hills are prone to flash
chilly wind. Summer brings flooding. Be cautious when
warm daytime temperatures camping near a creek bed even if
with cool evenings. it is dry. THE CAVE
Severe thunderstorms are For current forecasts and
common in June and July and
occasionally in August.
warnings, listen to NOAA
Weather Radio on 162.425 MHz W ind Cave is quite differ-
ent from other caves.
Instead of stalactites and stalag-
filled the cracks were revealed.
Wind Cave is also known for
the maze-like configuration of
Thunderstorms can be danger- in the southern Black Hills or
ous and visitors should be pre- 162.550 MHz in Rapid City. mites, the cave is decorated with its passageways. Few caves are
boxwork. Boxwork is a crys- longer or more complex. All of
talline formation that probably the known cave passageways lie
predates the cave. We believe beneath a land area of about
that it formed in tiny cracks one-square mile.
within the limestone. Later, To see the cave, stop at the
when the cave formed, the water visitor center. The newspaper
dissolved the limestone and the has a complete schedule of avail-
delicate crystal fins that had able tours on page 7.
Hiking, Camping, and Backcountry 3
Equals 1 Mile
HIKING TRAILS CAMPING
An excellent example of the W ind Cave National Park
maintains a developed
campground one-mile north of
per night from mid-May to mid-
September. From April to mid-
May and mid-September to late
diversity of the park is Wind
Cave's six-mile section of the the visitor center. The camp- October facilities at the camp-
Centennial Trail. This trail cross- ground is open from the first ground are reduced. The fee is
es the prairie, climbs the forested Monday in April until the last $5.00 per night during these
ridges, and explores the wetter, Monday in October. The camp- times. Visitors holding a Golden
riparian habitat of Beaver Creek. ground rarely fills to capacity. Age or Golden Access Passport
The 110-mile Centennial Trail Occupancy is on a first-come, pay a half price fee. The camp-
meanders from Wind Cave first-served basis. Each site ground is closed from late
National Park north through the accommodates up to eight peo- October until the first Monday in
W ind Cave National Park
includes 28,295 acres of
prairie grasslands and ponderosa
ple. There are two sites accessi-
ble for campers with disabilities.
April. For more information call
Restrooms have cold water and Group camping is available by
pine forest. The park is a fasci- There are three nature trails in flush toilets, but no showers or reservation. Contact the park at
nating combination of ecosys- the park. The Rankin Ridge dump stations. 605-745-4600 for group camping
tems where eastern habitats meet Nature Trail leads to the highest The fee for camping is $10.00 reservations or information.
western ones. They support a point in the park, where the
diverse assortment of life.
Hiking any of the 30 miles of
views are spectacular. The Elk
Mountain Nature Trail explores
trails can help visitors better an ecotone, or meeting zone,
understand the park. You may
want to leave the trails and travel
where the grassland and forest
converge. The Prairie Vista
T he backcountry of Wind
Cave National Park offers
visitors an excellent opportunity
several different habitats - prairie,
forest, and riparian - with a vari-
ety of plants and animals living
cross-country along the ridges, Nature Trail starts at the visitor to experience and enjoy the there.
through the canyons, or across center and explores the prairie abundant resources of the park. Permits are required and are
the rolling prairie. A topographic grasslands. Booklets are available Backcountry camping is permit- free. They can be obtained at the
map is recommended and can be at the trailheads. The trails are ted in the northwestern part of visitor center or at either of the
purchased at the visitor center. about one mile in length. the park. Within this area are Centennial Trailheads.
PROTECTING PARK RESOURCES
P ark resources are for everyone to enjoy.
Antlers, bones, rocks, and plants are
part of the ecosystem and important for the
need to survive the winter.
When driving park roads please obey all
speed limits. They are designed to protect
survival of some animals. Please do not col- you and the wildlife. ence for
lect or remove anything from the park. Be aware that rattlesnakes are sometimes everyone.
Please do not feed the wildlife. When you found in dog towns and in rocky areas of the Animals
feed animals they become attracted to high- park. Bison also frequent dog towns. They in the park are
ways where they can be struck by passing can run 35 mph and may weigh a ton! Do not wild and unpre-
vehicles. They also may become dependent approach them or any wildlife. dictable. Respect them
on handouts and fail to store fat reserves they Do not leave traces of your visit. Litter is and give them plenty of space.
Deep, Dark, and Mysterious 4
reach of most individuals.
What causes these otherwise
normal people to crawl around in
the dank and dark bowels of the
earth? Is it beauty they seek or
the physical challenge? Certainly,
the lure of the unknown compels
many cavers. When further
pressed as to what motivated
him, Mallory responded, "What
we get from this adventure, is just flowers, popcorn, and other fea-
sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the tures are extremely delicate and
end of life." may never form again. The lead-
C rawling through tight pas-
sages and climbing high
chimneys, Alvin McDonald
they're called cavers. They are
people who enjoy climbing high
chimneys, slithering through
“What we get from this
ers of Wind Cave expeditions are
highly experienced cavers certi-
explored Wind Cave using only a tight passages, and learning about adventure, is just sheer fied by the National Park Service.
They have proven that they care
candle for light and string to caves as a hobby. There are per- joy.” George Mallory
about caves and are proficient in
mark his trail. McDonald was haps ten thousand such people in
the exploration of them.
one of the first explorers of Wind this country. Scientists who For the cavers who wish to "go Most cavers gain experience
Cave. As he explored, he record- study caves are speleologists, and where no person has ever gone through the National
ed his underground adventures their numbers are very few. before," Wind Cave does not dis- Speleological Society (NSS), an
in his diary. From this informa- Many cavers and speleologists appoint. Once a month, cavers organization dedicated to the
tion, we believe he discovered volunteer their time to assist the gather at the park to continue the study and conservation of caves.
about eight miles of subterranean exploration. Their activities are The Society has chapters in
passages. January 23, 1891, he coordinated by the park’s cave major cities and towns located in
wrote that he had given up the management staff. These cavers prime caving areas. If you think
idea of ever finding the end of receive a list of 'leads' - which that you might be interested in
Wind Cave. Today, we have sur- means a hole or passage that caving, the Society is a good
veyed more than 100 miles of needs to be 'pushed' or explored. place to start. You can find infor-
cave and McDonald's challenge If the lead 'goes,' the resulting mation about the NSS at
is still a hopeless endeavor. passage is mapped and invento- www.caves.org. Another option
“Have given up the idea would be to try one of the wild
cave tours offered at most
of finding the end of Wind National Park Service cave sites.
Cave.” Alvin McDonald, 1891 National Park Service in explor-
Caving is definitely not for
ing and studying Wind Cave.
everyone. It is an acquired taste.
The 'why' part of the question
Those who are even slightly
Exploring and mapping the is harder to answer. To quote
claustrophobic know to look
cave is an ongoing process. With Jules Verne, in Journey to the
elsewhere for amusement. Those
more than one hundred miles of Center of the Earth “There is
who don't like to get dirty need
passageways documented in this nothing more powerful that this
not apply; anyone who detests
multi-level labyrinth, indications attraction toward an abyss.”
physical exertion should steer
are that we have done little more Mountain climber George
clear. When considering cave
than scratch the surface, or sub- Mallory, when asked why he
exploration, keep in mind the
surface, that is. To determine wanted to climb Mount Everest, The park requires that cavers words of Herb Conn, a Jewel
how much cave we might eventu- replied, "Because it is there." map and inventory passages as Cave explorer:
ally find, cave specialists have This reasoning does not seem to they are explored. The explorers
compared the volume of air mov- be applicable to cave exploration. spend very long days pushing
ing through the openings of the and mapping. On a good day,
cave to the volume of the rooms “There is nothing more they may find a thousand feet of
and passages discovered thus far. powerful than this attrac- cave - on a not so good day, You have to be a little
These studies indicate that only a tion toward an abyss.” much less.
fraction of the cave has been Why does the park permit
found. exploration of the cave? We To seek adventure in a
Who are the people that ven- A mountain stands in the open must know where the cave pas- cave.
ture beyond the lighted walkways for all to see. The route to the sages are in order to insure pro-
and into the unrelenting dark- summit can be scrutinized. The tection. Some human activities
But if you find you like it,
ness of the cave, and why do they only evidence of a cave's exis- on the surface can alter the flow chum,
do such a thing? The first part of tence is a hole in the ground - the of water and damage cave You have to be a little
the question is easy to answer; cave's entrance. The entrance resources.
usually gives no indication as to It is also important that people
what the interior of the cave will visiting or exploring the cave
be like. The only way to find out cause no damage. Boxwork,
what's down there is to start frostwork, helictites, gypsum
Colorado caver Donald G.
Davis once observed that
"Caving is the only endeavor
where a person of modest means
can actually explore the
unknown." A person can start
caving with about a hundred dol-
lars' worth of equipment. The
kind of money required for the
exploration of our other fron-
tiers, the deepest oceans or vast
reaches of space, is beyond the
Wild at Wind Cave National Park 5
to less than 30 and we believe
there may be too few for a
healthy viable population. South
Dakota State University
researchers are exploring the rea-
sons for their decline. To help
find the answers, eight prong-
horn were fitted with radio col-
lars last winter so researchers can
Keeping them in enclosures was track and study them.
like serving them up as a meal.
Chambers summarized his LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
I magine heading west on a
wagon trail and crossing 900
miles of prairie. Feel the wind in
serve included some park land.
The reintroduction of the
wildlife began the following year
experience saying, "The propa-
gation of the (pronghorn) ante-
Over the years, each manager
did the best he or she could with
your face, smell the grasses, hear when fourteen bison were lope is difficult …the only way the information available. When
the haunting bugle of elk, and shipped to the park from the this can be accomplished is by A.P. Chambers started raising
behold the bison. New York Zoological Society. setting aside large tracts of land... pronghorn, nothing like it had
These views, smells, and nois- They will not thrive in confine- ever been done. The experience
es welcome visitors today as they ment."
PROTECTING PRONGHORN he gained helped future mangers.
drive through Wind Cave Other ideas about park man-
National Park. However, when In 1914, twenty-one elk arrived “Pronghorn... will not agement have also changed. Fire
Wind Cave was established as the from Yellowstone National Park survive in confinement.” was thought to be the park's
seventh national park in 1903, and fourteen pronghorn came worst enemy; predators were
there were no bison, elk, or from Alberta, Canada. The elk persecuted. As times change and
pronghorn roaming the plains; and bison thrived. The prong- In 1935, when the game pre- knowledge is gained, ideas
they had been hunted to near horn did not. A.P. Chambers, the serve became part of Wind Cave evolve. Today we use fire as a
extinction in the late 1800's. first warden of the game pre- National Park, the Civilian tool and coyotes, bobcats, and
What happened to change that? serve, fed the captive pronghorn Conservation Corps tore down even mountain lions have as
The return of the wildlife to ground corn and alfalfa. The the interior fences creating a important a role as bison, elk,
Wind Cave National Park mirrors food disagreed with them; that large range for all the animals. and pronghorn.
the many changes our country winter three died of indigestion Additional land was acquired in Who knows what bit of
has gone through. As our ideas and the rest were eating each the 1940's and by 1960, the park knowledge may cause ideas to
of what is important change, the other's hair! was more than 28,000 acres and change? There is always room
emphasis of our national parks 300 pronghorn lived here. for new ideas. Wind Cave
also changes. National Park has been managed
When Wind Cave was estab- CHANGING IDEAS for almost 100 years. Thriving
lished as a park, all the emphasis prairie plant and animal commu-
Beginning in the 1950's, the
was on the cave. Its under- nities are preserved and protect-
emphasis of the National Park
ground scenery rivaled that of ed. Bison and pronghorn roam
Service changed from simply
surface wonders like Mt. Rainier. freely. Parks are the special
protecting game animals and
At that time the reason for creat- places where ideas evolve, impor-
scenery to understanding the ani-
ing national parks wasn’t to pro- tant concepts are developed, and
mals and the ecosystems sup-
tect ecosystems. The 11,000 acres we can all enjoy the results.
porting them. Learning about
of prairie above the cave was the
Chambers also had trouble their habits and habitat is impor-
domain of ranchers and farmers.
from predators. In 1918, two coy- tant in protecting any animal.
otes became such nuisances that The pronghorn survive best
CREATING A GAME a federal trapper was brought in. when they have lots of space.
PRESERVE It took him 5 weeks to catch the They prefer to eat broad-
coyotes. In the meantime, they leafed plants called forbs.
killed 13 more pronghorn! Park managers began to look
During the winter of 1922, bob- at the importance of main-
cats or coyotes killed twenty taining native prairie plants
more. By 1924, the herd was needed to support the ani-
down to six does. mals.
You can imagine the anti- Today the pronghorn is
of the bison
predator sentiment at this time. again a species of concern.
So much effort was put into these Their numbers have dropped
Why were animals only for them to become
these majes- dinner for predators. Between BRINGING THE BISON TO WIND CAVE
tic animals being killed and what 1912 and 1921, trappers killed 598
were we willing to do about it?
The newly created American
predators. They did not discrim-
inate. Not only were bobcats and
coyotes destroyed, but porcu-
F red Dille, of the U.S.
Biological Survey, was in
charge of getting the bison from
There was only one problem. The
bison had no idea how to back out
of a crate! This frustrating experi-
Bison Society wanted to reestab-
lish herds of bison throughout pines, raccoons, skunks, magpies, the New York city Zoo to their ence is summarized in the words
the country. Wind Cave National and even black-footed ferrets new home at Wind Cave. They of Dille, "To suggest to a buffalo
Park was a perfect place for that. were targeted. put the bison in special crates and that he must back out of the crate
Within the park's mixture of Eventually, Chambers realized loaded them onto an express train. by poking him in the head, will
wide-open prairie and small- that the problem was not totally The 2000-mile journey took 2 work with an elk but not a bison.
forested areas, a variety of habi- the fault of predators. Pronghorn 1/2 days. When the train reached Your actions are but a challenge to
tats exist. In 1912, Congress are the fastest North American Hot Springs, every available truck him and he does not propose to
established the 4,000-acre Wind land mammal and they need and cart was pressed into service give ground." The final operation
Cave Game Preserve. This pre- space to escape predators. to get the animals the remaining was more like removing the crates
eleven miles to the preserve. This from the animals than the animals
journey alone took ten hours! from the crate. At last, however,
"To suggest to a buffalo that he must back out of the By the time the bison reached the bison were released and they
crate by poking him in the head... a challenge to him the preserve, quite a crowd had wandered off into the sunset to
and he does not propose to give ground.” Fred Dille, 1913 gathered to see them released. begin their new life on the prairie.
Ranger Programs 6
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES WALKS AND TALKS
This year, students will be DISCOVERY ACTIVITY
W ind Cave offers a variety of
wonderful opportunities to
learn about the natural resources
able to photograph their activities
in the park. These photos will be
Daily, during the summer,
ranger talks or demonstrations
of the park. Ranger guided hikes, transfered to a CD that the chil- take place at the visitor center.
cave tours, or campfire pro- dren can take home. This way These programs explain some
grams provide interesting infor- the students can share their facet of the park. Topics may advised. Check at the visitor
mation about many different experiences with their families. include local wildlife, plants, center for details.
aspects of the park. Exploring This program was made possible geology, area history, and cave
in part by a grant from the surveying. Check at the visitor CAMPFIRE PROGRAM
the visitor center, participating in
National Park Foundation center for meeting place and Become better acquainted
the Junior Ranger Program, or
through the generous support of topic. with Wind Cave National Park.
hiking park trails are also great
Kodak, a Proud Partner of Evening campfire talks are pre-
ways to discover what is special
PRAIRIE HIKE sented nightly during the sum-
about this national park. America’s National Parks.
Explore the park's habitats mer at the Elk Mountain
Teachers wanting an opportu- The park also has a teaching
with a ranger. This 2-hour activi- Campground amphitheater.
nity for their students can partici- trunk and a website titled Water
ty begins at the visitor center. Topics may include wildlife,
pat in the park’s Connections pro- in the Environment. The envi-
The group will then drive to a plants, geology, park manage-
gram. This Parks as Classroom ronmental education programs
nearby trailhead. Hiking boots ment, and history. The programs
program allows students to and the trunk are free. For more
or sturdy shoes and water are last about 45 minutes.
explore the park with a ranger. information call the park at 605-
The program is offered in May. 745-4600.
T he Junior Ranger Program
is an exciting opportunity
for children and their families to
learn about the park. Becoming a
Junior Ranger helps youngsters
understand the park's ecosys-
tems, the cave, and the animals.
It also helps them learn how they
can help protect all parts of our
environment. Junior Ranger
booklets are available for $1.00 at
the bookstore. There are activi-
ties for children up to age 12. be taking photographs of the
This year through a special accomplishments of our Junior
LEARNING ABOUT THE CAVE grant made possible in part by Rangers. These youngsters will
the National Park Foundation then be able to share their pic-
CAVE TOUR INFORMATION NATURAL and the generous support of tures and their adventures with
All tours are ranger guided ENTRANCE TOUR Kodak, a Proud Partner of their families and friends.
and leave from the visitor center. This tour America’s National Parks, we will
Tickets are sold on a first-come, includes a visit
first-served basis at the park visi- to the natural
tor center. Tickets must be pur- entrance of SPECIALTY TOURS
chased at least five minutes Wind Cave
before tour times. The cave tem- CANDLELIGHT TOUR the tour.
where visitors can see where the
perature is 53°F (11°C) year Experience the cave by can- Clothing worn
cave was discovered and learn
round. A jacket or sweater and dlelight. This tour takes place in on the Jewel
how it got its name. Participants
good walking shoes are recom- a less developed, unlighted part Cave Wild Cave
enter the cave through a man-
mended. of the cave. Each participant will Tour are not per-
made entrance and journey
carry a candle bucket. Shoes mitted in Wind
through the middle level of the
GARDEN OF EDEN TOUR with non-slip soles are required. Cave. This tour
cave. Wind Cave's famous box-
This 1-hour tour is our least No sandals! This tour is limited is limited to 10 people and the
work is abundant throughout this
strenuous tour. It is a wonderful to 10 people and the minimum minimum age is 16. We require a
trip. Most of the 300 stairs along
sample of Wind Cave. Small age is 8. This more strenuous signed consent form for partici-
this route are down. This moder-
amounts of all of the beautiful tour covers 1 mile of rugged trail pants 17 years and under.
ately strenuous tour lasts 1¼-hour
cave formations - boxwork, pop- and lasts 2 hours. Reservations Reservations are required for this
and exits the cave by elevator.
corn, and flowstone - are seen are strongly recommended. We tour. We begin taking reserva-
along the ¼-mile trail. The tour is begin taking reservations one tions one month before the tour.
designed for people with limited FAIRGROUNDS TOUR month before the tour. Please Please call the park (605) 745-
time or abilities. It enters and This 1½-hour tour explores call the park (605) 745-4600 for 4600 for more information.
exits the cave by elevator and has both the upper and middle levels more information.
150 stairs. TOURS FOR VISITORS WITH
of Wind Cave. Boxwork is abun-
WILD CAVE TOUR SPECIAL NEEDS
dant along the trail in the middle
Explore the cave away from The visitor center and the cave
level of the cave. In the upper
the developed trails. On this 4- are accessible to people with lim-
level of the cave, the trail winds
hour tour visitors will be intro- ited mobility. Please call ahead to
through the larger rooms where
duced to basic, safe caving. Wear make special arrangements or ask
nice samples of popcorn and
old clothes and gloves, as much at the information desk for a spe-
frostwork can be seen. This is
of the trip will include crawling. cial tour. Limited areas of the
our most strenuous walking tour.
Long pants, long sleeved shirts, cave are accessible to wheel-
The tour enters and exits the
and sturdy, lace up boots or chairs. There are fees charged for
cave by elevator and there are 450
shoes with non-slip soles are these services. Please call the
stairs along the route with one
required. The park provides park (605) 745-4600 for more
flight of 90 steps up.
hard hats, lights, and kneepads. information. The park has a TTY
Please do not bring jewelry, for the hearing impaired.
watches, or other valuables on
Program and Tour Information 7
CAVE SAFETY INFORMATION PROGRAM SCHEDULES
A ll tours are ranger-guided
and leave from the visitor
center. Tickets are sold on a
January 2002 - April 6, 2002
Visitor Center Open daily 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Garden of Eden Tour 10:00, 1:00, and 3:00
first-come, first-served basis,
except for the Candlelight and
April 7 - May 4, 2002
Wild Cave Tours. During peak
Visitor Center Open daily 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
summer visitation, long waits for
Garden of Eden Tour 9:30, 11:30, 1:30, and 3:30
tours may be encountered. To
avoid waits, the best time to visit
May 5 - 24, 2002
the cave is during the early hours
Visitor Center 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
of the day. During the summer,
Natural Entrance Tour 9:00, 10:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30, and 4:30
weekends are good times to visit;
Tuesdays and Wednesdays are
May 25 - 27, 2002, Memorial Day Weekend
the busiest days. Reservations
Visitor Center 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
for organized groups are avail-
Garden of Eden Tour 11:00, 1:00, 3:00, and 5:00
able. For more information drinking, chewing tobacco or
Natural Entrance Tour 8:40, 9:20, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30,
please call (605) 745-4600. gum while in the cave. Please do
A light jacket or sweater is rec- not step off the trail.
Fairgrounds Tour 10:00, 12:00, 2:00, and 4:00
ommended for all cave tours, as Photography is permitted, but
Campfire Program 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Wind Cave is 53°F (11°C) please no tripods. Pets are not
throughout the year. Wear low- allowed in the cave. There are no
May 28 - June 1, 2002
heeled shoes with non-slip soles. restrooms in the cave.
Visitor Center 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Cave trails are dimly lighted and Cave tours are moderately
Garden of Eden Tour 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30
trail surfaces may be uneven, wet, strenuous. Persons with claus-
Natural Entrance Tour 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00,
and slippery. Do not wear san- trophobia, heart or respiratory
dals. Ceilings along the tour conditions, or other physical lim-
route are low, requiring some itations should reconsider. A
June 2 - August 17, 2002
bending. tour is available, by request, for
Visitor Center 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
For the protection of the cave, visitors with special needs.
Garden of Eden Tour 10:40, 12:40, 2:40, 4:40, and 5:30
please do not touch or remove Please call 605-745-4600 or ask at
Natural Entrance Tour 8:40, 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00,
rocks or formations. No eating, the information desk.
4:00, 5:00, and 6:00.
Fairgrounds Tour 9:30, 10:20, 11:40, 12:20, 1:40, 2:20, 3:40, and 4:20
RESERVATIONS Candlelight Tour 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Wild Cave Tour 1:00 p.m.
M ost cave tours are first-
come, first-served, how-
ever reservations are either
Wild Cave Tours. Reservations
may be made by calling the park
at 605-745-4600. We begin tak-
Ranger led Hike 9:00 a.m.
Campfire Program 9:00 p.m.
strongly recommended or ing reservations one month August 18 - September 2, 2002
required for the Candlelight and before the tour. Visitor Center 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Garden of Eden Tour 10:30, 1:40, 3:40, and 4:30
Natural Entrance Tour 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00,
Fairgrounds Tour 9:30, 11:20, 12:20, 1:20, and 3:20
Candlelight Tour 1:30 p.m.
Wild Cave Tour 1:00 p.m. Weekends Only Aug. 18, 24, 25, 31 and
Campfire Program 8:00 p.m.
September 3 - September 21, 2002
Visitor Center 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Natural Entrance Tour 9:00, 10:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30, and 4:30
Evening Program 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday begin-
ning September 5.
September 22 - October 5, 2002
Visitor Center 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Garden of Eden Tour 9:30, 11:30, 1:30, and 3:30
October 6 - Spring 2003
Visitor Center 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. except: Thanksgiving
Garden of Eden Tour 10:00, 1:00, and 3:00
Tickets must be purchased at least 5 minutes before tour time.
Tour schedules are subject to change.
Garden Natural Fairgrounds Candlelight Wild Cave
of Eden Entrance
Age 17-61 $6.00 $8.00 $8.00 $9.00 ****$20.00
Golden Age** $3.00 $4.00 $4.00 $4.50 $10.00
Age 6-16 $3.00 $4.00 $4.00 ***$4.50 Not Permitted
Under 6 Free Free Free Not Permitted Not Permitted IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY:
* Holders of a Golden Access Card receive a 50% discount on tours. Contact any park ranger or call the visitor
** Person must possess a Golden Age Passport to receive the discount.
*** Minimum age for Candlelight Tour is 8.
center at 745-4600. After hours call 911.
****Minimum age for the Wild Cave Tour is 16. The fee is $20.00.
The Park Bookstore
T he Black Hills Parks &
Forests Association sells
books, maps, and other park
books and materials about these
park and forest areas.
Cooperating associations are
educational, interpretive, and
research activities of these agen-
caiton web site, www.black-
Membership in the Black Hills
related publications in visitor cen- non-profit, tax exempt organiza- Some of the books that can be Parks and Forests Assocation sup-
ters at Wind Cave National Park, tions authorized by congress to purchased in the Wind Cave ports the organization and enti-
Jewel Cave National Monument, aid and promote “educational National Park bookstore are tles members to a 15% discount
Custer State Park, and the Black and scientific” activities within shown below. There are many on all purchases. The member-
Hills National Forest. The associ- national parks. As such, all profits more titles available at the store, ship is $15.00 per year. For more
aton also publishes interpretive from association sales support the by mail order, or from the asso- information call 605-745-7020.
Wind Cave: An Ancient World Jewel Cave: A Gift From the Past -
Beneath the Hills - In this wonderful, Jewel Cave’s geological history is traced
easy to read book, Art Palmer explains by Art Palmer in this book about Jewel
the geology of Wind Cave and how it is Cave National Monument. As in the
related to the Black Hills. The charts Wind Cave book, Palmer uses charts and
and graphs help make the topic easily graphs to make the topic easily under-
understood to people unfamiliar with stood to people unfamiliar with geologi-
geology. The pictures alone of the cal terms and ideas. The color photos
unusual Wind Cave boxwork, make this illustrate Jewel Cave well and make this
book well worth the investment. $6.95 an ideal gift or souvenir. $6.95
Wind Cave, The Story Behind the Jewel Cave, The Story Behind the
Scenery - If you are interested in learning Scenery - This book by Karen Rosga is also
more about the ecosystems, wildlife, and part of the Story Behind the Scenery series.
history of Wind Cave National Park, this It is well illustrated and describes the natu-
book by Ron Terry is an excellent choice. It ral, geological, and human history of Jewel
contains outstanding photographs and Cave National Monument. The book con-
information about the cave and its unusual tains remarkable photographs of the cave,
boxwork formation. This book goes its unusual features, and the surrounding
beyond the cave, including photos and landscape. The relationships of the cave,
insights about the park’s incredible prairie. the landscape, and the plants and animals
This book is part of a series that explore are skillfully presented in this interesting
the natural, geological, and cultural history story of Jewel Cave National Monument.
of the national parks. $7.95 $7.95
Trails Illustrated Map, Black Hills Southeast - If Hiking South Dakota’s Black Hills Country -
you are interested in hiking in Wind Cave National This hiking book by Bert and Jane Gildard helps
Park or Custer State Park, this is the trail map to have. visitors explore the hiking trails of the Black
This tear-proof, waterproof map details the hiking Hills. The book includes nearly all the trails in
trails, campsites, roads, elevations, and many other the area from Wind Cave, north to Devils
standard features of a topographic map. Wind Cave Tower, and east to the Badlands. Detailed
National Park is illustrated on one side and Custer descriptions and maps help hikers get to the
State Park and the Black Elk Wilderness are on the trailheads and describe what to expect on the
other side. The map is part of a series of National trails. The guide also includes tips on safety, ele-
Geographic Trails Illustrated Maps. $9.95 vation charts, and tips about hiking with chil-
Name Mail to: Black Hills Parks & Forests Association
Address RR 1 Box 190
Phone Hot Springs, SD 57747
Quantity Title Price I have enclosed my check payable to:
Black Hills Parks & Forests Assn.
I would like to charge the order to my:
___Visa ___ Discover ___ Mastercard
SD orders add 5%
Postage and Handling Charges (Valid in U.S. only)
Membership Up to $3.00 $2.50
$3.01 to $10.00 $3.00
Total $10.01 to $25.00 $4.00
$25.01 to $50.00 $5.00
$50.01 to $75.00 $5.75
Over $75.00 $7.25
Mail tube (cave maps) $3.50