|Exploring Club Room of Wind Cave (NPS)|
The surface is 28,000 acres of a complex mix of prairie grasses and ponderosa pine forest ecosystems with an array of wildlife. (More on this later.)
Secreted beneath this unique intact prairie is one of the world’s longest caves, say rangers at the park. Named for barometric winds--a loud whistling noise, emitting from a small hole in the ground at the cave's only natural opening--this complex labyrinth of passages contains unique calcite formations – boxwork.
|Wind Cave NP Visitor Center. (Julianne G. Crane)|
Tour Fees are reasonable, (depending on tour) $5-$6 for seniors and $10-12 for 17-61. Holders of the Senior (Golden Age)/Access Passes are eligible for half price tickets for cave tours and camping fees for the cardholder only.
|Bison herd freely roam Wind Cave National Park. (NPS)|
Above the 6th largest cave system in the world, the vast majority of the Wind Cave National Park is open grassland, and living in that ecosystem is a large variety of mammals.
The breathtaking Wind Cave bison herd is one of only four free-roaming and genetically pure herds on public lands in North America. The other three herds are the Yellowstone Park bison herd, the Henry Mountains bison herd in Utah and on Elk Island in Alberta, Canada.
|Blacktail Prairie Dog (Julianne G. Crane)|
There are 30 miles of hiking trails where visitors can view the native plants and wildlife of the prairie ecosystem.
To find the Wind Cave National Park Visitor Center take US Hwy 385 about 20 miles south of Custer, SD; and 11 miles north of Hot Springs, SD.
Click here to start planning your trip.
Click on photos to enlarge.
For more articles on the RV lifestyle by Julianne G. Crane, go to RVWheelLife.com.