Friends Of Wind Cave NP

Event Title1717027200 30th May 2024

Upcoming Events

WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, SD – Wind Cave National Park will be hosting a variety of activities during National Park Week beginning Saturday, April 16, and running through Sunday, April 24.

Rangers will be offering free tours on Saturday, April 16, with the first tour beginning at 9:30 a.m. and the last tour entering at 3:30 p.m. The Fairgrounds Tour will be offered at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. This 90 minute tour sees two different levels of the cave and has 450 steps. The hour-long Garden of Eden Tour will be at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and has 150 steps. All tours start from the visitor center.
Reservations for these free tours can be made up to 3 days prior to the tour by visiting

There will also be tickets available Saturday on a first come, first serve basis. Visitors can see boxwork, a rare calcite formation, along both tours. There will be two bluebird box building workshops on Saturday, April 16, beginning at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. at the park visitor center. Due to limited supplies, reservations are required for these programs and participants are asked to bring their own hammer. Groups or families are
encouraged to attend; supplies are limited to 1 box per family. Call 605-745-7020, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to make a reservation. The program is free of charge and sponsored by the Black Hills Parks and Forests Association.

On Tuesday, April 19, at 2 p.m. MDT there will be a program on the park’s Facebook page given by Dr. Josh Sebree, an Associate Professor with the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Northern Iowa. With a grant from NASA, he is studying the cave’s unique
low energy environment, which resembles environments found on other planets. His research will help NASA scientist better understand extraterrestrial life.

Throughout the week there will be a variety of social media posts on the park’s Facebook and Instagram platforms highlighting various aspects of the park. Kids and adults alike can also stop by and complete the park’s Junior Ranger booklet and earn a Wind Cave Junior Ranger badge.

Wind Cave National Park –  26611 U.S. Highway 385  –  Hot Springs, SD 57747  –   605-745-4600 phone   National Park Service   U.S. Department of the Interior

University of Northern Iowa students are researching Wind Cave’s environment as part of a NASA grant studying extraterrestrial life. (UNI Photo)

Members Event

Road Work and Dedication Ceremony

Although we don’t have a firm date yet, we are planning a dedication ceremony to thank the partners and Friends who have worked and donated to the road project.  

Units of the National Guard worked on a mile section of the Sanson Ranch Road (266 Street) to improve it from a two-track into a road meeting Custer County and DENR specifications.  Members of the 220th Engineer Company out of Festus, Missouri spent six days installing culverts, improving drainage along the ditches, and raising the height of the roadbed in several locations. The Friends of Wind Cave National Park played a critical role by providing the materials (gravel, riprap, and culverts) that the Guard used to improve the road. Work on the road continued through the rest of the summer by the 842nd Engineering Company out of Sturgis.  There was still some erosion control and culvert work required to completely finish this road, and this has been completed by the Friends group and volunteers. 
   The WCNP is planning to build the remainder of the road, a parking lot, and bathrooms in coming projects.  We have this dedication ceremony at the Sanson Ranch, which now is accessible via the road that the Friends of Wind Cave paid for  through donations.  The road couldn’t have been competed without the generous help we received.  Thank you all again for your support, and additional information will be coming with the final date and details of the celebration.