Wind Cave National Park Operating Hours & Seasons

Wind Cave Visitors Center

Wind Cave Visitors Center (Photo credit: Jvstin)

Wind Cave National Park is always open, every single day of the year, which means that visitors are always welcome at the park.

Wind Cave National Park Visitor Center is open all year too except for the holidays, so it’s open every day but closed for Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Years Day – Park Rangers have families too you know!

Visitor Center Opening Hours

  • Mid October 2012 – Late April 2013 – The visitor center will be open from 8 am until 4.30 pm (except for those days I’ve already mentioned).
  • Late April through to Early June 2013 – Open 8 am – 6 pm
  • Main Summer (Early June to late August) – 8 am – 7 pm
  • Late August to late September – 8 am – 6 pm
  • Late September – mid October – 8 am until 5 pm

Cave Tours at Wind Cave National Park

All cave tours at Wind Cave National Park leave from the visitor center, all are ranger guided – they don’t want anybody wandering around and getting lost down there – they could be there for years! Talk about the worlds greatest “hide ‘n’ seek” champion . . .

There are three different cave tours to choose from at Wind Cave National Park.

Garden of Eden Cave Tour – this is the easiest of the cave tours, it takes around an hour to complete the 1/4 mile trail. This is ideal for anyone who is short on time or have limited abilities.  An elevator takes visitors in and out of the tour although there are 150 steps throughout the route.

Natural Entrance Cave Tour – this moderately strenuous tour takes around and hour and a quarter with a total of 300 steps to navigate along the route. This is the best tour to see boxwork which Wind Cave National Park is so famous for.

Fairgrounds Cave Tour – definitely the most strenuous of the three cave tours on offer, this tour explores the upper and the middle levels of the famous Wind Cave.  There are a total of 450 steps on this hour and a half tour including 89 steps to climb – going up. Of course, the steps do go both ways but the visitors don’t!


You don’t need to reserve tickets, they’re first come, first served and they are pretty popular,especially during the summer when you might have to wait a while so it’s always best to get there nice and early. Anyway, there are tours throughout the year leaving at the following times – except that these times might change but it’s enough to give you a clue! Anyway, there are lots of opportunities to take part in the different cave tours at Wind Cave National Park;

  • Mid October 2012 through to mid April 2013 – The Garden of Eden Cave Tour leaves from the visitor center at 10 am, 1 pm and  3pm every day (except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Years Day of course).
  • Mid April through to Late in April – The Garden of Eden Cave Tour leaves from the visitor center at 9,30 am, 11.30 am, 1.30 pm and 3.30 pm.
  • Late April through to Late May – the Natural Entrance Cave Tour leaves from the visitor center at 9 am, 10.30 am, 11.30 am, 1.30 pm, 2.30 pm and 4.30 pm
  • Memorial Day Weekend – the Natural Entrance Cave Tour leaves from the visitor center at 8.40 am, 9.20 am, 10.30 am, 11.30 am, 1.30 pm, 2.30 pm, 4.30 pm and 5 pm. The Garden of Eden Cave Tour leaves from the visitor center at 10 am, 12 noon and 2 pm. The Fairgrounds Cave Tour leaves from the visitor center at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm.
  • Late May through to early in June 2013 – the Natural Entrance Cave Tour leaves from the visitor center at 9 am, 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm and 4 pm. The Garden of Eden Cave Tour leaves from the visitor center at 1.30 pm and 3.30 pm.
  • Main Cave Tours Summer Schedule for 2013 – the Natural Entrance Cave Tour leaves from the visitor center at 8.40 am, 9.20 am, 10 am, 11 am, 12 noon, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm, 5 pm and 6 pm. The Garden of Eden Cave Tour leaves from the visitor center at 10.40 am, 12.40 am and 2.40 am. The Fairgrounds Cave Tour leaves from the visitor center at 9.40 am, 10.20 am, 11.40 am, 12.40 om, 1.40 pm, 2.20 pm, 3.40 pm and 4.20 pm.
  • Late August through to Labor Day 2013 – the Natural Entrance Cave Tour leaves from the visitor center at 9 am, 10 am, 11 am, 12 noon, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm and 5 pm. The Garden of Eden Cave Tour leaves from the visitor center at 10.30 am, 1.40 pm and 3.40 pm. The Fairgrounds Cave Tour leaves from the visitor center at 9.30 am, 11.20 am, 1.20 pm and 3.20 pm.
  • Post Labor Day until late in September 2013 – the Natural Entrance Cave Tour leaves from the visitor center at 9 am, 10.30 am, 11.30 am, 1.30 pm, 2.30 pm and 4.30 pm.
  • Late in September until mid October 2013  – the Natural Entrance Cave Tour leaves from the visitor center at 9.30 am, 11.30 am, 1.30 pm and 3.30 pm.

Specialty Tours at Wind Cave National Park

During the summer season there are also a couple of specialty tours at Wind Cave National Park. These include the Candlelight Tours which leave from the visitor center at 10.30 am and 1.30 pm, and the Wild Cave Tours which leave at 1 pm during the summer season.

 

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