The next stop on National Park Trip Season 2 is Wind Cave. Wind Cave is one of the oldest national parks in the U.S. it was the 8th National Park and the 1st National Park to protect a cave. With 143 miles of caves explored and found here, you can’t go wrong. We spent about 5 hours at Wind Cave. When we arrived we signed up for The Natural Entrance Cave Tour. Gunnar’s 4th grade pass got all of us in for free (except Grandma but she had her senior pass with her). Good thing we brought him 😉 We only had to wait about 20 minutes until our tour started. Gave us plenty of time to take our packs back to the car because they aren’t allowed in the cave, and visit the bookstore. Bookstore/gift shop is small but excellent, we bought our Passport stickers and got our cancellations.
The Natural Entrance tour was perfect for us. It lasted about 1.5 hours and our Ranger was very patient and funny. She let Gunnar lead us down into the cave and took turns assigning kids as mini-ranger guides. We picked up an extra kid along the way, apparently he grew tired of his own family and attached himself to us. Him and Grandma hit it off!!
We saw lots of cave formations: Boxwork, dripstone and popcorn were the most abundant on this tour. Wind cave has more boxwork than all other caves combined, it holds the record with having 95% of all known boxwork in the world found here. In South Dakota, can you believe that?? Who knew South Dakota held a record. LOL.
We enjoyed our tour, went to the picnic area and enjoyed a picnic lunch. I suggest bringing food, Wind Cave is in the middle of nowhere, no food close by that we saw. We worked on our Junior Rangers while we ate and then headed back to the Visitor Center for our badges.
This Ranger was rough! He wasn’t going to give out these badges to just anyone. He grilled these kids like it was the MCATs. He even asked Gunnar if he opened the book when Gunnar couldn’t tell him how limestone was made. 😂😂😂 After much lecturing he finally let them pass and we were off to Jewel Cave.🤓🤓
We really tried not to have a good time here but in the end, we caved.
I hope you enjoyed Wind Cave National Park with us. Check back for our next stop!