Wind Cave National Park is one of the real sleepers of the national parks system, but not for the reason you might think. Wind Cave itself is a nice cave to visit and you should certainly visit the cave while you're here. But there are many caves in the United States that are more interesting and spectacular than Wind Cave. What really sets Wind Cave National Park apart is the beauty of its setting in the Black Hills. When I think of what the Black Hills must have been like before the white men came, I think of the landscape around the park. There are sweeping waves of green prairie with herds of grazing bison, prairie dog towns everywhere, interspersed with evergreens and granite. It is a lovely place and there are very few like it left. The area around the visitor center seems to get plenty of visitors who stop to see the cave, but few people stay in the campground and take hikes around this beautiful park.
Bison grazing in the luxuriant grass are a reminder of what this part of the country must have been like before white settlement
Prairie dog towns abound in the park.
Wind cave is best known for the delicate formations called "boxwork" rather than the stalactites and stalagmites normally associated with limestone caves.
Visit the official site.
Favorite hikes: Anywhere.
Favorite place to stay: Elk Mountain campground.
Favorite place to sit for hours: Overlooking one of the many prairie dog towns.
While in the area visit: Badlands National Park, Custer State Park.
Read: Black Hills, White Justice, by E. Lazarus.
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