Wind Cave National Park’s Caves To Be Closed This Summer

Rangers at Wind Cave will be offering virtual tours of the cave this summer while the cave is closed for elevator modernization/NPS

Underground access at Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota will be blocked beginning May 1 while the cave’s elevator system is replaced and modernized.

The elevator system provides access to the cave for approximately 130,000 visitors annually. Many repairs to the elevators have taken place over the years and the existing system includes parts dating back to the 1930s. This is the first time a complete rebuild has happened and the work is expected to continue into the fall, according to park staff.

“We’re excited to finally be able to completely rebuild the old elevators, including replacement of the cabs, motors, cables, and electrical equipment,” said Wind Cave Superintendent Leigh Welling. “We appreciate everyone’s patience while we improve access to the cave and remind you that there are still many things to do at the park. In addition to ranger led talks and hikes, we have new exhibits being installed in the visitor center this spring that include several interactive stations, a walk-through cave, and a prairie diorama. These exhibits are truly beautiful and tell a more current and accurate story of this land.”

Rangers will also be offering virtual tours of the cave in the visitor center auditorium. The program uses LIDAR technology to give a tour of the Natural Entrance Tour route.

Surface activities include talks about nature, culture, and history at the Natural Entrance and at the visitor center and hikes across the prairie.

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