Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wind Cave National Park - Hot Springs, South Dakota

Friday, August 1,  2014

This National Park was on my bucket list for quite awhile.

Wind Cave National Park is a United States national park 10 miles (16 km) north of the town of Hot Springs in western South Dakota. Established in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, it was the seventh U.S. National Park and the first cave to be designated a national park anywhere in the world. The cave is notable for its displays of the calcite formation known as boxwork. Approximately 95 percent of the world's discovered boxwork formations are found in Wind Cave. Wind Cave is also known for its frostwork. The cave is also considered a three-dimensional maze cave, recognized as the densest (most passage volume per mi3) cave system in the world. The cave passed Hölloch cave in Switzerland on February 11, 2006 to become fourth-longest in the world with 119.58 miles (192.45 km) of explored cave passageways. The cave's current length is 131.04 miles (210.89 km), with an average of four new miles of cave being discovered each year. Above ground, the park includes the largest remaining natural mixed-grass prairie in the United States.     Taken from Chimani National Parks App.
We passed through this park on our way to Custer, SD where we will be staying for a week in Broken Arrow campground.  The prairie landscape is beautiful along with the Black Hills.  We planned to take the cave tour but decided against it because we have been through four caves previously and no cave could compare to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico.  Also, the 700 steps sounded too strenuous.  However, the scenery in the park was well worth the trip.

This is one of my favorite photos.

Imagine our surprise when we came across these buffalo on US 385 which passes through the park.  No entrance fee is charged.  

1 comment:

  1. I love wide open prairie - probably because that is where I grew up. Wind Cave is beautiful but after four caves I wouldn't want to do another one either.