Wind Cave National Park

Black Hills

This park, protecting 44 sq miles of grassland and forest, sits just south of Custer State Park. The central draw is, of course, the cave, which contains 148 miles of mapped passages. The strong wind gusts, which are felt at the entrance, but not inside, give the cave its name. The visitor center has details on the variety of tours that are offered, from one-hour candlelit walks to four-hour crawls.

The cave's foremost feature is its 'boxwork' calcite formations (95% of all that are known exist here), which look like honeycomb and date back 60 to 100 million years. Hiking is a popular activity in the park, where you'll find the southern end of the 111-mile Centennial Trail to Sturgis. The campground usually has space ($18 per site); backcountry camping (free with permit) is allowed in limited areas.

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