Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota hiking trails


Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota hiking trails

Most people coming to Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota are looking to explore what’s below the ground. That’s perfectly okay and an incredible amount of fun. But visitors who do not take a little time to explore the above ground are doing themselves a huge disservice.  Wind Cave National Park has more than 30 miles of hiking trails that weave through mixed-grass prairie and ponderosa pine forests. Hikers can expect to see bison, elk, prairie dogs and if you’re lucky perhaps an elusive and endangered black-footed ferret. Below are some easier and tougher day hikes in Wind Cave. Click the link for a full trail guide including flora and fauna hikers may find along the way.

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Easy day hikes in Wind Cave National Park.
Longer day hikes in Wind Cave National Park.

Easy day hikes in Wind Cave National Park.

These hiking trails in Wind Cave National Park are on the more accessible side and great for visitors of all ages. 

Rankin Ridge Nature Trail

1 (miles)

 Easy

Loop

Minimal (Elev. Δ - ft)

South Dakota

Rankin Ridge Nature Trail is an easy kid friendly hike in Wind Cave National Park that is perfect for the whole family to get out of the car and stretch their legs.

Wind Cave NP Prairie Vista Trail

1 (miles)

 Easy

Loop

Minimal (Elev. Δ - ft)

South Dakota

Prairie Vista Trail is an easy kid friendly hike in Wind Cave National Park that is great for folks of all ages.

Wind Cave Tour

Options (miles)

 Easy

Loop

Minimal (Elev. Δ - ft)

South Dakota

Wind Cave National Park cave tour is a great way for the whole family to see why it became a national park more than 100 years ago.

Elk Mountain Nature Trail

1.2 (miles)

 Easy

Loop

Minimal (Elev. Δ - ft)

South Dakota

Elk Mountain Nature Trail is an easy kid friendly hike in Wind Cave National Park that gives visitors some perspective to everything the park has to offer.

Cold Brook Canyon Trail

2.8 (miles)

 Easy

Out & Back

Minimal (Elev. Δ - ft)

South Dakota

Cold Brook Canyon Trail is a kid friendly easy hike in Wind Cave National Park that winds through wonderful scenery.

Wind Cave NP Lookout Point Trail

2.8 (miles)

 Easy

Loop

~400 (+) (Elev. Δ - ft)

South Dakota

Lookout Point Trail is an easy kid friendly hike in Wind Cave National Park that offers hikers wonderful scenery.

Longer day hikes in Wind Cave National Park.

These hiking trails in Wind Cave National Park are a bit more difficult and may not be great for younger or elderly visitors. 

Wind Cave Canyon Trail

3.6 (miles)

 Moderate

Out & Back

Minimal (Elev. Δ - ft)

South Dakota

Wind Cave Canyon Trail is a moderate kid friendly hike in Wind Cave National Park that offers wonderful scenery and fantastic bird watching opportunities.

Boland Ridge Trail

5.4 (miles)

 Moderate

Out & Back

~750 (+) (Elev. Δ - ft)

South Dakota

Boland Ridge Trail is a moderate kid friendly hike in Wind Cave National Park that is great for hikers longing to see prairie wildlife.

East Bison Flats Trail

6.8 (miles)

 Moderate

Out & Back

~400 (+) (Elev. Δ - ft)

South Dakota

East Bison Flats Trail is a moderate kid friendly hike in Wind Cave National Park that features wonderful views of the park.

Wind Cave NP Sanctuary Trail

7.2 (miles)

 Moderate

Out & Back

~650 (+) (Elev. Δ - ft)

South Dakota

Sanctuary Trail is a moderate kid friendly hike in Wind Cave National Park that is great for wildlife watching.

Wind Cave NP Highland Creek Trail

8.6 (miles)

 Difficult

Out & Back

~1000 (+) (Elev. Δ - ft)

South Dakota

Highland Creek Trail is a difficult hike in Wind Cave National Park that features a wide variety of habitats within the park and is great for wildlife viewing.

Centennial Trail: Wind Cave N.P. Section

12 (miles)

 Difficult

Out & Back

~1000 (+) (Elev. Δ - ft)

South Dakota

Centennial Trail section in Wind Cave National Park is a difficult hike that features rolling prairie hills and outstanding scenery.