Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota

Swaying prairie grasses, forested hillsides, and an array of wildlife such as bison, elk, and prairie dogs welcome visitors to one of our country s oldest national parks and one of its few remaining intact prairies. Secreted beneath is one of the world s longest caves, Wind Cave. Named for barometric winds at its entrance, this complex labyrinth of passages contains a unique formation boxwork.

Wind Cave National Park Info


Wind Cave National Park

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News

Wind Cave National Park Accessible to Public during Government Shutdown

During the shutdown of the federal government due to the lapse of appropriations, national parks will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures.

Adventures in Nature Program Begins January 15 at Wind Cave

Wind Cave National Park staff invite you and your children to explore the natural world by taking part in the Adventures in Nature programs. These free, interactive programs are offered at the park visitor center every other Tuesday beginning January 15 through April 9.

Wind Cave National Park’s Holiday Schedule

The Wind Cave National Park Visitor Center and cave will be closed Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Wind Cave National Park Photos

I Could See for Miles and Miles... (Wind Cave National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

I Could See for Miles and Miles... (Wind Cave National Park)

As a nearby exhibit sign indicates that on a clear day, one could in fact see for many miles, even 40 miles away to Badlands National Park! So that's the story and thought behind this image in looking as far as the eye could see...
For the image itself, I did some initial post-processing work in Capture NX2 with saturation, contrast and brightness with some control points. I then exported a TIFF image to Color Efex Pro 4 (which had just recently been released again by DxO) and used a favorite recipe of "Big Sky" for the final image.

A Grassy Meadow Leading to a Forest Edge (Wind Cave National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

A Grassy Meadow Leading to a Forest Edge (Wind Cave National Park)

A roadside pulloff near the northern entrance to Wind Cave National Park with a view looking to the southwest to some nearby peaks and hilltops that are the end of Rankin Ridge where I'd previously walked about. Here I just wanted to stand and take in this view across the prairie grasses with pretty much only the passing wind to keep me company. In composing the image, I decided to angle my Nikon SLR camera slightly downward as I wanted to capture that sweeping view across the open setting to my front. The downward angle would also bring up those peaks and hilltops so they'd seemingly fill up the rest of the image with a little bit of the clouds above.

Bad hair day

Notkalvin posted a photo:

Bad hair day

Near Pringle, South Dakota

Starry night in Wind Cave National Park

Notkalvin posted a photo:

Starry night in Wind Cave National Park

Stars over the Norbeck Bridge.

South Dakota

Buddies

Notkalvin posted a photo:

Buddies

Sometimes friendships come from the least likely sources.

A Wind Cave Landscape (Wind Cave National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

A Wind Cave Landscape (Wind Cave National Park)

A view looking to the northeast while walking along the Lookout Point Trail. What drew me into this image was the changing landscape with ridges, hills, draws, groves of trees, prairies and meadows. Because of the overcast skies, I decided to angle my Nikon SLR camera slightly downward, capturing a view looking across the prairie grasses and then the eye would be led across this national park landscape to far off hills and even mountains. After some initial post-processing work in Capture NX2, I exported a TIFF image to Color EFEX Pro 4 and used a Sunset Landscape recipe which brought out more warmer colors for the final image.

Prairie Grasses on an Overcast Day in Wind Cave National Park

thor_mark  posted a photo:

Prairie Grasses on an Overcast Day in Wind Cave National Park

A view to the south while hiking along the Lookout Point Trail. This was definitely a view to take in from this rise along the trail while seeing the rolling hillsides just go on and on as it stretched to a distant horizon. Because of the overcast skies, I decided to angle my Nikon SLR camera slightly downward, capturing a view looking across the prairie grasses and then the eye would be led across this national park landscape to far off hills and even mountains. After some initial work with color, contrast and saturation, I added a Pro Contrast CEP filter and some warming colors in Capture NX2 which brought out a feel of not quite being an overcast and cloudy day.

Looking easterly into Wind Cave Nationa Park from Rankin Ridge Trail. Buffalo Gap on far right background

Ron Thill posted a photo:

Looking easterly into Wind Cave Nationa Park from Rankin Ridge Trail. Buffalo Gap on far right background

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Rocky Mtn. Cinquefoil or Cliff Woodbeauty (Drymocallis pseudorupestris) - - Wind Cave National Park, SD/06

Ron Thill posted a photo:

Rocky Mtn. Cinquefoil or Cliff Woodbeauty (Drymocallis pseudorupestris) - - Wind Cave National Park, SD/06

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Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) Invasive from Europe - - common throughout lower elevations of Black Hills in late spring, SD/06 Mustard family

Ron Thill posted a photo:

Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) Invasive from Europe - - common throughout lower elevations of Black Hills in late spring, SD/06 Mustard family

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Lichens - - Wind Cave National Park, SD/06

Ron Thill posted a photo:

Lichens - - Wind Cave National Park, SD/06

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Black-tailed Prairie Dogs barking and doing "the wave" - - Wind Cave National Park, SD/06

Ron Thill posted a photo:

Black-tailed Prairie Dogs barking and doing "the wave" - - Wind Cave National Park, SD/06

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Young Black-tailed Prairie Dog - - Wind Cave National Park, SD/06

Ron Thill posted a photo:

Young Black-tailed Prairie Dog - - Wind Cave National Park, SD/06

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Young Blacktailed Prairie Dog - - Wind Cave N.P,, SD/06

Ron Thill posted a photo:

Young Blacktailed Prairie Dog - - Wind Cave N.P,, SD/06

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Beaver Creek Bridge at Wind Cave National Park

JohnTabor posted a photo:

Beaver Creek Bridge at Wind Cave National Park

This is an iconic view at Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota.

Honeycomb Patterns of Boxwork along the Walls of Wind Cave

thor_mark  posted a photo:

Honeycomb Patterns of Boxwork along the Walls of Wind Cave

Captured in Wind Cave National Park while on the Natural Entrance Cave Tour.

The stink eye

jnwalk23 posted a photo:

The stink eye

Might As Well Graze Under Some Trees in Wind Cave National Park

thor_mark  posted a photo:

Might As Well Graze Under Some Trees in Wind Cave National Park

As I was finishing the loop around the Rankin Ridge Nature Trail, I came across this lone bison seemingly just enjoying a day out under some trees. Not having a long reach Tamron lens with me at the time, I decided to try pulling back and capturing the complete setting for this with the grassy meadow and the trees in this part of the national park. I found that sweeping view looking up to the bison best brought out the feel for this lone bison as it enjoyed the afternoon...

I Took in What Nature Was Willing to Give... (Wind Cave National Park

thor_mark  posted a photo:

I Took in What Nature Was Willing to Give... (Wind Cave National Park

A paraphrase from a Robert Frost poem I came across recently that seemed to just capture the feel of this setting in Wind Cave National Park along the Lookout Point Trail. The view was to the southeast as I was crossing a small footbridge over Cold Spring Creek. With the hillsides and the colors of greens and yellows from the plant-life all around, it just seemed to give off this serene feeling, with no forced hand.

Passing Clouds and Moving Shadows Across the Hillsides of Wind Cave National Park

thor_mark  posted a photo:

Passing Clouds and Moving Shadows Across the Hillsides of Wind Cave National Park

This was one of the trails I'd walked a week prior on an overcast day with off and on light rain. Obviously the far off distant views weren't there that day, so I took advantage of what amounted to a flex day in my vacation travels to revisit Wind Cave National Park and walk some trails I'd seen from other photographers. The Rankin Ridge Nature Trail was the top of my list during those few morning hours I had. This was from an clearing on the trail with a view looking to the south. I decided to angle my Nikon SLR camera slightly downward to better bring out a sense of depth and add a more sweeping view as one looked across the rolling hillsides of this national park. I finished up post-processing work in Capture NX2 by adding a few CEP filters (Low Key, Polarization and Graduated Neutral Density) for the final image.