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

Warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/vhosts/explorenationalparks.org/httpdocs/lib/model/parks.php on line 190

News

Wind Cave Surpasses 150 Miles in Length

Cave explorers from Colorado recently surveyed 594 feet in Wind Cave, bringing the total length of surveyed passages to 150 miles.

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.

Astrochemistry Students and NASA Scientist Study Wind Cave

Fifteen students and two faculty from the University of Northern Iowa, along with a NASA scientist, spent their spring break in the depths of Wind Cave as part of a simulated astrobiological field expedition.

Wind Cave National Park Photos

Bison Mother and Red Dog 2654

maguire33@verizon.net posted a photo:

Bison Mother and Red Dog 2654

Lucky little red dog (young bison calf) to have a caring mama. I'm not exactly sure if this was at Custer State Park or Wind Cave NP, South Dakota since the parks are adjacent. (There is a fence somewhere along the parks road). Happy Mother's Day to all the moms of the world.

Prairie Dog in Whiteout 3219

maguire33@verizon.net posted a photo:

Prairie Dog in Whiteout 3219

Before my wonder dissipates, I wanted to post from my prairie dog series at Wind Cave National Park a few days ago. It's the last day of April here, the day AFTER a balmy Spring day. I photographed lots of dogs that sunny afternoon, knowing 3-5 inches of snow was in the forecast over the next two days. This is from snow day one back in the park and there was very little activity in the prairie dog towns. I could hardly SEE the mounds for that matter. By the next day and another overnight 3-5 inches, the mounds weren't even in sight. I understand "whiteout" now. Fascinating memorable experience to see a landscape completely transformed.

Wind Cave Bison 5118

maguire33@verizon.net posted a photo:

Wind Cave Bison 5118

I spent the last day of April driving through snow, hoping for a classic bison image but it didn't happen. So on May 1, I went back to give it another go, since more snow fell overnight and was still falling. The photos I got of a couple of bison I watched for awhile were terrible through the veil of falling snow. I gave up. Then 3 appeared right at the roadside, headed to cross over. Extraordinary luck. If you view large, you can see the snow flying sideways.

From Wikipedia: The Wind Cave bison herd is a herd of 250–400 American bison in Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota, USA. It is believed to be one of only four free roaming and genetically pure herds on public lands in North America.

Alert Prairie Dog 1805

maguire33@verizon.net posted a photo:

Alert Prairie Dog 1805

I was in Prairie Dog heaven today, theirs and mine - Wind Cave National Park, SD.

Hillsides, Meadows and Trees to Take in Along the Wind Cave Canyon Trail (Wind Cave National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

Hillsides, Meadows and Trees to Take in Along the Wind Cave Canyon Trail (Wind Cave National Park)

Prairie of Tall Grasses with a Hillside Backdrop (Black & White, Wind Cave National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

Prairie of Tall Grasses with a Hillside Backdrop (Black & White, Wind Cave National Park)

An idea for an image I got going through images captured by a fellow photographer who visits national parks (QT Luong). I wasn't going to get the weather and sky conditions he might have had those days, but I was best able to capture some ideas. One was a look across the tall prairie grasses and then some hillsides as a backdrop. Well, given the overcast skies that day, I found black & white images often brought out a better image, especially with the tonal contrast present in this setting.

Boxwork Formations In A Cave Ceiling In Wind Cave National Park (Wind Cave National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

Boxwork Formations In A Cave Ceiling In Wind Cave National Park (Wind Cave National Park)

With an adjustment to my Nikon speedlight, I was able to illuminate this portion in the cave but not completely wash out the colors present.

Trees Along Cold Spring Creek While Hiking Along the Lookout Point Trail (Wind Cave National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

Trees Along Cold Spring Creek While Hiking Along the Lookout Point Trail (Wind Cave National Park)

From this overlook point, I was able to look across some trees along Cold Spring Creek to an open area and then ridges, draws and hillsides that seemingly stretched to the horizon beyond. This is a view looking to the southeast while enjoying a walk back along the Lookout Point Trail.

Rolling Hills with Morning Overcast Skies (Wind Cave National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

Rolling Hills with Morning Overcast Skies (Wind Cave National Park)

An idea for an image I'd seen on another photographers web site before heading out on this national park trip. While not the same as the idea that I'd previously seen, I loved the idea of looking across the rolling hills of this portion of Wind Cave National Park. I later used a Pro Contrast and Skylight CEP filter in Capture NX2 for the final image to address what I felt was the more muted colors from the overcast skies above.

First Views Across the Prairie Landscape and Rolling Hills of Wind Cave National Park

thor_mark  posted a photo:

First Views Across the Prairie Landscape and Rolling Hills of Wind Cave National Park

A national park that I only added on to a trip I recently planned and took to western South Dakota. Initially it had been just to visit the cave as that was all that I really knew about the national park. It was then after seeing images captured by another photographer, QT Luong, that I realized there was much more to explore! This was a point not long after coming into the north entrance with a look to the southwest across some prairie landscape with hills and mountains off the distance. Given the low clouds and overcast skies, I decided to minimize that and capture a more sweeping look by angling my Nikon SLR camera slightly downward. 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.

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.

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.

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

Thill-2018-SD-3532

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

Thill-2018-SD-3528

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

Thill-2018-SD-5124

Lichens - - Wind Cave National Park, SD/06

Ron Thill posted a photo:

Lichens - - Wind Cave National Park, SD/06

Thill-2018-SD-5119

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

Thill-2018-SD-5072

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

Thill-2018-SD-5082

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

Thill-2018-SD-5139