Located beneath South Dakota, Wind Cave National Park is two parks in one, with over 19,000 acres of diverse prairie above-ground, and a maze of over 134 miles of subterranean passages beneath. This enormous cave-system was discovered by the Bingham brothers in 1881 when they heard wind whistling from a hole in the ground, pictured below. This small opening is the only known natural entrance to the cave system.
Our cave tour was led by Ranger Sam, a highly-entertaining and informative guide whose father led tours here before him. Wind Cave is a “dry cave”, featuring very few stalactite/stalagmite formations, but instead many rare and intricate calcite “boxwork” structures. Other than the cave there isn’t much to do at the park besides driving through the prairie and spotting animals. But if you are in the area, and can get past the small spaces and cold temperatures (this one is a constant 55 degrees), you should check it out!