Black Hills Caves

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Caves

Over 100 caves can be found in the limestone encompassing the Black Hills. Many of these caves are just a few hundred feet or less in length, while others are much longer.

Over 100 caves can be found in the limestone encompassing the Black Hills. While some of these caves are just a few hundred feet or less in length, many others are much longer and contain days of adventures buried within their passageways. Since it can be hard to decide where to start your underground adventure, we have a brief overview of some of the area’s caving highlights below.

Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave National Park, long held as a sacred site to the Lakota Indians, is one of the world’s most complex caves; guided tours can help you discover the beautiful calcite boxwork and underground lakes.

Sitting Bull Crystal Cavern

Conveniently located on the way to Mount Rushmore, Sitting Bull Crystal Cavern has a rich history of working with Lakota Indians. Tour highlights include Diamond Lake’s reflective pool and the Crystal Palace.

Rushmore Cave

Just the Big Room of Rushmore Cave holds more stalactites within it than any other cave tour in the Black Hills.

Thunderhead Underground Falls

Although it’s not a natural cave, this unique historic goldmine contains a large waterfall buried deep within the mountain.

Jewel Cave National Park

Jewel Cave is the second longest cave in the world, with over 150 miles of passageways mapped and countless more remaining undiscovered.

Black Hills Caverns

The family-friendly tours of the Black Hills Caverns explore the three levels of the Caverns and highlight the many beautiful speleothems within.

Planning Ahead

While caving can be fun and exciting, there are a few things to keep in mind while getting ready. 

  • Underground temperatures are chilly, regardless of surface weather. Expect temps between 40 and 60 degrees. 
  • While many tours stick to lit walkways, some involve climbing up and down stairs or crawling through tight passageways. Be sure to check with tour guides ahead of time to avoid ending up in a situation you aren’t comfortable in. 
  • Caves are remarkably delicate and fragile – please don’t touch any of the speleothems, spit on walls or floors, or leave any types of food or trash.

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