Review for Wind Cave National Park
What we loved:
Great cave tours, wildlife
What we didn't love:
I took my two 4 3/4-year-old twins, 6-year-old daughter, and a teenage niece here. We saw a lot of wildlife driving in the park--there is a lot of open prairie where they can be easily seen. We were able to leave on a cave tour within about 20 minutes even though we were there on the 4th of July weekend though we heard there had been a wait earlier in the morning. Access to the cave is via elevator but once in the cave you need to be able to negotiate a some stairs on the tour. My children and the many others on the tour seemed to do just fine on them and the fully paved paths of the tour. A baby and its parents had to be escorted out because the baby wouldnt stop crying I dont know if it was the cave or something else. Our tour was an hour or an hour and a quarter which was just right for my children--the longer tours would have been too much. With the tour and about an hour with the Junior ranger books and some time spent talking to a ranger about what they learned, our kids were able to complete the Junior Ranger program despite our visit being pretty short. The only food available at the visitor center comes from vending machines in a small room that was quite crowded at lunchtime. There were sandwiches and other options and microwave for heating them up in addition to the usual cookie, candy and chips vending machine fare. So think ahead about your lunch plans. Wind Cave contains something like 90% of the known "box work" in the world--crystals formed in cracks of rock then the surrounding rock dissolved away leaving the box work--so you will see something here you probably wont in other caves. We had a nice visit and I would definitely go back and go on one of the many other cave tours and possibly spend more time in the park above ground.
Wind Cave box work