North America

Wind Cave National Park

The Wind Cave National Park is located in the US state of South Dakota and has an area of ​​115 square kilometers. 850,000 visitors come here every year. The Wind Cave National Park was established on January 9, 1903. See directoryaah for museums in South Dakota.

The limestone cave which bears the name Wind Cave is located in the Wind Cave National Park. It is a real magnet for visitors. The cave is in the southeastern part of the Black Hills. These are granite mountains covered by coniferous forest. The impressive thing about the cave is that you can find calcite structures on the ceiling that are shaped like honeycombs. You can also find these cold cite structures on the walls and on the floor of the cave.

History of the Wind Cave National Park

The discovery of the cave becomes the pioneer attributed to Tom Bringham in 1881. At that time he is said to have found the natural cave opening, which was the size of a fox’s den. Bringham had heard a whistling noise then and followed it. This sound was about the inflow and outflow of air, which flowed through the narrow opening into the interior of the cave and out again. It was not until 1890 that the cave was explored.

To this day it is not clear whether the indigenous people of the area already knew this cave at that time. There are arguments both for and against.
In 1892 the cave was finally opened to the public. The tourist use of the wind caves continued until the establishment of the national park.

Wildlife in Wind Cave National Park

Striking often are found in Wind Cave National Park Black-tailed prairie dogs (in English blacktailed prariedogs) and bison. They have the largest populations among the mammals in the national park. It is nice to watch how the bison roam the entire area of ​​the Wind Cave National Park in their large and strong herds.

The prairier dogs live together in colonies. In terms of area, these are relatively small, which creates tension among the animals. So it is not uncommon to see squabbles among the animals belonging to the squirrels. The prairie dogs are in their den at lunchtime, but can be seen during the cooler times of the day, and although they are only 40 centimeters long, these animals can ingest enormous amounts of food. However, they only eat plants.

In this national park, not only are the animals and the cave an attraction, the flora is also remarkable. Plants grow here that normally tend to be further north, south or east and actually do not occur in this area. Visitors rave again and again about the vast flower meadows that bloom in many colors. In the lush mixed forests there are, among other things, many yellow pines, rock mountain junipers, elms, ash trees and trembling poplars. The cotton poplar, which is usually to be found more south, and various types of cacti have also spread in the park.

Wind Cave National Park