Wind Cave Canyon Trail Professional Review and Guide
"A walk through Wind Cave Canyon, ending at the park boundary fence on the eastern side."
--Bert & Jane Gildart, Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country (Falcon Guides).
The Wind Cave Canyon Trail consists of an easy hike through a praire canyon surrounded by rolling ridges. Most of WCNP is fairly devoid of water so I always recommend bringing a few nalgenes along for the hike. Bison are frequently (usually) seen through the canyon and as always it is recomended to give them plenty of space. In nearby Custer I often see people approach them with cameras and camcorders and I am thus never suprised to hear of people getting "gored" (this is the prefered local term). If you give these beasts their space they are fascinating to observe on the praire. In June the females are often accompanied by their lighter colored calves. One other hazaard in WCNP worth mentioning is rattle snakes. Like the bison if given their space these reptiles are quite harmless but unfortunately in the praire grass they can be somewhat hard to spot. Luckily they are fairly generous in giving a decent warning long before they would ever strike. Other animals spotted on the praire here are elk whitetail and mule deer, antelope, and praire dogs. This mix of praire and forested land is fascinating to wander through and learn of this merging place of ecosystems.
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