Wind Cave Canyon Trail

Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota

Elevation Gain319ft
Trailhead Elevation4,013ft
Elevation Min/Max3812/4017ft
Elevation Start/End4013/4013ft

Wind Cave Canyon Trail

Wind Cave Canyon Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Custer County, South Dakota. It is within Wind Cave National Park. It is 1.8 miles long and begins at 4,013 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 319 feet. Near the trailhead there is a parking. This trail connects with the following: East Bison Flats Trail and Highland Creek Trail.

Wind Cave Canyon Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country (Falcon Guides)
Bert & Jane Gildart
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"A walk through Wind Cave Canyon, ending at the park boundary fence on the eastern side."

Wind Cave Canyon Trail Trip Reports

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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.

Wind Cave Canyon Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Wind Cave National Park
Nearby City
Wind Cave National Park
Wind Cave National Park
Local Contacts
Trails Illustrated topo map No. 238
Local Maps

Trail Log