The Best List of Caves in South Dakota
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Caves in South Dakota? When it comes to the United States, there is no denying that certain states get all the love and attention. Everyone wants to visit California and New York, but other states like South Dakota are also attractive.
South Dakota is sparsely populated, has lots of grasslands but does not have large cities. Although the state’s natural beauty appeals to everybody, certain parts of the state attract a particular group of cave explorers.
The Best List of Caves in South Dakota
If you’re looking for some adventure, then Caves in South Dakota are the perfect places to start! Caves are one of those places that are so underground and hidden away that they can sometimes be forgotten about.
We are here to change your perspective by giving you a list of all the best ones. We’ll tell you how to get there, what they offer inside, and why these Caves in South Dakota are worth checking out.
When it comes to the United States, there is no denying that certain states get all the love and attention. Everyone wants to visit California and New York, but other states like South Dakota are also attractive. South Dakota is sparsely populated, has lots of grasslands but does not have large cities. Although the state’s natural beauty appeals to everybody, certain parts of the state attract a particular group of cave explorers.
The Top Caves to Visit in South Dakota
There is an intricate network of caves in the South West corner of the state, and spelunkers spend hours exploring the caves and discovering new things. South Dakota boasts of some of the most stunningly beautiful caves and caverns that you can find in this country.
Here are the major caves that one can find in the state –
- Jewel Cave
- Rushmore Cave
- Sitting Bull Crystal Caverns
- Wind Cave
- Black Hills Caverns
- Wonderland Cave
Apart from the caves mentioned above, there are many more in South Dakota, but, truthfully, speaking, those are less popular and less frequented. For your convenience, let’s break this down a bit into multiple categories so that you can easily decide which ones to visit.
Best Caves in South Dakota
We have classified the best caves under different categories so that it becomes easier to decide which one you would want to see first!
Wind Caves in South Dakota
Wind Cave is the first cave that has been designated as a national park. The cave has the largest concentration of boxwork formations below the ground and a wildlife sanctuary covering 33,90 acres. The Wind Cave is touted to be the longest and the most complex cave in the world. Many activities take place in the national park, such as hiking, bird watching, backcountry camping, etc.
Crystal Caves in South Dakota
Sitting Bulls Crystal Caverns
The Sitting Bulls Crystal Caverns is one of the most beautiful caverns in the US. As much as 80% of the walls and ceilings of the cave are lined with crystals. Located nine miles from Rapid City, the cave was famous for many years, but in 2015 the family members who owned the Sitting Bulls Crystal Caverns decided that they no longer wanted to run the business. As a result, the caves are now closed for the public.
Jewel Caves in South Dakota
Jewel Cave National Monument
The world of Jewel Cave is located beneath the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is one of the longest caves globally and has more than 200 miles of explored passageways.
There are guided cave tours in place that help the tourists understand the pristine cave system better. The cave is a unique world of beautiful calcite crystals, strands of gypsum, and various other cave formations. During peak season, the tickets to the cave tour sell out pretty fast.
Wonderland Caves in South Dakota
The cave was discovered in 1929 by a couple of loggers, and the first commercial tours started in the following year. Years of extensive exploration work have revealed more than two dozen rooms in the cave. The highlights include bird bath formation, a reflecting pool, and a stalactite wall that is as high as 40 ft. There have been millions of visitors to Wonderland Caves, but none could find out where the stalactite wall culminates.
Caves in South Dakota Black Hills
The sprawling Black Hills in South Dakota is arguably one of the top caving destinations in the US. There are many unique underground caves, and many tourists come here to enjoy viewing these beautiful caves. The three most important caves in the Black Hills region are Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, and the popular Rushmore Cave.
Caves in South Dakota Near Mt Rushmore
The Rushmore Cave, also known as Rushmore Mountain Adventure Park, is so alluring and beautiful that ignoring it will be the biggest mistake! Rushmore is the 9th largest cave in South Dakota, and it comes complete with a zipline, a gemstone mining area, roller coasters, and much more.
The cave is 3600 ft long and ideal for families and people looking for an hour-long distraction. The main highlights of the cave would be the themed cave rooms and the eye-popping helictite.
As you can tell, the state of South Dakota has a lot of caves to explore. Make certain to always be safe and prepared before entering any cave so you can make your cave experience a good one!
Other articles you may find helpful or interesting:
- Ultimate Guide to Onyx Cave, Arkansas (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)
- Ultimate Guide to Ursa Minor, California (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)
- Ultimate Guide to Boulder Cave, Washington (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)
- Ultimate Guide to Mystic Caverns, Arkansas (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)
- Ultimate Guide to Tree Root Cave, Washington (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)
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[…] South Dakota – Rushmore is the 9th largest cave in South Dakota, and it comes complete with a zipline, a gemstone mining area, roller coasters, and much more. […]