Wind Cave National Park (South Dakota)

… was established 109 years ago today. It is the 7th oldest national park.

One of the world’s longest and most complex caves and 28,295 acres of mixed-grass prairie, ponderosa pine forest, and associated wildlife are the main features of the park. The cave is well known for its outstanding display of boxwork, an unusual cave formation composed of thin calcite fins resembling honeycombs. The park’s mixed-grass prairie is one of the few remaining and is home to native wildlife such as bison, elk, pronghorn, mule deer, coyotes, and prairie dogs.

American Indian stories dating back centuries speak of a “hole that breathes cool air” in the Black Hills. Cowboys came across a breathing hole in 1881 and the exploration of Wind Cave began. In 1903 Wind Cave became the first cave anywhere in the world to be designated a national park. Cave explorers are still finding new rooms and passages in Wind Cave, the fifth longest cave in the world.

Source: Wind Cave National Park