National Park

Wind Cave Dog Policy

Wind Cave National Park is Somewhat Dog Friendly

Dogs Limited
Dogs Allowed
with 6' Leash & Exceptions []

Wind Cave is distinctive for its calcite fin formations called boxwork, a unique formation rarely found elsewhere, and needle-like growths called frostwork. It is one of the longest caves in the world and creates a wind as air pressure changes. Above ground is a mixed-grass prairie with animals such as bison, black-footed ferrets, and prairie dogs and ponderosa pine forests home to cougars and elk. The cave is culturally significant to the Lakota people as a creation site.[1]

Wind Cave National Park is a somewhat dog friendly national park. Dogs are not allowed on most trails, the back country, or in cave tours. However, there are a couple trails where dogs are allowed, and they are allowed in the campground and the open area around the visitor center. Dogs cannot be left unattended.


Pet Policy Details
53 mi2
Annual Visitors

Trail Policy

Dogs are allowed on the following trails while on a leash no longer than 6':

  • Prairie Vista Trail (~1 mile loop)
  • Elk Mountain Campground Trail (~1 mile loop)

Both trails can be accessed near the visitor center or in the campground.

Dogs are not allowed on any other trails or in the back-country.

Campground Policy

Dogs are allowed in the Elk Mountain Campground on a leash no longer than 6'.

Location & Map

South Dakota
Hot Springs

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Note: Policies can change -- please make sure to check official dog/pet policies prior to making plans or booking travel.

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[1] Overview text from the Wikipedia article List of national parks of the United States, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

All other text and images, except where noted, copyright ASR Concepts, LLC, all rights reserved.