Wind Cave National Park Album
Rock stairway on the Rankin Ridge TrailThis is a collection of some of my favorite photos taken at Wind Cave National Park, in South Dakota’s Black Hills. For many visitors, their most vivid memory is Wind Cave itself. However, for those of us who live near the park and who frequently spend time there, several other characteristics of the park really stand out.
Winter at Wind Cave CanyonPerhaps the most notable characteristic is the park’s bison (or buffalo if you prefer), whether it is the solitary bison quietly relaxing in the shade or a large herd blocking traffic passing through the park. When the bison are absent, the park seems distinctly empty. The park is likewise well-known for its large prairie dog towns and all the coyotes and rattlesnakes they attract. Elk and pronghorn antelope also reside at Wind Cave National Park, though they are generally much more elusive.
Interesting geographic features of the park would include the park’s highpoint on Rankin Ridge with its old fire lookout tower, Fossil Ridge at the opposite end of the park, Wind Cave Canyon, Beaver Creek Canyon, Cold Brook Canyon and Cold Spring Canyon.
Several great hiking trails exist at Wind Cave National Park, with the southern terminus of the 111-mile Centennial Trail being the grandest of all the trails in the park. Many visitors enjoy the spectacular views of (and from) the single-lane “High Bridge” over Cold Brook Canyon and the single-lane “Pigtail Bridge” not too far north of the High Bridge. If you are traveling to the Black Hills, Wind Cave National Park is well worth your time to visit and explore.