Wind Cave National Park is located 10 miles north of the town of Hot Springs in western South Dakota. Established in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, it was the seventh national park and the first cave to be designated a national park anywhere in the world. The cave is notable for its calcite formations known as boxwork,
as well as its frostwork. Approximately 95 percent of the world’s discovered boxwork formations are found in Wind Cave. The cave is recognized as the densest cave system in the world, with the greatest passage volume per cubic mile. Wind Cave is one of the longest caves in the world with 149.01 miles of explored cave passageways, as of 2018. Above ground, the park includes the largest remaining natural mixed-grass prairie in the United States. The above ground portion of the park along with the Adjacent Custer State Park is a prime viewing location to see Bison, Pronghorn Antelope and other wildlife. On my first trip to the park having never seen a bison before we tracked a solitary bison through the woods at dusk just to get a picture. Little did we know that the next day we would see entire herds of the magnificent creatures at very close range. This above portion of the park is worthy of National Park status in and of itself.