By Robert Earle Howells

Highland and Centennial Trails

When to Go: May to October

Round-Trip: 7.3 Miles

Level: Moderate Day Hike

Wind Cave is better known for what’s found underground than what's above it—28,000 acres of great plains. This is why you’ll probably have this unsung hike, one of the best in the National Park System, to yourself. The trails traverse mixed-grass prairie with soul-stirring long-distance views before rising into a solitary ponderosa pine forest. Silhouetted against those vistas are likely to be elk, bison, pronghorn, or mule deer.

Insider Tip: Take the candlelight cave tour for a sense of the cavern as its early visitors experienced it.

Wind Cave National Park Guide

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