Next to Custer’s Jewel Cave National Monument, there is another well-known cave that draws many visitors each year, and that is Wind Cave! Established in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, just three short years after Jewel Cave, it went on to become America’s seventh national park, and the first cave to gain recognition as a national park anywhere in the world. Only a short 20-minute drive up the road, our hotel near Wind Cave National Park offers a prime location for guests looking to explore the cave and it’s rarely found calcite formations.
Located in the southwestern corner of South Dakota, Wind Cave is considered the 6th longest in the world. With its vast underground world, the cave’s walls are not only layered with a honeycomb-shaped calcite formation known as boxwork, but it is where 95% of this specific formation is found in the world. Above ground is also something to see, as it reigns as the largest remaining natural mixed prairie in the U.S.
Several tribes, including the Lakota and Cheyenne, long knew of the cave before two Caucasian American brothers discovered it in 1881. Had anyone entered the cave prior is not known, but it was its famous wind that brushed in and out of a hole in the ground, blowing one of the brother’s hats off that not only led to their discovery, but what also gave the cave its current name.
Wind Cave is said to “breathe” because of the continual air that moves swiftly in and out of the cave. Depending on the atmospheric pressure inside and outside of the cave, the pressure can be low or extremely high, which then causes a rush of wind to rapidly gust through. This essentially is where “Wind Cave” received its now well-known name.
With all its recognition and unique qualities, it’s no wonder that this local attraction continues to be one of the top things to do in Custer, South Dakota. And we want you to experience it first hand! Our hotel close to Wind Cave National Park offers not only affordable lodgings and admirable amenities, but also a close proximity to a variety of attractions, with Wind Cave only being one of them. So join us today, and book your next stay at Super 8 Custer!