Guided Tours

ranger and visitors on tour

NPS

Tour Information

  • All cave tours are ranger-guided and leave from the visitor center.
  • Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Reservations are available for the Candlelight and Wild Cave tours, as well as for groups.
  • Long waits are common during peak summer visitation. To avoid waits, tour the cave during the early hours of the day or on weekends. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the busiest days.
  • To ensure a safe visit, please review the Cave Tour Safety Information page.

NOTE: Tour schedules are subject to change. Please call 605.745.4600 to confirm tour times.

 
Tour Descriptions
Follow the links below for in-depth descriptions about each tour.

Regular Walking Tours
Specialty Tours
  • Candlelight Tour - Strenuous: Includes some off-trail travel. Minimum age is 8 years old.
  • Wild Cave Tour - Very Strenuous: Crawling required. Minimum age is 16 (with signed parent permission).
 

Tour & Program Schedule

Early 2016 - April 15, 2016 (subject to change)

Visitor Center

Open daily 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Cave Tour

Garden of Eden or Natural Entrance - 10:00, 1:00, and 3:00 daily except January 1


April 16 - April 30, 2016 (subject to change)

Visitor Center

Open daily 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Cave Tour

Garden of Eden or Natural Entrance - 9:30, 11:30, 1:30, and 3:30


May 1 - May 27, 2016 (subject to change)

Visitor Center

Open daily 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Cave Tour

Natural Entrance - 9:00, 10:30, 11:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 4:00

May 28 - May 30, 2016 Memorial Day Weekend (subject to change)

Visitor Center

Open daily 8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Cave Tours

Natural Entrance - 8:40, 9:20, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, and 5:00

Garden of Eden - 10:00, 12:00, and 2:00

Fairgrounds - 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00


May 31 - June 4, 2016 (subject to change)

Visitor Center

Open daily 8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Cave Tours

Natural Entrance - 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, and 5:00

Garden of Eden - 1:30 and 3:30

June 5 - August 20, 2016 Reduced tours August 7-13. See below. (subject to change)

Visitor Center

Open daily 8:00 am - 7:00 pm

Cave Tours

Natural Entrance - 8:40, 9:20, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, 5:00, 5:30 and 6:00

Garden of Eden - 10:40, 12:40, and 2:40

Fairgrounds - 9:40, 10:20, 11:40, 12:20, 1:40, 2:20, 3:40, and 4:20

Specialty Tours

Candlelight Tours - 10:30 am, 1:30 pm (Reservations strongly recommended)

Wild Cave Tours - 1:00 pm (Reservations required)

NOTE: Reservations are accepted beginning one month before the tour and must be made in person or by phone at 605-745-4600.

Campfire Programs

Nightly at the Elk Mountain Campground amphitheater at 9:00 pm. Tuesdays and Fridays in July be prepared for a prairie night hike. These hikes meet at the amphitheater for a short program and then car caravan to explore the prairie at night.


August 21 - September 5, 2016 & August 7-13 (subject to change)

Visitor Center

Open daily 8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Cave Tours

Natural Entrance - 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, and 5:00

Garden of Eden - 10:30, 1:40, and 3:40

Fairgrounds - 9:30, 11:20, 1:20, and 3:20

Specialty Tours

Candlelight Tours - 1:30 pm daily (Reservations strongly recommended)

Wild Cave Tours - 1:00 pm weekends only (Reservations required)

NOTE: Reservations are accepted beginning one month before the tour and must be made in person or by phone at 605-745-4600.

Campfire Programs

Nightly at the Elk Mountain Campground amphitheater. Call 605.745.4600 for times.


September 6 - September 24, 2016 (subject to change)

Visitor Center

Open daily 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Cave Tour

Natural Entrance - 9:00, 10:30, 11:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 4:30

Autumn Evening Activity

Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at the Elk Mountain Campground at 7:00 pm starting early September

September 25 - October 8, 2016 (subject to change)

Visitor Center

Open daily 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Cave Tour

Garden of Eden or Natural Entrance - 9:30, 11:30, 1:30, and 3:30

Autumn Evening Activity

Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at the Elk Mountain Campground at 7:00 pm through the end of September

October 9 - Early 2017 (subject to change)

Visitor Center

Open daily 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Cave Tour

Garden of Eden or Natural Entrance - 10:00, 1:00, and 3:00 daily except Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1



Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs, SD 57747

Phone:

(605) 745-4600
Park information

Contact Us