Wind Cave National Park was the first cave in America to become a national park. Today the park welcomes visitors to enjoy both its underground and overground scenery. But where to stay near Wind Cave National Park for the best experience?
The town Hot Springs offers Wind Cave lodging with the best park access. Other options for where to stay when visiting Wind Cave National Park are Custer and Rapid City.
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From Hot Springs it’s only 11 miles (18 km) to Wind Cave. No other option for where to stay near Wind Cave National Park is as convenient.
In only 15 minutes you go from the hotels near Wind Cave National Park in Hot Springs to the cave. So you easily travel from Wind Cave lodging in Hot Springs to the underground adventure.
Wind Cave is a great attraction, but it’s actually not Hot Springs’ only celebrated sight. The remarkable Mammoth Site of Hot Springs is a museum and paleontological site. So far more than 60 mammoths have been recovered at its active excavation area.
For such a small South Dakota town it’s impressive with prime access to both a national park and an excavation site.
But the selection of Wind Cave lodging in Hot Springs is limited. Therefore make sure that you book your Wind Cave accommodations as early as possible if you want Hot Springs as your base.
In short, Hot Springs is the best place to stay near Wind Cave National Park if you look for the ultimate park access. From Wind Cave lodging in Hot Springs you effortlessly get to the park. As an extra treat the Wind Cave National Park hotels in Hot Springs have the Mammoth Site on their doorsteps too.
- Distance: 11 mi / 18 km
- Driving time: ≈ 15 min
- Pick Hot Springs for: Best park access.
Favorite location. Hot Springs is a fantastic option for where to stay near Wind Cave National Park. Not only is it the closest town, but in Hot Springs you also find the unique Mammoth Site of Hot Springs.
Best hotels in Hot Springs
Hills Inn at Wind Cave
Hot Springs’ Hills Inn is a convenient and classic place to stay when visiting Wind Cave National Park. From the lodging near Wind Cave it only takes 15 minutes to the cave adventure. Also with an old-school motel aura, which it’s hard not to like, Hills Inn is one of the best places to stay near Wind Cave National Park.
Custer is another convenient option for where to stay near Wind Cave National Park. Only Hot Springs offers better access to the deep national park than Custer.
It’s just 20 miles (32 km) from Custer to Wind Cave. So with little effort, and in about 30 minutes, you get from hotels near Wind Cave National Park in Custer to the South Dakota cave adventure.
Custer’s position north of Hot Springs is in particular convenient if you plan to take some of the other popular day trips in the area. Custer State Park is, as its name indicates, easy to reach from Custer.
Other popular places to visit in the Black Hills are Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial and Badlands National Park. These spots are all easier to reach from Wind Cave hotels in Custer than from Hot Springs.
So in Custer you find not only convenient Wind Cave National Park hotels but also good access to other area highlights. For that Custer is often referred to as the center of adventure in the Black Hills.
As a Black Hills hub Custer has a bigger selection of Wind Cave National Park lodging than Hot Springs. No matter if you look for Wind Cave hotels, motels or cabins, you find more options in Custer.
To sum up, hotels near Wind Cave National Park in Custer don’t offer the superb park access that you get in Hot Springs. Still you’re just a short drive away from the cave experience. And Custer is an option for where to stay near Wind Cave National Park that gives you the best access to many of the area’s other must see places.
- Distance: 20 mi / 32 km
- Driving time: ≈ 30 min
- Pick Custer for: Black Hills sightseeing.
Best hotels in Custer
Comfort Inn and Suites
At Comfort Inn you are conveniently located in the stunning Black Hills region. From the hotel you easily reach both Wind Cave and other area highlights. And at Comfort Inn you have all you need for a great stay, including an indoor swimming pool and hot tub.
The Rocket Motel in Custer is a Black Hills favorite. The Wind Cave lodging takes you on a trip to the past but with modern day comforts. It has a 50’s theme but still feels brand new. The combo of comfy rooms and a unique vibe makes the Rocket Motel a real winner.
It’s 58 miles (93 km) from Rapid City to Wind Cave National Park. By a margin it’s the option for where to stay when visiting Wind Cave that’s located furthest away from the South Dakota cave.
However, Rapid City is the largest city near Wind Cave. With that comes both more Wind Cave hotels and a bigger selection of other things to do.
One of the most popular attractions in Rapid City is Bear Country USA. It’s a drive-through wildlife park with not only black bears but also elk, buffalo and wolves.
Rapid City is in addition often used as a base for other South Dakota gems. Compared to the other alternatives for where to stay near Wind Cave National Park, Rapid City offers better access to the popular northern portion of Badlands National Park.
Therefore Rapid City could be the perfect lodging compromise if you want one base for both Wind Cave and Badlands.
In short, Rapid City isn’t the Wind Cave place to stay that offers the best access to the cave experience. Wind Cave hotels in Hot Springs and Custer offer much better park access. But Rapid City is a great Wind Cave lodging option if you want the comforts of a bigger South Dakota city.
- Distance: 58 mi / 93 km
- Driving time: ≈ 1 h
- Pick Rapid City for: A bigger city.
Where to stay near Wind Cave National Park FAQ
Here you find the answers to some frequently asked questions about where to stay near Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota.
Wind Cave lodging in Hot Springs offers the very best access to the park. However, Custer is a great base to combine Wind Cave National Park with Custer State Park and other popular spots further north. If you’re after a bigger city, you need to look towards Rapid City for Wind Cave lodging.
Hot Springs is the city closest to Wind Cave National Park. From the South Dakota town with Wind Cave hotels it’s only 11 miles (18 km) to the cave adventure. Rapid City 58 miles away (93 km) from Wind Cave is the nearest larger city.
There are no hotels in Wind Cave National Park. But you find the Wind Cave lodging closest to the park just a short drive away in the nearby town Hot Springs.
One full day allows for a tour of Wind Cave as well as some hiking and wildlife viewing above ground. Add more time for the Wind Cave area’s other attractions including the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs.
Wind Cave National Park is one of two national parks in South Dakota. It’s one of the longest cave systems in the world, and the cave is famous for its extensive deposits of boxwork. Still the park is not only about its underground features. In the park you can also view some of the most iconic wildlife in the US, including bison.
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