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About Elk Mountain - Wind Cave National Park

This 61-site campground is open all year with sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. Two sites are handicap-accessible. Flush toilets and drinking water are available late spring through early fall. Fees are half-price when water is not available. Ranger programs are offered nightly in the amphitheater during the summer. Two group campsites are reservable. Contact the park at 605.745.4600 for more information.

Price
$18.00
Operator
National Park Service
Access
Drive In
Hike In
Features
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Electric Hookups
Fires Allowed
Firewood Available
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Reservable
Toilets
Trash Available
Water Hookups
Contact
Location
Elk Mountain - Wind Cave National Park is located in Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota
Latitude
43.565 N
Longitude
-103.492 W
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Directions
The Elk Mountain Campground is located about 11 miles north of Hot Springs, or 22 miles south of Custer, off U.S. Hwy 385, about 1/2 mile west of the highway. Follow the link below for detailed directions to the visitor center; the campground entrance is approximately 1/4 mile north of the visitor center.
22 Reviews of Elk Mountain - Wind Cave National Park
Pleasant Stay

I arrived in August 2019 to find the caves closed until September. I was very disappointed as coming back wasn't an option. I did camp at Elk Mountain--you find your site and then reserve it. There are few options for sites that aren't in the sun. Although according to the ranger the camp doesn't fill up, I would recommend getting your site early to ensure some shade. Bathrooms are nice and clean. No showers (at least where I was). Pleasant stay overall.

Campground on the Prairie

Really spacious campground with plenty of spots. Didn’t feel as crowded or too close to each other like a lot of other national park campgrounds. The Elk Mountain Campground is conveniently located to the visitor center and cave entrance. The Elk Mountain hike starts at the campground and is a nice little hike to do before you settle in for the night.

The sounds of nature surround you

Simple campgrounds in Wind Cave National Park. The campground was well maintained and in great condition. The location can't be best as you're only 1 mile from the visitor's center and central to the park.

There is a hiking path nearby that gets you up so you can view the amazing area surrounding you. We heard lots of animals through the night and loved it.

Our only complaint was that the lights from the very simple bathrooms were so bright at night they ruined our night vision. Do not choose a site near the bathrooms.

Really beautiful

The campground is secluded and quiet. You can see the bison as you come into camp if you’re lucky. There was also a wild turkey that was wandering around the whole time we were there

Clean and beautiful!

We loved this camp site! The surroundings were beautiful, and the bison were just outside the gate in the morning. Clean bathrooms and attentive host. They had a campfire program with the rangers the night we were there, but we already had a good fire going and didn't want to leave it unattended. Very close to Wind Caves!! Get there before 10am to book a tour… Business picked up about then.

buffalo!

Nice place to stay if you are looking for first-come first serve sites!  The campground wasn't very busy which was nice because the sites were not overly secluded. Kinda a grassland area, but since it wasn't too busy and we were in the tent area it was a good fit for just the night.

The main attraction for visiting this park was a cave and cave tour- awesome!  Highly recommended :)  I actually retained a decent amount of the information we learned!  The tour was through but they kept it fun as well.  We were pleasantly surprised to see a plethora of bison (when we were in Custer that had rounded them all up so seeing them in the wild was nice!) 

*remember to wear something warm if you are doing a cave tour- it's chilly down there!

Nice campsite

Nice quite campground with bathrooms close to beautiful hiking trails

Peaceful Prairie Camping

The campground rarely fills up which means there’s no rush to get there. Because you’re in the rolling grasslands there is little seclusion between campsites but sites are spaced far enough that you still have some privacy. Great views of the nearby hills and spectacular evening and morning light! Wind caves is also an easy day’s drive from the Badlands and well worth getting off the main routes westward.

Spacious and Quiet

This is the only campground in Wind Cave NP and has four loops with just over 60 sites. Loop A is for tents only and is the only loop with designated tent pads. Loop D has group sites that are reservable.

Some sites are in or near trees, but many are in grassy areas with little to no shade.

Each loop has restrooms with flush toilets and running water. There are water faucets for every couple of sites, however at the time there were a few that were not working.

Each site has a fire ring and picnic table.

There is a shed at the entrance where firewood/kindling are available for a donation.

There were lots of wildlife in/around the campground: mule deer, pronghorn, prairie dogs, and bison.

Just south of the campground is the visitors center where tickets for the cave tours can be purchased.

This campground is centrally located for visiting Jewel Cave, Badlands NP, Mt. Rushmore, and exploring the Black Hills region.

My only complaint is that many of the sites (on loops B-D) are more for RVs just to park and don't have much space for tents. As a result, several sites can only accommodate small tents because there's not much space with a fire ring and picnic table too.

Nice stay

We opted to spend the night here on our way back to the Twin Cities from Colorado. We stayed at C4- it was nice and private enough from our nearby neighbors. Going to the Wind Cave was really neat- be warned the elevator is currently out of service so you would have to go through the natural entrance. While we were there it was dry enough so that there was a fire ban.

Wind Cave is about an hour away from Reptile Gardens (which definitely exceeded my expectations).