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Wind Cave Canyon Trail

An easy hike on an old dirt road shouldered by limestone cliffs and ponderosa pine, and known for its birding opportunities.

Hiking Easy

5.8 km
76 m
76 m
1-2 hrs
Low Point
1.2 km
High Point
1.2 km
Wind Cave Canyon Trail Map

Following a former road to the park's eastern boundary, Wind Cave Canyon is one of the best trails for birdwatching in the park; Cold Brook Canyon as another excellent option. According to the park, "Limestone cliffs provide nesting areas for cliff swallows, canyon wrens, and great horned owls," while woodpeckers chip away at the "snag trees," a term used to describe dead and decomposing trees that are still upright.


The trailhead is just east of the visitor center on Highway 385. The parking area is small and unpaved, and there are no restrooms or water available, though the visitor center offers both year-round. As a simple out-and-back to the park's edge, this is a day hike that everyone in the family will enjoy.

For those interested in a longer hike, the Wind Cave Canyon Trail begins 0.5-miles from the trailhead. "A brief, steep climb leads to the rolling hills of the prairie," where views of "Buffalo Gap and the Black Hills await," according to the park.

Sources: NPS NWF



Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

all year round


  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area