Black Hills Caverns
The Black Hills Caverns are located four miles west of Rapid City, South Dakota. This three-level cave showcases the most rare and beautiful cave formations in the Black Hills region.
The Lakota Sioux discovered Black Hills Caverns hundreds of years ago, and were drawn to the cave’s crystals, believing they provided power and strength. The white man discovered Black Hills Caverns in 1882, when gold prospectors tracing veins of ore located the cave’s entrance.
The walls of Black Hills Caverns are composed of two types of limestone, coeymans and manlius, along with rondout watered. For thousands of years, rain water soaked into the caverns, carrying with it carbon dioxide from soil, forming a mild acid called carbonic acid, which flowed through the limestone walls and formed calcium carbonate. Calcite, a carbonate mineral, is deposited as crystals, and these crystals comprise the spectacular formations present in Black Hills Caverns. The caves boast wonderful examples of logomites, stalagmites, stalactites, flowstone, frost crystal, boxwork, popcorn crystal, cave flower, dogtooth spar crystal, and crystal drapery formations.
There are two tour options available to visitors of the Black Hills Caverns. The Adventure Tour, a one-hour tour approximately .75 miles in length, explores all three levels of the cave. The Crystal Tour, an easy, 30-minute, 1,500-foot tour, explores only the first level of the cave. Cave tours are offered from May through September. In addition to the standard guided tours, visitors are invited to browse the gift shop and participate in gemstone mining activities.
While in the area, travelers are sure to enjoy Crystal Cave Park, Rushmore Cave, Mount Rushmore Monument, and Sitting Bull Crystal Caverns.