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Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave National Park
Protected area information
NameWind Cave National Park
IUCN CategoryII
LocationCuster County, South Dakota, USA
Nearest cityHot Springs, South Dakota
Area28291 acre (114489615 m2)
EstablishedJanuary 9, 1903
Visitors577141 (2010)
Governing bodyNational Park Service

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Wind Cave National Park is a United States national park 10 mi (16.1 km) north of the town of Hot Springs in western South Dakota. Established in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, it was the seventh U.S. National Park and the first cave to be designated a national park anywhere in the world. The cave is notable for its displays of the calcite formation known as boxwork. Approximately 95 percent of the world's discovered boxwork formations are found in Wind Cave. Wind Cave is also known for its frostwork. The cave is also considered a three-dimensional maze cave, recognized as the densest (most passage volume per mi3) cave system in the world. The cave passed Hölloch cave in Switzerland on February 11, 2006 to become fourth-longest in the world with 119.58 mi (192.4 km) of explored cave passageways. The cave's current length is 131.04 mi (210.9 km), with an average of four new miles of cave being discovered each year. Above ground, the park includes the largest remaining natural mixed-grass prairie in the United States.

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