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Elk Bugling Programs Offered this September at Wind Cave National Park


Wind Cave National Park, S.D. – Rangers at Wind Cave National Park will be leading programs this September to listen for the bugle of the Rocky Mountain elk. The elk’s high-pitched whistle heralds the arrival of fall and the elk’s mating season. 

Throughout the month of September, rangers are giving brief interpretive programs about elk before leading a caravan to a nearby pullout to listen for them. These programs are offered Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday evenings through September 30. Participants meet at the Elk Mountain Campground Amphitheater at 7 p.m. and are encouraged to bring a flashlight, a camp chair or blanket to sit on, and to dress warmly.

“Fall is a wonderful time to tour the park and enjoy our wildlife or the cave,” said Park Superintendent Vidal Dávila. “The call of a bugling elk is definitely one of the Black Hills’ more unique wild sounds. If you’ve never heard it before, we encourage you to come out and listen for it.”

Visit the park’s website at to listen to an elk.

Fall ranger programs also include Natural Entrance and Garden of Eden Tours of Wind Cave throughout the day. Participants are encouraged to bring a light coat or sweater and good walking shoes. The Natural Entrance Tour lasts approximately 75 minutes and involves 300 stairs, most of which are going down. The Garden of Eden Tour lasts one hour and involves 150 stairs.

The park visitor center is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. through September 23 and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. September 24 through October 7 with tours at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Visitor Center winter hours begin October 8 and are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with tours at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.

For more information, call the park at (605) 745-4600.

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Tom Farrell
Wind Cave National Park
Phone: 605-745-1130