Sometimes a name can be deceiving, sometimes it's spot on.

In the case of South Dakota's Wind Cave National Park, the name says it all.

In their story 'Going Deep: Explore the Most Amazing Caves in the U.S.' on the website The Manual, authors Mike Richardand Andrew Davey came up with their own accolades for seven caves from various parts of the country, everything from the biggest to the wettest to the most batty.

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So in which category did Wind Cave National Park come out on top?

The Windiest.


According to the National Park Service, the cave averages wind speeds of 15 miles per hour. The windiest month is January (16.5 mph), while the calmest month is August (12.6 mph).

Wind Cave was just the seventh national park and the first cave to be designated as a national park when it was established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903.

It's located 10 miles north of Hot Springs, South Dakota, and is the densest cave system in the world, with the greatest passage volume per cubic mile. Wind Cave is the seventh longest cave in the world with 154.2 miles of explored cave passageways and the third-longest cave in the United States.


  • The Biggest: Mammoth Cave, Mammoth National Park, Kentucky
  • The Most Musical: Luray Caverns, Luray, Virginia
  • The Most Vertical: Moaning Cavern, Vallecito, California
  • The Most Batty: Carlsbad Caverns, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
  • The Most Adventurous: Natural Bridge Caverns, San Antonio, Texas
  • The Wettest: Craighead Caverns, Sweetwater, Tennessee
  • The Laziest: Fantastic Caverns, Springfield, Missouri

RANKED: Here are the most popular national parks

To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

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