Established as a national park: Jan. 9, 1903
Area: 28,295 acres; 78 miles of known caves
Visitors: 1.1 million a year
Location: About 45 miles south of Rapid City. Scenic route (U.S. Highway 16) includes Mt. Rushmore National Monument, Black Hills, scenic Needles Highway bypass and Custer State Park. Direct route from Rapid City, South Dakota Highway 79, is faster, less interesting.
Flora and fauna: Surface area features more than 60 types of prairie grass and more than 250 species of other plants. Bison herd, 350 strong, heads long list of mammals, reptiles and birds, including pronghorn antelope, mule and white tail deer, elk, coyotes, prairie rattlesnakes, bull snakes, golden eagles, hawks and bald eagles (during spring and fall migrations).
Entrance fee: None.
Cave tour fees: $4 to $15, depending on length and difficulty of tour. Age 62 and up: $1 to $7.50. Age 6 to 16: $2 to $3.50.
--Robert CrossCopyright © 2015, CT Now