WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, SD – 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 taking a short hike, or leading a caravan to a nearby pullout, to listen for them. These programs are offered Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday evenings through September 28. 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.

“We encourage people to visit the park in the fall and listen for elk,” said Park Superintendent Vidal Dávila. “It’s a real sound of the season and something fun to listen for each year. Evening or early morning hours are best, and pullouts along Highway 87 usually have less traffic noise than those along Highway 385.”

The cave remains closed to tours because of elevator problems. The parts for the elevators have arrived, but it is estimated repairs will take four weeks.

The park visitor center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through October 5. Visitor center winter hours begin October 6 and are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information, call the park at (605) 745-4600 or visit the park’s Facebook page at:

Rangers at Wind Cave National Park will be offering tours to listen for elk bugling this September. (NPS Photo)