Wind Cave National Park To Install New Airlock To Cave Entrance

Wind Cave National Park plans to replace the existing revolving door airlock with a small two-door airlock structure this winter in order to better protect the cave. NPS Photo.

The revolving door at the Walk-In Entrance to Wind Cave National Park will be replaced with a small airlock structure this winter as a result of a recently completed environmental assessment.

Park Service Midwest Regional Director Michael T. Reynolds signed the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for an environmental assessment written to build the small structure.

“This new structure will allow us to eliminate air leakage around the Walk-In Entrance and restore the original airflow pattern through the nearby Natural Entrance,” said park Superintendent Vidal Davila. “Construction will start this fall and will be funded by revenue generated from cave tour fees.”

The existing revolving door was constructed in 1992 and after 21 years has deteriorated to the point where there are numerous air leaks. These air leaks disrupt the cave’s temperature and humidity and allow unnatural access for small animals into the cave. The new structure will create a two-door airlock system and be able to accommodate a tour of 40 people.