Before being hunted down to near extinction, bison or buffalo were roaming through America's prairies in the millions. Luckily, four places are left in North America where you can see free-range bison, and Wind Cave National Park is one of them. Currently, there are about 400 American bison at Wind Cave National Park, and the best time to see them is the rut season that lasts from June to September.
Bison feed on grass, so they can be easily spotted on the open spaces in the park. Look for spots with fresh green grass that attract the herds. On hot days they can also be seen on the edges of the forests where bison hide from the sun. Stop by the visitors center to get the most recent location of bison upon your arrival in the park.
Wind Cave National park covers 28,294 ac (11,450 ha) and features 30 mi (48 km) of hiking trails. The Boland Ridge Trail is known for its wildlife, especially, elk herds. Other good options include Elk Mountain Nature Trail, Prairie Vista Trail, and Rankin Ridge Nature Trail.
The park can be visited year-round. The best weather conditions for hiking are in the spring and early fall.