The origin of caves in the Black Hills has long been debated. Their history is long and complex, involving early diagenesis, meteoric karst (now paleokarst), deep burial, tectonic uplift, and, finally, enlargement of previous voids to the caves of today. The final stage is usually the only one recognized and is the topic of this paper. Genetic hypotheses include artesian flow, rising flow (preferably thermal), diffuse infiltration, and mixing of various water sources. The last process best fits the regional setting and water chemistry.