Jewel Cave National Monument Near Rapid City
Jewel Cave National Monument is the third longest cave in the world, and it continues to grow as researchers discover an average of three miles of new passageways every year. Located 52 miles southwest of Rapid City, Jewel Cave was named for its dazzling calcite crystals that illuminate the underground, lighted walkways of the cave. Whether touring below ground or exploring the surface above, Jewel Cave is a great place to celebrate the 2016 National Park Service Centennial and mark 100 years of discovery in America’s national parks.
Open daily and year-round with expanded hours in the summer.
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
|May 7 - 25||8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.|
|May 26 - June 2||8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.|
|June 3 - August 18||8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.|
|August 19 - September 8||8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.|
|September 9 - May 5||8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.|
|Jewel Cave National Monument participates in the National Park Service's Junior Ranger Program.|
The Jewel Cave Visitor Center is open year round, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Visitors can watch an informational film, view exhibits on cave exploration, history and resource management, as well as browse the book and gift shop.
Jewel Cave offers a variety of Ranger-guided tours. Ranging from a simple 20-minute Discovery Tour to a Wild Caving experience where participants crawl through tight spaces and undeveloped passageways, there is a perfect tour length for everyone. With the exception of the Discovery Tour, most cave tours are considered moderate to strenuous and are not recommended for young children and the elderly. Tours are sold on a first come, first served basis and do sell out.
There are two self-guided trails at Jewel Cave National Monument and one U. S. Forest Service trail that showcase the limestone cliffs, ponderosa pine forest and wildlife that surround the monument. Most trails are not accessible to individuals with disabilities.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE VISITING
52 miles southwest of Rapid City on US Hwy 16.
The cave temperature is a constant 49 degrees, so a light jacket or sweatshirt is recommended. Rubber-soled, closed-toe walking shoes or hiking boots are recommended for all tours.
Cave tour fees vary and are subject to change. Tours do sellout, so it’s recommended to call ahead for a reservation.
For more information, including tour costs, call 605-673-8300 or visit the Jewel Cave National Monument page on the National Park Service website.