Jewel Cave National Monument

Address

Jewel Cave National Monument
11149 US-16 B-12
Custer, SD  57730

ETA from Rapid City
60 min
Open Year-Round and Daily
Detailed Hours Below
Detailed Tour Costs Below

43.7303594, -103.8290512

Jewel Cave National Monument is the third longest cave in the world with over 200 miles explored. The mileage continues to grow as researchers discover an average of three miles of new passageways each year luring explorers to its maze of endless tunnels. Located less than an hours drive southwest of Rapid City, and in close proximity to Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave was named for its dazzling calcite crystals that cover the walls, floor, and ceiling of the cave. 

Jewel Cave offers four different ranger-guided tours varying in length and intensity. With the exception of the Discover Tour, most cave tours are considered moderate to strenuous and are not recommended for young children and the elderly. Tours are sold on first come, first served basis and do sell out.

Scenic Tour

The most popular tour of Jewel Cave, the Scenic Tour, is a modern day walking tour to view cave formations throughout various chambers and passages. This tour is moderately strenuous, lasting just over an hour and not recommended for children. Scenic Tours tend to sell out in the summer months and holiday weekends before noon.

There are reservation opportunities for the Scenic Tour.  Reservation times vary by season but can be made through Black Hills Central Reservations or by calling (605) 717-7629. 

  • $12 - Adults 17 & older
  • $8 - For Children 6-16
  • Free - 5 and Under

 

Discovery Talk

The Discovery Talk is the shortest of all tours offered, lasting 20 minutes and is very accessible for children of all ages. Participants will learn about the caves natural and cultural histories. 

  • $4 - Adults 16 & older
  • $8 - Children 15 & under

 

 

Historic Lantern Tour

Prepare for an adventure that gives you an idea of what it was like to tour Jewel Cave in the earlier days. Complete with a 1930’s dressed Park Ranger guide, you’ll climb wooden steps, walk on unpaved trails and use lanterns as a light source on the Historic Lantern Tour. This tour is strenuous and participants must be at least 8 years old.

  • $12 - Adults 17 & older
  • $8 - For Children 8*-16
    * Minimum age for Historic Lantern Tour is 8 years old

 

The Wild Caving Tour

The Wild Caving Tour is offered seasonally throughout the year. Participates wear a hard hat with a headlamp to explore the underground wilderness of Jewel Cave. Adventurers will belly-crawl through tight passages and use rope assists to climb vertical walls. This tour is extremely strenuous and lasts up to four hours. All participants must be at least 16 years old.

  • $31 - Adults 16 & older
    Minimum age for the Wild Caving Tour is 16 years old

 

Things You Should Know Before Visiting
  • The cave temperature is a constant 49 degrees, so a light jacket or sweatshirt is recommended.
  • Cave tour fees vary and are subject to change.

There are two self-guided hiking trails at Jewel Cave National Monument, and one U. S. Forest Service trail which begins approximately 1 mile from the Jewel Cave visitor center. Trails range from ¼ miles to 5.5 miles in length. Most trails are not accessible to individuals with disabilities. Printed information on the trails is available at the visitors center year round. 

Due to a waterline construction project at the cave, the surface trails are temporarily closed through late June. Visitors can still access the first part of the Roof Trail and hike a short distance to the observation deck.

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