• Explore and Discover One of the Last Frontiers in the World ...

    Jewel Cave

    National Monument South Dakota

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  • Caution - Roadwork on Highway 16 - Expect Delays

    Construction projects both along highway 16 and the Jewel Cave parking lot are planned during this spring season. The visitor center will be open Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., and closed on weekends through April. No reservations for cave tours. More »

Cave / Karst Systems

A caver in Jewel Cave (Marc Ohms Photo)

A cave explorer in an area known as "The Stratosphere," approximately 5 miles from the elevator entrance.

Marc Ohms photo

Jewel Cave National Monument is well-known for its spectacular and unusual cave and karst features. Since 1959, cavers have made a concerted effort to map Jewel Cave, and have discovered that it is among the longest cave systems in the world. Over 166 miles of interconnected passages have been discovered so far, and studies indicate that this represents only a fraction of what remains to be found.

Did You Know?

Cavers at camp site deep in Jewel Cave/NPS file photo

From the elevator entrance, it takes over 11 hours for explorers to reach unexplored sections at the end of Jewel Cave. Some survey trips require cavers to remain underground for up to 4 days.