• 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

    Construction projects both along highway 16 and the Jewel Cave parking lot are in progress. The Jewel Cave Visitor Center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with tours scheduled throughout the day. No reservations for cave tours.

  • Highway 16 construction near Jewel Cave entrance

    Construction of Highway 16 through Jewel Cave National Monument is progressing on schedule. Motorists should use caution while traveling through the construction zone. Visitors to Jewel Cave should plan extra travel time and come early in the day. More »

  • The parking lot at Jewel Cave takes shape

    Jewel Cave's parking lot project is on schedule for completion this fall. The stairs and wheelchair ramp to the visitor center are under construction. Signage along a service road and staff assistance will help guide visitors to the visitor center. 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?

Beautiful gypsum flowers in Jewel Cave/NPS file photo

When Jewel Cave was established as a National Monument in 1908, it was thought to be a small but pretty cave. It wasn’t until 1959 that explorers began to realize that Jewel Cave may be one of the longest caves in the world.