Caution - Roadwork on Highway 16 - Expect Delays
Construction projects both along highway 16 and the Jewel Cave parking lot are planned during the summer. The visitor center is open daily with tours scheduled throughout the day. Come early, pm tours are usually full. 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 by September 30. The patio area outside the visitor center is planned for work in August. Signage along a service road and staff assistance will help guide visitors to the visitor center. More »
These are just a few of the native flowers that you might see while visiting Jewel Cave National Monument. To learn more, you can get a wildflower list from a ranger at the visitor center. Remember not to pick the wildflowers you find; leave them for others to enjoy!
Pasqueflower (Anemone patens) blooms in late March to early May and is the state flower of South Dakota. This flower is sometimes seen growing through the springtime snow.
Western salsify (Tragopogon dubius), also known as goatsbeard or yellow salsify, flowers in late May to July. It is zealously eaten by wildlife. When salsify gets ready to seed, it looks like a giant dandelion.
Gunnison's mariposa lily (Calochortus gunnisonii) is one of the many species of lily found at Jewel Cave National Monument. They flower in June to early August. The bulbs of this plant were used as food by the Cheyenne.
The pale-purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida var. angustifolia) was often used as an anesthetic by Native Americans. The roots or immature heads were chewed to suppress thirst as well. The flowers bloom in June through July.
Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) is also known as horsemint or beebalm, and blooms in July through August. The leaves of wild bergamot were used by Native Americans in vapor treatments for colds.
Wavyleaf thistle (Cirsium undulatum) is one of the few native thistles at Jewel Cave National Monument. The flowers bloom in June through July, and attract many species of butterflies.
Did You Know?
Red squirrels can be seen year round in Jewel Cave National Monument harvesting pine cones from ponderosa pine trees.