November 1 - Change in Hours of Operation and Tour Schedule
The visitor center will be open Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (closed on weekends). Guided cave tours will only be available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays of each week. Tours will not be available on Mondays and Tuesdays. More »
Public Feedback Requested
Jewel Cave National Monument is requesting public feedback for the proposed fee increases of cave tour tickets in 2014. Visit the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website for more information or to provide comments. More »
Jewel Cave National Monument currently has one document open for public comment.
Jewel Cave Proposes to Raise Cave Tour Fees in 2014
Jewel Cave National Monument has begun soliciting public opinion about implementing a cave tour ticket fee increase in 2014. If this proposal is approved by the Director of the National Park Service, ticket prices will increase on (or around) January 1.
However, before any increase is approved or implemented, public comments will be solicited on the National Park Service Planning, Environment, and Public Comment website http://parkplanning.nps.gov/publicHome.cfm until September 30, 2013. Select Jewel Cave National Monument from the available documents or use the Search tab to search by keyword, park, state, document status, or document type.
Cave tour fees at Jewel Cave have been unchanged since 2000, yet the costs of doing business have steadily increased over time. Utility and electrical expenses have increased nearly every year. Contractual services, such as cave elevator maintenance, have also risen. And finally, visitors often express interest in high quality publications, such as the park brochure and annual newspaper. Combined together, the operational expenses exceed our expected funding levels in the future.
The proposed fee increase would raise the ticket price from the current cost of $8 to $12 for adults on the Scenic and Historic Lantern Tours, which is a $4 increase. Youth ticket prices for those ages 6 to 16 on the same tours would increase by $4, from the current $4 to $8.
Although fees for touring Jewel Cave are planned to increase, a cave tour ticket will still remain comparable with, or even less expensive, than many other cave attractions in the Black Hills and surrounding region. Fee increases are a balancing act between an expected level of visitor services (programs, activities, facilities, etc.), while maintaining affordable ticket prices for the general public.
The proposed fee increase will allow visitors to make advanced cave tour reservations online 24/7 and through a national call center with extended hours of operation. This service has been a common request by many visitors over past years. Interested visitors are also welcome to request information directly from monument staff by phone or mail, and informational packets will be made available according to the appropriate review periods.
Due to a construction project along Highway 16 through Jewel Cave National Monument, the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) has posted a Notice of Approval of Environmental Assessment for Public Availability. For further information regarding this project, click here or contact the SDDOT at (605) 773-3180. Public comments on this Environmental Assessment should be submitted by August 28, 2013 to:
Tom Lehmkuhl, Environmental Engineer
South Dakota Department of Transportation
700 East Broadway Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501-2586
Did You Know?
In 2000, the Jasper Fire burned over 90% of the surface of Jewel Cave National Monument. Fortunately, the Visitor Center and other buildings on the Monument were saved.