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 »
Fees & Reservations
The Monument's surface trails and facilities are available free of charge. Fees are charged for cave tours. Ticket prices and tour descriptions are listed below.
CAVE TOUR PRICES AND DETAILS:
Scenic Tour Details: Scenic Tours are offered year-round. This tour is moderately strenuous and lasts 1 hour and 20 minutes. The tour enters and leaves the cave by elevator in the visitor center. The tour route involves walking up and down 723 stair steps along a 1/2 mile loop. The tour provides an opportunity to visit chambers decorated with calcite crystals and other speleothems as you walk along a paved trail with electric lighting. Scenic Tours are limited to 30 people per tour.
Discovery Details: This 20-minute Discovery program is a brief introduction to Jewel Cave's natural and cultural histories. The Discovery Talk is offered year-round, and is limited to 20 people. Participants view one large room of the cave. This easy cave visit enters and exits the cave by elevator, and involves walking up and down 15 stair steps. The Discovery program is recommended for families with young children, and visitors with limited time or health concerns. This talk takes place in the cave's Target Room which is accessible to visitors with limited mobility.
Historic Lantern Tour - Ticket Prices
Lantern Tour Details: Available from the second full week of June through Labor Day. The Lantern Tour is a 1940's style adventure. Visitors, carrying lanterns provided by the Monument, enter and exit the cave through the historic entrance. This tour is considered strenuous and lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes. The tour route is approximately 1/2 mile long and includes steep, narrow wooden steps (about 600). Visitors must be in good health and physical condition. The tour requires bending, stooping, duck walking, and navigation of steep wooden ladders. The Lantern Tour is limited to 20 people per tour.
Wild Caving Tour - Ticket Prices
Wild Caving Tour Details: Available during the summer season (June through August), and during the off-season (November through April). This tour is designed for visitors who want the thrill of experiencing the cave in its natural state. Participants scramble over cave "breakdown," chimney between cave walls, climb semi-vertical rocks (rope-assisted climbs), and belly crawl through tight passages. Participants are required to fit through a passage 8 1/2 inches high by 24 inches wide before attempting this tour.
Along a 2/3 mile route, visitors learn about low-impact caving, caving techniques, safety, and caving equipment. The tour lasts 3 to 4 hours, and is considered extremely strenuous. Participants must be 16 years of age or older, and in good health and physical condition. Participants must provide and wear above the ankle, lug-soled, lace-up leather boots; soft elbow and knee pads; gloves; long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. We do not provide this equipment. Clothes and boots may be permanently stained with manganese.
The Monument provides a hardhat and headlamp only. Tours may be cancelled due to lack of required participants; due to emergencies at the Monument; and/or lack of proper caving equipment. Tour size is limited to a minimum of 2 visitors and a maximum of 5 visitors. NOTE: There is a minimum of 4 participants required for each tour offered during the off-season.
Did You Know?
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.