Guided Tours

Guided tours are required to enter Jewel Cave and are offered at scheduled times. All tours must have a minimum of 2 participants. Reservations are NOT ACCEPTED for the Scenic Tour, Historic Lantern Tour (Summer Only), or Discovery Talk.

Important Information for all Tours:

  • In summer (June - August), wait times between purchasing tickets and tour time can be over 4 hours.
  • It is common for tours to fill by 12 pm daily. Arrive early to increase your chance of getting on your preferred tour.
  • You may arrive early in the day to purchase tickets for an afternoon tour.
  • Reservations are accepted only for the Wild Caving Tour.
  • All other tour tickets are available ONLY in person on the day of the tour.
  • There are NO self-guided tours at Jewel Cave.
  • The temperature in the cave is 49°F/9°C year-round.
  • Jackets and low-heeled, closed-toe shoes are recommended for all tours.
  • Tennis shoes or hiking boots are REQUIRED for the Historic Lantern Tour. Closed toe sandals are NOT ACCEPTABLE.
  • See the Fees & Passes page for ticket prices.
  • Know your limits! The Scenic and Historic Lantern Tours require visitors to climb a large number of stairs. Visitors who cannot negotiate stairs SHOULD NOT attempt these tours.

Important Information Regarding Children:

  • Children age 5 and under are NOT ALLOWED to participate on the Scenic or Historic Lantern Tours.
  • Younger children may still participate in the Discovery Talk.
  • Children may NOT be carried on any portion of the tour routes.
  • There are many other activities available for younger children including the Junior Ranger program, Ranger-Led activities and hikes.

What to Bring

  • Warm clothes-Jewel Cave remains 49°F/9°C year-round
  • Good walking shoes-You will be walking on paved pathways or the cave floor in close proximity to cave rocks.
  • A camera-Jewel is a very unique and beautiful cave. Photography is permitted on all tours, however cameras must be small enough to fit in your pocket on the Historic Lantern Tour. Large cameras are allowed on the Scenic Tour and Discovery Talk, but camera cases and tripods must be left in your vehicle.

What NOT to Bring

  • Backpacks, Purses, Hiking Poles-For your protection as well as that of the cave, these items are not allowed on ANY cave tour.
  • Any items used or worn in a cave outside of the Black Hills-This is to prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome, a fungus known to kill bats.

Reservations are NO LONGER ACCEPTED for the Discovery Talk, Scenic Tour, or Historic Lantern Tour.

Please be advised - the Monument recently implemented an age restriction for the Scenic Tour. Children five and under are no longer able to take part in this guided cave tour. For more information, please refer to the news release dated Monday, July 27, 2015.

Did You Know?