• 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 - 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 »

Things To Know Before You Come

All cave tours are considered moderate to very strenuous. The Discovery Tour is the only cave tour that is wheelchair accessible.

1. All cave tours are ranger guided and offer available space for a limited number of visitors.

2. The cave temperature is a constant 49 degrees Fahrenheit (9 degrees Celsius). A light jacket or sweatshirt, and low-heeled rubber-soled, closed-toe walking shoes or hiking boots are recommended for all tours.

3. Cave tours are not recommended for anyone with claustrophobia, heart or respiratory conditions, recent surgeries or illnesses, or other physical limitations.

4. Food, drinks, candy, gum, tobacco products, large purses, handbags, backpacks, large camera bags and walking sticks are not permitted on any cave tour.

5. Flash photography is allowed on the Scenic and Discovery Tours, but tripods are not. Cameras are not permitted on the Historic Lantern or the Wild Caving Tours.

6. There are no restroom facilities or drinking fountains in the cave.

7. Large items, such as walkers, canes, crutches, and oxygen tanks, are only allowed on the Discovery Tour.

8. No pets are allowed in the cave, with the exception of certified service dogs only on the Scenic and Discovery Tours.

9. Children of all ages are welcome on the Scenic and Discovery Tours. If you are traveling with small children, bear in mind that most two and three year olds cannot walk the entire Scenic Tour route. Carrying children on the tour is not recommended due to safety issues; it is important that visitors have their hands free to grip the handrails.

10. Baby backpacks and strollers are not permitted in the cave.

11. Cell phone reception is poor at best in the Black Hills and almost non-existent at Jewel Cave National Monument.

12. Pets cannot be left unattended in (or around) the visitor center parking lot, visitor facilities, or in a vehicle without proper ventilation. Pets should also not be left unattended within any vehicle during the summer season.

Did You Know?

Calcite Spar Crystal/NPS file photo

The “jewels” of Jewel Cave are calcite spar crystals. Calcite, which is about as hard as your fingernail, is too soft to be considered a true jewel.