Frequently Asked Questions

Will I see any bats on the tour?
Unless you take the Historic Lantern Tour, you are unlikely to see bats. This is because bats only enter the cave through the historic entrance, and usually travel no more than 1/4-mile into the cave.

How do I know if I can fit in a space 8 1/2 inches high by 24 inches wide before I make a reservation for the Wild Caving Tour?
Go to a doorway and measure 8 1/2 inches up from the floor. Stretch a string across the doorway at this height, and around 24 inches wide. Have a friend watch you crawl under this string. If you can fit under the string without pulling it off, you can fit.

Will I need a jacket?
Jewel Cave is 49 degrees year round. You will be most comfortable if you wear a light jacket, sweater, or sweatshirt when visiting the cave.

What kind of shoes do I need?
Sneakers, tennis shoes, or hiking boots are required for all Cave Tours. You will be walking up and down over 700 stair steps on the Scenic Tour, and stoop-walking over unpaved trails on the Lantern Tour. All tours exit through a White Nose Syndrome decontamination mat.

Open-toe shoes, sandals of any kind, or other shoes that are not securely fastened to the foot are not allowed on any cave tour. If questionable, park rangers may ask that you change your footwear before taking part in a guided cave tour. For the Wild Caving Tour, boots (above the ankle) with good traction are required.

What else should I know before visiting Jewel Cave?
The rangers shared their Top 10 Tips for visiting Jewel Cave below.

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    Tags: top 10

    Last updated: January 10, 2024

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    Contact Info

    Mailing Address:

    11149 U.S. Hwy. 16
    Building B12

    Custer, SD 57730


    605 673-8300
    The main phone line connects visitors with staff at the visitor center. Throughout the year, the phone line is monitored by staff on a daily basis, excluding holidays and days with limited visitor services. Please be advised that after-hours messages are not taken on the system; visitors are encouraged to call the visitor center during normal operations and speak with a park ranger for assistance.

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