Nature & Science

Trees in front of a canyon in the distance
The monument is mostly covered in a Ponderosa Pine forest, with areas of grassland. This supports a wide variety of life throughout the monument.

Bradley Block

Jewel Cave is the primary resource of Jewel Cave National Monument, and is currently the fifth longest cave in the world. Airflow studies indicate that most of the cave has yet to be found. Each year, explorers discover and map an average of three miles of cave passages.

The monument is also home to a variety of plants and animals, and has a fascinating wildfire history. We invite you to explore all that Jewel Cave National Monument has to offer!

  • Three big horn sheep, one is sitting down

    Learn about the different wildlife that live at the Monument!

  • Wild bergamot, a purple wildflower

    Learn about the different plants and wildflowers on site.

  • Nailhead spar stalactite
    Geology of Jewel Cave

    Caves rock! Learn how Jewel Cave formed and about the different types of formations in the cave.

  • A bat hanging from the cave wall with white nose syndrome, a white fungus, on its nose
    White Nose Syndrome

    What is white nose syndrome and how does it affect bats?

  • A forest fire, trees in the distance with smoke plumes
    Environmental Factors

    Even though caves are thought to be untouchable, there are environmental factors that impact our monument and cave.

Last updated: January 3, 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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