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Contact: Bradley Block, 605-673-8330
Beginning Monday, March 7, Jewel Cave National Monument will once again be open to the public seven days each week. The visitor center will be open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Guided cave tours will be available on Wednesdays through Sundays to accommodate the majority of visitors. Cave tours will not be available on Mondays or Tuesdays, due to maintenance projects along the tour route.
Superintendent Bonnie Schwartz states, "March can be a busy month with increased visitation due to spring break and warmer weather. In order to accommodate the spring travelers, we are once again opening our Visitor Center doors seven days each week and conducting as many guided cave tours as possible."
Jewel Cave offers two different types of cave programs during the spring season. The ever popular Scenic Tour is offered twice a day, 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. This one hour and 20-minute tour takes visitors along a one-half mile paved path that includes 723 stair steps. This tour is considered moderate to strenuous. Additional Scenic Tours are planned for late March.
The Discovery Talk is a 20-minute interpretive program that exposes visitors to the cave resource. This activity is available for individuals with physical limitations or families with young children.Discovery Talks are offered three times daily, 9:05 a.m., 12:45 p.m., and 3:45 p.m.
Schwartz further explains, "With the NPS Centennial in full swing, we want to provide as many opportunities as possible for visitors to experience the Monument, such as taking a guided cave tour or hiking on the surface trails on a warm spring day. Additional visitor center days and increased cave tours will hopefully entice many local residents and visitors to come out and see the changes that have taken place at the Monument."Tour tickets are limited and only available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The cave temperature is approximately 49 ºF. A light coat or sweater and sturdy walking shoes are recommended. All tours begin at the visitor center. For more information and updated tour times, visit the Monument online or contact the visitor center at (605) 673-8300.