The Discovery Talk is an excellent short visit to Jewel Cave.
This 20-minute ranger talk is a brief introduction to Jewel Cave's natural and cultural histories. Participants view one large room of the cave. This cave experience enters and exits the cave by elevator in the Visitor Center. Visitors traverse 12 feet on a concrete surface and walk down 15 stair steps to a large aluminum platform with a metal surface. For people who have difficulty negotiating stairs or require wheelchair accessibility, this cave tour can be experienced from the upper platform crossing 37 feet of concrete. At the conclusion of the program, visitors will leave the cave in the opposite manner in which they entered.
During the Discovery Talk, you will see two types of calcite crystals commonly named nailhead spar and dogtooth spar, which are the "jewels" of Jewel Cave. You will also see manganese and paleofill, which are not cave formations, but are important to the geology of Jewel Cave. Visitors will learn the theory on how Jewel Cave formed as well as how the cave was discovered in 1900.
Children of all ages are allowed on the Discovery Talk. Families are encouraged to check the tour schedule before arriving to Jewel Cave. Please Note: the perimeter of the upper platform of this cave experience has steep slopes and does not have handrails. We encourage visitors with small children to maintain physical control.
Last updated: May 1, 2019