Due to an elevator renovation project, normal cave tours are not available at this time. A Modified Discovery Tour involving a moderately strenuous hike to the cave entrance is currently being offered. No advanced ticket reservations until further notice. More information can be found at Guided Tours. All cave access is by guided tour only.
This 20-minute ranger tour 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 Tour, 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 Tour. Families are encouraged to check the tour schedule before arriving to Jewel Cave. We encourage visitors with small children to maintain physical control.
Preparing for a Discovery Tour
Last updated: August 6, 2021