Fees & Passes

Fees are charged for cave tours and tickets are required to enter the cave. Tickets are sold on a first come, first serve basis on the day of the tour, and must be purchased on-site, in person, for same day tickets. Entrance to the cave requires a ranger-guided tour, and tour times vary by season (schedule). Cave tour tickets are limited by tour type and tours can often sell out at any time during the day. During the peak season or a holiday weekend, it is advised that you arrive in the morning to purchase tour tickets. Visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult on a cave tour. There is minimal food service at the Monument.


Advanced Ticket Sales: In collaboration with Black Hills Central Reservations, Jewel Cave National Monument offers advanced ticket sales for a limited number of cave tours. Advanced sales are only available for the Scenic Tour and are offered for the scheduled times on the hour. Visitors can purchase Scenic Tour tickets in advance between 72 hours and 90 days using an online service: www.blackhillsvacations.com or a call center at 605-717-7629. Please be advised that advanced ticket sales are administered by Black Hills Vacations.

Teachers may call the Visitor Center or contact the Chief of Interpretation to inquire about educational programs and academic fee waivers.


Scenic Tour - Ticket Prices

  • $12.00 - Adult age 17 & over
  • $8.00 - Youth ages 6-16
  • $0.00 - Child ages 5 & under
  • Passes Not Valid - Annual Pass / Annual - Military Pass / Senior Pass - Lifetime or Annual / Access Pass / Volunteer Pass / 4th Grade Pass or voucher / Golden Age or Access Pass

Scenic Tour Details: This tour is moderately strenuous and lasts 1 hour and 20 minutes. The tour enters and leaves the cave by elevator in the visitor center. The tour route involves walking up and down 723 stair steps along a 1/2 mile paved trail. This tour provides an opportunity to visit chambers decorated with calcite crystals and other speleothems with electric lighting. Scenic Tours are limited to 30 people per tour. It is recommended to take children five and under on the Discovery Talk. Parents may not carry a child of any age on the Scenic Tour. All tour participants must be able to navigate the 723 stair steps along the tour route unassisted.


Discovery Talk - Ticket Prices

  • $4.00 - Adult age 16 & over
  • Free - Youth & Children ages 15 & under
  • Free - Senior / Golden Age / Access pass holder only
  • Passes Not Valid - Annual Pass / Annual - Military Pass / Volunteer Pass / 4th Grade Pass or voucher

Discovery Talk Details: This 20-minute program is a brief introduction to Jewel Cave's natural and cultural histories within one large cave room. This easy cave visit enters and exits by elevator. The Discovery Talk is limited to 20 people. We recommend this talk for families with young children, and visitors with limited time or health concerns. This program takes place in the cave's Target Room, which is accessible by wheelchair.


Historic Lantern Tour - Ticket Prices

  • $12.00 - Adult age 17 & over
  • $8.00 - Youth ages 8-16 (must be at least age 8)
  • Passes Not Valid - Annual Pass / Annual - Military Pass / Senior Pass - Lifetime or Annual / Access Pass / Volunteer Pass / 4th Grade Pass or voucher / Golden Age or Access Pass

Lantern Tour Details: The Lantern Tour (summer only) is a 1940's style adventure. Visitors, carrying lanterns provided by the Monument, enter and exit the cave through the historic entrance. This tour is considered strenuous and lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes. The tour route is ~ 1/2 mile and includes steep, narrow steps (about 600). Visitors must be in good health and physical condition. The tour requires bending, stooping, duck walking, and navigation of steep wooden ladders. The Lantern Tour is limited to 20 people per tour. Children ages seven and under will not be allowed to participate on the Lantern Tour. Parents may not carry a child of any age. All tour participants must be 8 years old or older, and all participants must be able to navigate the tour route unassisted.


Wild Caving Tour - Ticket Prices

  • $31.00 - Adult age 16 & over
  • Passes Not Valid - Annual Pass / Annual - Military Pass / Senior Pass - Lifetime or Annual, Access Pass / Volunteer Pass / 4th Grade Pass or voucher / Golden Age or Access Pass
  • The minimum participant age allowed is 16 years old. Proof of age may be required.
  • A parent or legal guardian, of a 16 or 17 year old, is required to sign a permission waiver. The parent or guardian must remain on site during the entire tour.

Wild Caving Tour Details: This 3 to 4-hour strenuous tour is designed for visitors who want the thrill of experiencing the cave in its natural state. Participants scramble over cave "breakdown," chimney between walls, climb semi-vertical rocks (rope-assisted), and belly crawl through tight passages along a 2/3 mile route. Participants must be in good health and physical condition. Participants are required to fit through a passage 8 1/2 inches high by 24 inches wide.

Participants must provide and wear specific caving clothes and boots. Tours may be cancelled due to a lack of required participants; proper caving equipment;or unforeseen incidents. Tour size is limited to a minimum of 2 visitors and a maximum of 5 visitors. Reservations are required for this tour; however a start date in June 2019 has not yet been determined. Please call the visitor center in mid-June for more information. Check the tour schedule for availability by tour date.

 

America the Beautiful - The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Program

This program provides seven pass options for the public to use at Federal recreation sites where Entrance fees or Standard Amenity fees are charged. Recreation fees continue to provide a vital source of revenue for improving facilities and visitor services at a variety of public lands. These annual or lifetime passes provide an affordable and convenient way to access Federal recreation lands with the National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and the Bureau of Land Management. Up to 100% of the pass program's proceeds are used to improve and enhance visitor recreation services. These passes are not valid for Expanded Amenity fees such as camping, tours, boat launches, or concession fees. Each pass is non-transferable and must be signed by the pass owner to be valid. Passes do not provide a discount at cooperating association bookstores or other park stores.

For more information or to inquire in the purchase of a pass, go to the USGS website about recreational passes.

Last updated: May 10, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

11149 U.S. Hwy. 16
Building B12

Custer, SD 57730

Phone:

(605) 673-8300

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