Operating Hours & Seasons

Entrance to the cave requires a ranger-guided tour, a minimum of two visitors, and tours are scheduled by season (listed below). A majority of the Scenic Tour times listed on the hour are available by reservation. All other tour times are sold at the Monument for same day tours on a first-come, first-served basis. Working in collaboration with Black Hills Central Reservations, 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.

Tickets are required to enter the cave, are limited by tour type, and cave 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 in person, or go through the reservation service (mentioned above). When planning a visit to Jewel Cave, it is important to know there is minimal food service at the Monument.

 

SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE due to staff availability, emergency situations, construction projects, inclement weather, and/or special events. In the event of inclement winter weather, visitors are advised to call ahead at (605) 673-8300. Visitor Center hours are subject to change during severe weather.


Summer Tour Schedule (July 21 through August 17, 2019):

Visitor Center Hours - Open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Mountain Time)

Scenic Tour offered daily at 8:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 9:20 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 10:20 a.m., 10:40 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 11:20 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 12:40 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 1:20 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 2:20 p.m., 2:40 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 3:20 p.m., 4:00 p.m. and 4:20 p.m.

Discovery Talk offered daily at 9:35 a.m., 11:35 a.m., 1:35 p.m., 3:35 p.m., 4:45 p.m., and 5:15 p.m.

Historic Lantern Tours may begin during the second week of June depending on the following statement.
NOTE: Due to unpredictable weather conditions and the presence of hibernating bats, Historic Lantern Tour dates may be suspended into mid to late June. Interested participants should contact the visitor center in early June for a firm schedule.
After the bats have finished hibernating and a construction project has completed in the area, the Historic Lantern Tours will be offered daily, beginning July 1st, at 9:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Note: The Historic Lantern Tour has an age restriction, all participants must be age 8 or older.

A Wild Caving Tour will be offered at 11:30 a.m. on the following dates: July 22, 27, 29, and August 3. Additional dates have not been determined at this time. Reservations are required and can be made by phone. Reservations will be taken or processed between 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. This tour's check-in time at the visitor center is 11:00 a.m. Note: The Wild Caving Tour has an age restriction, all participants must be age 16 or older.

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Late Summer Tour Schedule (August 18 through September 2, 2019):

Visitor Center Hours - Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Mountain Time)

Scenic Tour offered daily at 9:00 a.m., 9:20 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 10:40 a.m., 11:20 a.m., 12:40 p.m., 1:20 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 2:40 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 3:20 p.m., and 3:40 p.m.

Discovery Talk offered daily at 9:35 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 11:35 a.m., 1:35 p.m., 2:15 p.m., and 4:25 p.m.

Historic Lantern Tour offered daily at 9:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. (Last day for this tour is Labor Day Monday.) Note: The Historic Lantern Tour has an age restriction, all participants must be age 8 or older.

A Wild Caving Tour will be offered at 11:30 a.m. in late August (dates to be determined). Reservations are required and can be made in early August. Reservations will be taken or processed between 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. This tour's check-in time at the visitor center is 11:00 AM. This tour may not be available in September due to staff availability. Note: The Wild Caving Tour has an age restriction, all participants must be age 16 or older.
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Early Fall Tour Schedule (September 3 - 28, 2019):

Visitor Center Hours - Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Mountain Time)

Scenic Tour offered daily at 9:20 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:20 a.m., 12:40 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 2:40 p.m.

Discovery Talk offered daily at 9:35 a.m., 11:35 a.m., 1:35 p.m., and 3:35 p.m.

There are no Historic Lantern Tours or Wild Caving Tours after Labor Day.

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Fall Tour Schedule (September 29 and 30, 2019): Due to a planned construction project inside the cave during the off-season, Jewel Cave is not taking advanced reservations for Scenic Tours from October 1, 2019 through April 2020. We apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to assisting with your vacation plans in the future.

Visitor Center Hours - Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Mountain Time)

Scenic Tour offered daily at 10:00 a.m., 11:20 a.m., 12:40 p.m., and 2:40 p.m.

Discovery Talk offered daily at 9:35 a.m. and 3:35 p.m.
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Early Winter Schedule – No Tours (October 1 through November 30, 2019): Beginning on October 1, 2019, the second phase of a planned construction project within Jewel Cave will begin, with a cave closure through the off-season. All cave tours will be suspended until early May 2020. Even though the cave will be "closed" during the off-season; the Visitor Center, surface trails, and park store will be open daily.

Visitor Center Hours - Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Mountain Time), except the Monument will be closed on Thanksgiving Day (November 28).
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Winter Schedule – No Tours (December 1, 2019 through early May, 2020): Due to a planned construction project within Jewel Cave, (started on October 1, 2019), all cave tours will be suspended until early May 2020. The Visitor Center, surface trails, and park store will be open during the cave closure.

Visitor Center Hours - Open Wednesday through Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Mountain Time). The Monument is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. The Monument is closed on Federal holidays such as Christmas Day (December 25) and New Year’s Day (January 1).

Last updated: July 20, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

11149 U.S. Hwy. 16
Building B12

Custer, SD 57730

Phone:

(605) 673-8300

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