Operating Hours & Seasons

Entrance to the cave requires a ranger-guided tour, a minimum of two visitors, and tours are scheduled. Tickets are required to enter the cave, and are sold on-site on a first-come, first-served basis (check schedule below). Reservations are not taken over the phone by a park ranger. 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 844-245-6179.

Tickets are limited by tour type and cave tours do 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 or go through the reservation service (mentioned above). When planning a visit to Jewel Cave, it is important to know there is no food service at the Monument.

 

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

Summer Tour Schedule (June 10, 2018 through August 18, 2018):

Visitor Center Hours - Open daily from 8:00 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., 11:00 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., 2:40 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 3:20 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.

Discovery Tour offered daily at 9:35 a.m., 11:35 a.m., 1:35 p.m., 3:35 p.m., and 4:35 p.m.

Historic Lantern Tour is not available on a daily basis. Due to White Nose Syndrome (WNS) being found in South Dakota (Jackson and Custer Counties), the Historic Lantern Tours are postponed until August 13. Historic Lantern Tours will begin on August 13, on a daily basis at 9:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. For more information about this tour, please click on the link to the Historic Lantern Tour.

A Wild Caving Tour will be offered on August 6, 8, 9, 16 and 18. Visitors can call in to request a reservation for one of these dates listed, if space on these tours is still available. We will return calls for reservations between 1 - 4 p.m. Mountain Time. This tour's check-in time at the visitor center is 11:00 AM with the tour beginning at 11:30 AM. Call us for details about this tour.

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Late Summer Tour Schedule (August 19 to September 3, 2018):

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 Tour 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 is Labor Day Monday.)

A Wild Caving Tour will be offered at 11:30 a.m. on August 22, 25, 27 and 29. The last day for a Wild Caving Tour (summer season) is August 29. Reservations are required and can be made in early August 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 AM. This tour may not be available in September due to staff availability.
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Early Fall Tour Schedule (September 4 - 30, 2018):

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 Tour 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 (October 1 - 14, 2018): 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 2018 through April 2019. We apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to assisting with your vacation plans in the future. If you have questions about other visitor services, please contact the Monument directly at (605) 673-8300 and speak with a park ranger.

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., 12:40 p.m., and 2:40 p.m.

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

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Early Winter Tour Schedule (October 15 - November 11, 2018): Due to a planned construction project in mid-October within the cave, Scenic Tours will likely be suspended until mid-April 2019. This has not been confirmed yet; however, every indication is that the cave will be "closed" during the off-season.

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., 12:40 p.m., and 2:40 p.m. depending on the above statement.

Discovery Tour offered daily at 9:05 a.m. (the only wheelchair accessible tour) depending on the above statement.


Wild Caving Tour may be offered once a month during the off-season depending on the construction project mentioned above. Dates are to be determined by October 1st. The Wild Caving Tour meets at 11:00 a.m. (check-in). Reservations are required and should be made in advance (3 - 28 days) by phone. Note: The reservation deadline for an off-season date is the Wednesday prior to the scheduled tour. A minimum of four visitors is required for this tour to proceed with a maximum of five.
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Winter Tour Schedule (November 12, 2018 through mid-March, 2019): Due to a planned construction project in mid-October within the cave, Scenic Tours will likely be suspended until mid-April 2019. This has not been confirmed yet; however, every indication is that the cave will be "closed" during the off-season.

Visitor Center Hours - Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Mountain Time). The Monument is closed on Thanksgiving Day (November 22), Christmas Day (December 25), Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Presidents' Day. There are no cave tours available Mondays - Thursdays, and some Fridays due to limited staffing in the off-season.

Scenic Tour will be offered at 10:00 a.m., 12:40 p.m., and 2:40 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Discovery Tour will be offered at 9:05 a.m. (the only wheelchair accessible tour) on Saturdays and Sundays.
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Early Spring Tour Schedule (Mid-March 2019 to mid-April, 2019): Due to a planned construction project in mid-October within the cave, Scenic Tours will likely be suspended until mid-April 2019. This has not been confirmed yet; however, every indication is that the cave will be "closed" during the off-season.

Visitor Center Hours - Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Mountain Time). Cave tours will not be available on Mondays and Tuesdays due to limited staffing.

Scenic Tour offered at 10:00 a.m., 12:40 p.m., and 2:40 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Scenic Tour offered at 10:00 and 11:20 a.m., 12:40 and 2:40 p.m. on Fridays - Sundays.
NOTE: All scheduled tours leave on time. You cannot catch up to a tour group once the tour leaves the surface.

Discovery Talk offered once a day at 9:05 a.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Discovery Talks offered at 9:35 a.m. and 3:35 p.m. on Fridays - Sundays.

There are no Wild Caving Tours in March and April.

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Spring Tour Schedule (Mid-April, 2019): Due to a planned construction project in mid-October within the cave, Scenic Tours will likely be suspended until mid-April 2019. This has not been confirmed yet; however, every indication is that the cave will be "closed" during the off-season.

Visitor Center Hours - Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Mountain Time)
All scheduled tours leave on time. Tour schedules in April are subject to change with short notice.

Scenic Tour offered at 10:00 a.m., 12:40 p.m., and 2:40 p.m. on Mondays - Wednesdays. Scenic Tour offered at 10:00 and 11:20 a.m., 12:40 and 2:40 p.m. on Thursdays - Sundays.

Discovery Talk offered once a day at 9:05 a.m. on Mondays - Wednesdays. Discovery Talks offered at 9:35 a.m. and 3:35 p.m. Thursdays - Sundays.

There are no Wild Caving Tours in April and May.

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Spring Tour Schedule (Mid-April - April 30, 2019): Subject to Change

Visitor Center Hours - Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Mountain Time)
All scheduled tours leave on time. Tour schedules in April are subject to change with short notice.

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

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

There are no Wild Caving Tours in April and May.

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Late Spring Tour Schedule (May 1 to May 24, 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 Tour 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 during the month of May.
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Early Summer Tour Schedule (Memorial Day weekend, May 25 through June 15, 2019):

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

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

Discovery Tour offered daily at 9:35 a.m., 11:35 a.m., 1:35 p.m., and 4:25 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 late June. Interested participants should contact the visitor center in early June for a firm schedule.
After the bats have finished hibernating, the Historic Lantern Tours will be offered daily at 9:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Additional Lantern Tours may be available at 11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m., except for Fridays, by late June.

A Wild Caving Tour may be offered in early June if tour guides for this specific tour are trained. Otherwise, tours are planned to begin in mid-June on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. Reservations will be taken or processed between 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. When available, this tour's check-in time at the visitor center is 11:00 AM with the tour beginning at 11:30 AM. NOTE: Would you like a real adventure? Anyone over the age of 16 can take part in our Wild Caving Tour. Call us for details about this tour.
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Last updated: August 10, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

11149 U.S. Hwy. 16
Building B12

Custer, SD 57730

Phone:

(605) 673-8300

Contact Us