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). Tickets are required to enter the cave, and are available on site for same day tours on a first-come, first-served basis. 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. Note: Reservations will not be available until May 1, 2019 for the upcoming tour seasons.

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). During the month of May, Jewel Cave will be hosting several school groups. As a result, your tour may include other groups of various ages. When planning a visit to Jewel Cave, it is important to know there is no 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.

Winter Schedule (December 17, 2018 through late April, 2019): Due to a planned construction project within the cave during the off-season, all cave tours will be suspended until about late April 2019. There are no cave tours available through the off-season.

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 & Tuesdays.
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Early Spring Tour Schedule (Late April, 2019): Subject to Change due to pending start date

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 once a day at 9:05 a.m. - this is the only accessible tour.
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Spring Tour Schedule (Late April – May 3, 2019): Subject to Change

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

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


Discovery Tour offered daily at 9:35 a.m. and 3:35 p.m.
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Late Spring Tour Schedule (May 4 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.
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Early Summer Tour Schedule (Memorial Day weekend, May 25 through June 8, 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.
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Summer Tour Schedule (June 9 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 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., 4:00 p.m. and 4:20 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 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, 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. by late June. Note: The Historic Lantern Tour has an age restriction, all participants must be age 8 or older.

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, Thursdays, and Saturdays. There is one Wild Caving Tour per day with a check-in time at 11:00 AM with the tour beginning at 11:30 AM. Reservations for this tour will be taken or processed between 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. beginning in early June. Reservations can be made up to 28 days in advance of the available tour date. 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 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 for this tour is Labor Day Monday.) Note: The Historic Lantern Tour has an age restriction, all participants must be age 8 and older.

A Wild Caving Tour will be offered at 11:30 a.m. on August (dates to be determined). 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. Note: The Wild Caving Tour has an age restriction, all participants must be age 16 and 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 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 (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 Tour 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): Due to a planned construction project within Jewel Cave beginning on October 1, all cave tours will be suspended until mid-April 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 April, 2020): Due to a planned construction project within Jewel Cave, (started on October 1, 2019), all cave tours will be suspended until mid-April 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: March 24, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

11149 U.S. Hwy. 16
Building B12

Custer, SD 57730

Phone:

(605) 673-8300

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