Reservations for Scenic Cave Tours
In collaboration with Black Hills Central Reservations, Jewel Cave National Monument offers advanced ticket sales for a limited number of guided cave tours. Advanced sales are only available for the Scenic Tour and are only offered for the scheduled tours on the hour, such as 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. All other tour options and tour times are administered on a first come first serve basis, with sales on-site at the ticket kiosk (summer season) or visitor center (off-season).
Advanced ticket sales can be made for dates that are over 48 hours in advance and up to 90 days into the future. Advance ticket purchases can be made using an online service at www.blackhillsvacations.com or by phone through a call center at 844-245-6179. Please be advised that advanced ticket sales are administered by Black Hills Vacations.
Ticket prices and tour descriptions are found under the Fees & Passes page.
NOTE: At Jewel Cave National Monument, tickets for same day tours are available on-site, in person, and on a first come first served basis on the day of the tour. Cave tours can and often do sell out daily during the summer season and over holiday weekends. Visitors are advised to come in the morning to purchase tickets for any time during the same day. During the winter months, cave tours are offered on weekends and are not offered on Monday - Thursday due to a limited staff in the off-season.
Permits & Reservations
Reservations for Scenic Cave Tours
Special Use Permits
Jewel Cave National Monument offers special use permits for an assortment of gatherings and a variety of commercial activities that often relate to special events. The purpose of these permits is to ensure the protection of the monument's natural and cultural resources, as well as to allow for the safety of the permit participants, visitors, and staff.
Special events include activities such as commercial filming, still photography, weddings, memorial services, special ceremonies, auto club rallies, organized tours, large group camps, and youth gatherings. It is important to note that special events differ from public assemblies and public meetings in that the latter activities are rights protected by the First Amendment. The authority for the management of special events in a National Park Service site can be found in Title 16, U.S. Code and Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, 2.50. The 2006 National Park Service Management Policies and Director's Order 53 Special Park Uses provide policy guidance for management of special event activities.
The following guidelines are established by the 2006 National Park Service Management Policies, as they relate to special event activities within Jewel Cave National Monument.
A special park use is a short-term activity that takes place within the monument and that:
Special use permits for special events will not be issued, if in the opinion of the Superintendent, the requested special event will:
Application fees vary depending on the type of permit issued. Additional processing fees will be charged if the permit is approved.
For questions or additional information, please contact the Special Park Use Coordinator at (605) 673-8342.
Permits Involving Cave Entrance
All persons entering Jewel Cave are required to be screened for White-nose Syndrome (a disease deadly to bats), and if necessary, permit participants will be required to undergo decontamination procedures on footwear and equipment before entering the cave. Screening involves answering a series of questions about clothing, foot gear, equipment, and personal items carried into the cave. For more information about this disease and policies related to White-nosed Syndrome, contact the visitor center at (605) 673-8300.
For those wanting to conduct special research within Jewel Cave National Monument, a permit is required. For details on research permits, contact the Chief of Resource Management at (605) 673-8308, or e-mail your request.
Filming and Photography Permits
Commercial Filming and Still Photography Permits are issued for filming, photography, and associated sound recording to ensure the protection of resources, to prevent significant disruption of normal visitor uses, or when they involve props, models, professional crews and casts, or set dressings. Furthermore, these permits are required for access to surface and sub-surface areas of the monument normally closed to the visiting public. For more information, contact the Chief Ranger at (605) 673-8342, or e-mail your request.
Complete the form above and mail it (along with payment; checks made payable to the National Park Service) to:
Last updated: February 7, 2018