Cave Tour Reservations
In collaboration with Recreation.gov, Jewel Cave National Monument offers advanced ticket sales for a limited number of cave tours. Due to the elevator renovation project, no advanced ticket reservations are available until further notice. Advanced reservations are only available for the Scenic Tour and are offered for the scheduled times on the hour, such as 10 a.m., 11 a.m., etc. Please be advised that tour times change throughout the year due to visitation and available staffing.
Special Use Permits
Jewel Cave National Monument offers special use permits for an assortment of gatherings and a variety of commercial activities. The purpose of these permits is to ensure the protection of the monument's natural and cultural resources, as well as to minimize conflicts between visitors and event guests.
Special use permits often include activities such as 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.
A non-refundable processing fee is required for all special use permits. Additional fees vary depending on the type of permit issued and will be charged if the permit is approved. For questions or additional information, please contact the Special Park Use Coordinator at (605) 673-8342.
Jewel Cave National Monument
|Commercial Filming Changes to Commercial Filming Permits on Park Lands
On January 22, 2021, the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision in Price v. Barr determining the permit and fee requirements applying to commercial filming under 54 USC 100905, 43 CFR Part 5, and 36 CFR Part 5 are unconstitutional. The National Park Service is currently determining how this decision will be implemented.
Following the recent court decision, the National Park Service will not be implementing or enforcing the commercial filming portions of 43 CFR Part 5 until further notice, including accepting applications, issuing permits, enforcing the terms and conditions of permits, issuing citations related to permits, or collecting cost recovery and location fees for commercial filming activities.
As regulations regarding commercial filming permits are being reassessed, those interested in commercial filming activities on land managed by the National Park Service are encouraged to contact the park directly for more information about filming in the park and to discuss how to minimize potential impacts to visitors and sensitive park resources.
Do I need a permit to film?
Currently, the National Park Service is not issuing commercial filming permits but is in the process of evaluating how best to regulate filming activities that affect visitors and park resources. All applicable laws and regulations governing activities and public use in parks still apply, including park hours and areas open and closed to the public.
Videographers, filmers, producers, directors, and other staff associated with commercial filming are reminded that rules and regulations that apply to all park visitors still apply to filming activities even if no permit is needed for their activity.
Check the Jewel Cave National Monument website for information on park regulations, closures, and other safety tips.
You may also check with park staff for more information by sending an email to e-mail us or calling 605-673-8342.
Please check back on this website for additional updates.
Are filmers still required to pay fees to film in parks?
As of January 22, 2021, the National Park Service is no longer collecting application or location fees, or cost recovery for filming.
When is a permit needed?
Price v. Barr had no impact on how the National Park Service regulates still photography, so there are no changes in how the National Park Service regulates that activity. Still photographers require a permit only when:
The National Park Service will collect a cost recovery charge and a location fee for still photography permits. Cost recovery includes an application fee and any additional charges to cover the costs incurred by the National Park Service in processing your request and monitoring your permit.
Jewel Cave National Monument collects a $50 Application Fee when processing the application.
In addition, the National Park Service has been directed by Congress to collect a fee to provide a fair return to the United States for the use of park lands. The National Park Service uses the following still photography fee schedule:
You may be required to obtain liability insurance naming the United States as additionally insured in an amount commensurate with the risk posed to park resources by your proposed activity. You may also be asked to post a bond to ensure the payment of all charges and fees and the restoration of the area if necessary.
Application Process for Still Photography
Download the form(s) here: Filming Application Short Form
Send completed Still Photography Applications to e-mail us or mail to:
Chief Ranger Office
11149 US Highway 16, BLDG. B12
Custer, SD 57730
For more information e-mail us or call 605-673-8342.
The $50 Application Fee will be collected over the phone by a debit or credit card upon reviewing and processing the application.
Most requests should be processed within 14 days if the application is complete and without alteration, except for:
For those wanting to conduct special research within Jewel Cave National Monument, a permit is required for all surface and sub-surface activities. For more information, contact the Chief of Resource Management at (605) 673-8308.
Last updated: October 9, 2021