Jewel Cave National MonumentCurrently Closed
- Address: 11149 US-16 B-12, Custer, SD 57730, United States, 57730
- Timings: 08:30 am - 04:30 pm Details
- Phone: +1-6056738300
- Fax: +1-6056738397
- Ticket Price: 12 USD
- Time Required: 03:00 Hrs
- Tags: Cave, Geological Formation, Monument, Family And Kids, Landmarks, Parks, Natural Parks
Jewel Cave National Monument - Review
The first discovery of Jewel Cave was made in 1900 when two brothers, Frank and Albert Michaud, wrote describing this cave as a hope with cold air blowing out of it. The entrance was extremely small for a human to enter; so the brothers used dynamite to bomb it up and enlarge it. Once they got in, they found passages which were filled with sparkling “jewels” made up of calcite. The brothers quickly took action and began to develop the area for encouraging tourism. They put together a trail and even went on to build a lodge and a dance club nearby. In 1908; When President Theodore Roosevelt went on to declare the cave a national monument, is when the brothers sold their shares to the federal government.
Jewel Cave National Monument Information
- All cave tours at Jewel Cave are scheduled, ranger-guided, and require a minimum of two visitors.
- Tickets are required to enter the cave, and are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Monument.
- Tour tickets are limited and cave tours do sell out at any time of the year.
- When planning a visit to Jewel Cave, it is important to know there is no food service (except vending machines) at the Monument.
- CAVE TOUR SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE due to staff availability, emergency situations, construction projects, inclement weather, and/or special events.
- Participants must provide and wear specific caving clothes and boots.
- Tours may be cancelled due to a lack of required participants; proper caving equipment or unforeseen incidents.
- Tour size is limited to a minimum of 2 visitors and a maximum of 5 visitors during the summer season.
Jewel Cave National Monument Ticket Prices
Cave Tour Fees:
- Scenic Tour - Ticket Prices
- $12.00 - Adult age 17 & over
- $8.00 - Youth ages 6-16 (must be at least age 6)
- Half price - Golden Age/Senior/Access Adult or Access Youth (pass holder only)
- Not valid - Annual Pass / Military Pass / Volunteer Pass / 4th Grade Pass
Discovery Talk - Ticket Prices
- $4.00 - Adult age 17 &over
- Free - Youth & Children ages 16 & under
- Free - Golden Age/Senior/Access pass holder and 3 adults
- Free - Annual Pass / Military Pass / Volunteer Pass / 4th Grader owner plus 3 adults
Historic Lantern Tour - Ticket Prices
- $12.00 - Adult age 17 &over
- $8.00 - Youth ages 6-16 (must be at least 6 yrs. old)
- $6.00 - Golden Age/Senior/Access Adult (pass holder only)
- $4.00 - Access Youth - age 6 to 16 (pass holder only)
- Not valid - Annual Pass / Military Pass / Volunteer Pass / 4th Grade Pass
Wild Caving Tour - Ticket Prices
- $31.00 - Adult age 16 &over
- $15.50 - Golden Age/Senior/Access Adult (pass holder only)
- Not valid - Annual Pass / Military Pass / Volunteer Pass
- The minimum participant age allowed is 16 years old. Proof of age may be required.
- A parent or legal guardian, of a 16 or 17 yr. old, is required to sign a permission waiver.
Jewel Cave National Monument Hours
- Please visit official website for tour timings.
How To reach Jewel Cave National Monument by Public Transport
- Take US Highway 16.
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Things to Know Before Visiting Jewel Cave National Monument
95% of people who visit Custer include Jewel Cave National Monument in their plan
09 AM - 10 AM
86.67% of people start their Jewel Cave National Monument visit around 09 AM - 10 AM
People usually take around 3 Hrs to see Jewel Cave National Monument
95% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Jewel Cave National Monument
Jewel Cave National Monument Map
Jewel Cave National Monument Trips
Jewel Cave National Monument, Custer Reviews
What an incredible place! This was the first cave I ever got the chance to visit and now can't wait to visit others. Our tour guide Colleen was a great storyteller and very informative. It's fascinating to think about what all is under our earth when we're all so familiar with its surface. My advice? Put your camera down and just soak in the amazing things around you. :)
The cave is amazing. It's a very different experience from Wind Cave, which is also in the Black Hills. So both are definitely worth visiting of you're in the area. The rooms and passageways you walk through on the tour are huge. It's a pretty easy walk. I was too busy looking at all the awesome cave formations to notice any effort in walking up the stairs. It's only about 50 degrees in the cave and the tour is well over an hour so definitely wear a sweatshirt or a jacket--I'm glad I did.
Jewel Cave was a wonderful tour. The tour took about 2 hours and you need at least 45 minutes if you want to complete the junior ranger program in the museum. The finding and exploration of the cave is unique and the cave is so clean. Our tour guide was interesting and knowledgeable. There are lots of stairs and it is important to wear tennis shoes. Sandals and crocs are not allowed, for your own safety. The grate is sharp and will poke through soft soled shoes. Our family thoroughly enjoyed Jewel Cave.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: they only have so many advance tickets available for purchase and a limited number of walk in tickets. If you do not get there early (i.e. 8:30-9:00am) you may find all tours sold out (this happened the first time we went to visit the cave last year which was a bummer since it was an hour drive one direction to get there). The rangers monitor for white nose syndrome so make sure your closed-toed shoes HAVE NOT been to a cave with this issue within the last 10 years. This park is very clean, informative rangers in the lobby and parking lot, the park is easy to find, clean bathrooms, and has an informational area to look at while you wait for your tour. The rangers do an excellent job making sure everyone has proper shoes and reminding people that it's 49°F in the cave so a sweater and pants are a good idea. They do sell long sleeve shirts and sweaters in the gift shop if you forget one. I wish our ranger in the cave was a bit more informative with the history, discovery, and geology of the cave. I felt like her explanations were too brief/overly simplified and it began to feel like the cave was not interesting based on the information she shared with us. We took the scenic tour and it only had three stopping points where the ranger gave us a super brief explanation of the cave and history. We spent more time waiting for everyone to gather at these points and waiting for the ranger to get up to the front then she did explaining. She did answer questions, talk with people along the way, and point out interesting rock formations along the way, but if you were near the back or in the middle, it was hard to ask questions along the way. The groups are small (30 people) which makes it easy to get through and everyone was able to hear the ranger at the larger gathering spots. The tour was great for kids (although my 7 year old nephew got bored near the end) and it wasn't super strenuous. There were benches and places to rest at the larger gathering points throughout the cave.
First thing, reserve your tour ahead of time, we were doing this last minute and ended up waiting 2 hours for an opening in a tour. Luckily the visitors center there was great, the junior ranger program was fun for the kids, and the was a ranger talk to see. So the wait time flew by. The scenic tour itself was awesome. Our guide was knowledgeable and pleasant. All the different formations and different depths were intriguing. Very worth the wait. Be sure if you are in the area that you make this a stop on your list.