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Jewel Cave National Monument

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Address: 11149 US Hwy 16, Building B12, Custer, SD 57730
Phone Number:
+1 605-673-8300
Website
Today
08:30 - 16:30
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 08:30 - 16:30
Description:

Jewel Cave National Monument is home to one of the longest caves in the...

Jewel Cave National Monument is home to one of the longest caves in the world. Offering an assortment of cave formations and recreational opportunities, many visitors are truly amazed by this underground wilderness. Most impressive is the fact that exploration and discovery continue to take place at this significant natural resource.

As part of the National Park Service, the Monument offers four different types of cave experiences: Scenic Tour (1 hour and 20 minutes), Discovery Talk (20 minutes) Historic Lantern Tour (1 hour and 45 minutes), and Wild Caving Tour (3 to 4 hours). During the late winter and early spring seasons, limited tour options are available. It is recommended that visitors check online for specific tour times or call the visitor center directly for park ranger assistance.

NOTE: At present, advanced reservations for cave tour tickets are not available in 2017. It is hoped that this service will be available by Memorial Day Weekend; however, until further notice, all cave tour tickets are being sold on a first come first serve basis.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Majestic!

Loved this tour- had Beth Ann as our ranger. This is a beautiful, majestic cave. The rooms are spacious- the lighting is eerily gorgeous. There are many types of formations... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Bellaire56
,
Bellaire, MI
via mobile

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969 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 961: English reviews
Bellaire, MI
Level Contributor
269 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Loved this tour- had Beth Ann as our ranger. This is a beautiful, majestic cave. The rooms are spacious- the lighting is eerily gorgeous. There are many types of formations within the cave. If you are in the Rapid City area, do not pass up this experience!

Helpful?
Thank Bellaire56
NPSParkRanger, Public Relations Manager at Jewel Cave National Monument, responded to this review

Thank you for the kind words toward one of our seasonal Park Rangers. We will pass along the feedback to BethAnn for her awareness. Best wishes with your future adventures with the National Park Service! More 

Colorado
Level Contributor
212 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

How can one of the top attractions in the area be so poorly managed. Where's the consideration of "customer?" In this digital age when you can buy an airline ticket and select a specific seat any where in the world, you cannot book an on-line tour at Jewel Cave? We showed up a hour ahead of the 2PM tour on... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank ColoradoChilidog
NPSParkRanger, Public Relations Manager at Jewel Cave National Monument, responded to this review

Thank you for the informative review related to the Monument's ticketing process. For clarification, the Monument has never offered online reservations directly; in the distant past, visitors sometimes booked a ticket in advance through a non-profit organization. This relationship is no longer available at the present time, hence advanced ticket sales are currently not offered. During the spring and fall... More 

Canmore
Level Contributor
36 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

They are not progressive and modernized and don't take reservations online or by phone. You can't see the caves without being on a tour. Hopefully management will modernize and create an online reservation system at some point in the future as some other National Park sites already have.

Helpful?
2 Thank mrpetsaver
NPSParkRanger, Public Relations Manager at Jewel Cave National Monument, responded to this review

Thank you for the feedback, and you are correct in suggesting that a reservation system will likely accommodate some additional visitors (more efficiently). However, at present, this service is not available, and we are trying our best to accommodate as many guests as we can with limited staff and limited tour times in the spring season. We regret that you... More 

Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

A very beautiful cavern tour that includes a super fast elevator to the bottom. The formations are very colorful. The caverns are very large and I never felt closed in or closed in. The surface can be a little slick so wear comfortable shoes. Definitely great for the whole family. My son was 9 and he enjoyed the adventure, but... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank Melissa S
NPSParkRanger, Public Relations Manager at Jewel Cave National Monument, responded to this review

Thank you for the positive review. We are happy to read that your experience was worthwhile and that you enjoyed the cave features. Best wishes with your future travels! More 

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Level Contributor
242 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2017 via mobile

We called in the morning to ask about tour times and what time to get to the cave to buy tickets. We were assured by the ranger on the phone that 30 minutes before the tour would ensure that we would have a place. Even though we arrived 45 minutes before the tour started, after driving 19 hours to South... More 

Helpful?
5 Thank elizarenn
NPSParkRanger, Public Relations Manager at Jewel Cave National Monument, responded to this review

Thank you for the constructive feedback. We apologize that you experienced a negative issue while visiting Jewel Cave National Monument. Although we try our best with large numbers of visitors, we sometimes "miss the mark" with respect to visitor expectations. Although we realize that reservations may accommodate some visitors (more efficiently), the greatest demand for tickets is from first come... More 

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
145 reviews
115 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2017

The lantern tour is the best, where start getting the old candles and going down to the mountain, and then the tour guide opens the locked front door, and then the second one where you feel the air pressure of the wind due to temp deference. It is a physically challenging tour by all means, but I like it with... More 

Helpful?
Thank FreeAdventurer
NPSParkRanger, Public Relations Manager at Jewel Cave National Monument, responded to this review

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the Monument's Historic Lantern Tour. This particular tour option usually starts in mid-June and concludes in early September. Due to hibernating bats in the natural entrance of Jewel Cave, we are restricted on when we can operate tours with the general public. For clarification, the Monument no longer uses candles with this tour.... More 

Buffalo, Wyoming
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2017

We took the scenic tour with our three kids (9, 7 and 3) and it was fascinating and very interesting. Our bigger kids were eager to learn about the cave's formations and geologic history from our top notch guide. We arrived around 9 a.m. and the earliest tour we could get was after lunch, so we doubled back and spent... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank KIDzOUTApp
NPSParkRanger, Public Relations Manager at Jewel Cave National Monument, responded to this review

Thank you for the wonderful review and especially for taking the time to visit the third longest cave in the world. From what you composed, it appears that you planned a great day this past winter and took advantage of the schedule to accommodate some other public lands in the Black Hills. Awesome planning efforts! Best wishes as you continue... More 

Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 13 February 2017

Jewel Cave National Monument is best known for its cave tours, which are interesting and fascinating. However, there is always something interesting going on above ground, too! In the winter there are ranger-led snowshoe hikes, and in summer they bring out special ranger programs for kids like raptors, reptiles, mammal furs, and more. Even if you are not a caving... More 

Helpful?
Thank Kari T
NPSParkRanger, Public Relations Manager at Jewel Cave National Monument, responded to this review

Thank you for the excellent review and especially for sharing the Monument's array of programs. Our staff takes great pride in providing an assortment of educational activities for families ... and especially for youth. We are so pleased to read about your positive experiences. And, a special thank you for mentioning the guided snowshoe hikes. Along with nearby Custer State... More 

Ontario
Level Contributor
101 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2017 via mobile

My first time exploring a cave and found it very interesting. You would think that if you've seen one cave you've seen them all but I'm sure each one has it's own identity and features. Seems quite popular with the tourists and a must see for visitors young and old.

Helpful?
Thank HonestAbeOntario
NPSParkRanger, Public Relations Manager at Jewel Cave National Monument, responded to this review

Thank you for sharing your feedback online through TripAdvisor. The Monument receives a number of comments each year from visitors that have reviewed online sites for trip planning ideas, suggestions, etc. Your positive comments will certainly help maintain a solid first impression with our guests ... even before they arrive on site. More 

Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
31 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 February 2017

This is so worth waking up early and waiting in line BEFORE it even opens. This is a very popular attraction and difficult to get spots, in the busy summer season, if you don't plan ahead. It really is amazingly beautiful! This is the first cave experience we have been on that you take an elevator ride 100's of feet... More 

Helpful?
Thank K M
NPSParkRanger, Public Relations Manager at Jewel Cave National Monument, responded to this review

Thank you for the wonderful online review. We sincerely appreciate the feedback, and we also know that many future visitors read these comments and plan their trips / experiences accordingly. Your guidance will likely help many visitors in 2017. Best wishes for the new year! We hope you continue to explore and discover even more sites within the National Park... More 

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