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Jewel Cave National Monument

11149 US Hwy 16, Building B12, Custer, SD 57730
+1 605-673-8300
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Ranked #9 of 24 attractions in Custer
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Caverns/ Caves, National Parks
Activities: Group tours/day tour, Group tours/walking tour, Hiking
Owner description: Jewel Cave National Monument is home to one of the longest caves in the world. Offering an assortment of cave formations and recreational... more » Owner description: 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 Cave Tour (3 to 4 hours). Furthermore, an array of surface programs are also available during the summer months, which include guided nature hikes, interpretive patio talks, and special events. NOTE: Beginning around April 1, 2014, Hwy 16 within the monument will be under construction. Traffic delays will occur throughout the spring, summer, and fall seasons. This is combined with a parking lot improvement project near the visitor center. For these reasons, advanced tour reservations will not be available in 2014. Cave tour tickets will only be made available on a first come first serve basis at the Monument. Interested park guests are welcome to call the visitor center directly for planning assistance. « less
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409 reviews from our community

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English first
Basking Ridge, New Jersey
2 reviews
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014 NEW

For the amount of effort it took to get to the caves, I wasn't impressed. It took us almost 2 extra hours to the trip to travel to, from and within the caves because of construction that's going on. It took us 1.5 hr there from Rapid city. 30 mins of it was sitting in the car waiting for our... More

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Gilbert, Arizona
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
11 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014 NEW

We had a very interesting cave tour and the ranger guide was enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Make sure you bring a light jacket or sweatshirt because it is rather chilly inside. There are a lot of stairs to climb but it is very safe. An enjoyable outing for the whole family I would have given it a "5" but I have... More

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Blair, Nebraska
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014 NEW via mobile

ALL of the park Rangers and staff were friendly and knowledgeable. They had a junior ranger activity and my 5 year old daughter loved it. They did an education activity on the deck which was cool. The cave was interesting but not what I expected. It was a dry cave so the formations were much different than I thought. We... More

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Dearborn, Missouri
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014 NEW

Tour guide was very knowledgeable. We did scenic tour. Kids were tired by the time it was over. There are a lot of stairs! The cave has an interesting history. The road construction on the way there was awful, but it is not their fault. Give yourself and extra 30 minutes or so to get there.

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Richland, Washington
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014 NEW

Beautiful cave with a great tour. Very knowledgeable ranger guide really made our 1st cave experience special. Hard to describe the extent of the see and beauty. A must see!

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Kentucky
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2014 NEW

We toured both Jewell cave and wind cave. They are very different as Jewell is a wet cave and Wind cave is dry. This caused very different formations in the caves. We enjoyed both visits. We did the scenic tour which was interesting. There was a lot of construction in the area but it only delayed us about 15 minutes... More

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NPSParkRanger, Public Relations Manager at Jewel Cave National Monument, responded to this review

Thank you for your review of Jewel Cave National Monument. You are correct in stating the construction can cause a delay for potential visitors, and the Jewel Cave staff works diligently to provide advice as to how planning a trip to the monument can best be managed. We appreciate your recognizing the differences between Jewel Cave and Wind Cave as... More

Apopka, Florida
Top Contributor
275 reviews 275 reviews
173 attraction reviews
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014 NEW

I am crazy about caves but this is really cool. It is one of the longest and most complex caves in the world. Cavers have mapped out over 160 miles of underground wilderness. This is a great cave for kids, too just make sure everyone used the restroom before they enter because the tour is typically 45- 1 1/2 long... More

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NPSParkRanger, Public Relations Manager at Jewel Cave National Monument, responded to this review

Thank you for your review of Jewel Cave National Monument. We are delighted to read that you enjoyed the scientific wonder of what Jewel Cave offers, and encourage others to take a similar perspective when visiting the monument. The tours offered at Jewel Cave National Monument complement visitors of all ages and, with appropriate planning, each visitor should experience something... More

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

Our family of 6, all kids under 10, visited. I did research ahead--with the road construction on hwy 16, they no longer offered advanced ticket sales. That means, show up early and be prepared to wait a couple hours before your tour starts. They don't seem to have a well-organized parking lot during the construction (the Jewel Cave is also... More

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NPSParkRanger, Public Relations Manager at Jewel Cave National Monument, responded to this review

Thank you for your review regarding your trip to Jewel Cave National Monument. You are correct in stating that there is a possible wait for tours, especially later in the afternoon, and the added construction offers a few other "obstacles". We encourage other visitors to follow your direction in doing research of Jewel Cave National Monument by calling ahead, visiting... More

San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

jewel cave is one of the best. If you like caves this is a must do! There is road construction (mid July) and can delay your coming and going so take this into account

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NPSParkRanger, Public Relations Manager at Jewel Cave National Monument, responded to this review

Thank you for your review of Jewel Cave National Monument. We appreciate your kind comments and your informing other visitors of what "obstactles" can be expected when visiting the monument during this busy part of the summer season. More

Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

We went to Jewel cave and after looking at tour options and times, decided on the lantern tour. From the visitor center, we needed to hike or drive 1.5 miles for the lantern tour. We decided to hike. We had a fair amount of time to get there and road construction in the area would have made the drive just... More

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NPSParkRanger, Public Relations Manager at Jewel Cave National Monument, responded to this review

Thank you for your review of Jewel Cave National Monument. We often hear that people enjoy the Historic Lantern tour because of the adventure aspect, as well as providing some "nostalgia" in regards to early cave discovery and exploration. It is also a delight to enter the home of our many bat species and intereact with visitors learning about resource... More

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