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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
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Activities: Group tours/day tour, Group tours/walking tour, Hiking
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 winter months, limited tour options are available. Furthermore, the monument is open Mondays through Fridays through early March. NOTE: At present, advanced reservations for cave tour tickets are not available in 2015. 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.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Must go right away in the am!

Get your tickets by 9 am! Later and you might not get any. I agree that this should be stated on the website more clear! The first day we got there at 12 pm and no more tours... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed July 4, 2015
jschmidt0525
,
Omaha, Nebraska
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556 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2015 NEW

Get your tickets by 9 am! Later and you might not get any. I agree that this should be stated on the website more clear! The first day we got there at 12 pm and no more tours available. The next day, we arrived at 9:30 am but the first tour available still wasn't till the afternoon so picked the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
salt lake city
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2015 NEW

If you go in summer, go fairly early, or you may not get a ticket for the tour you want. You may not even get to go on a tour at all. We lucked out and got tickets for a tour, though we did have to wait a couple hours. Ranger Ken was funny and approachable. Definitely go, just be... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2015 NEW

We arrived at noon and all the tours were full. Better warning on the website regarding selling out would be appreciated!

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Fishers, Indiana
Level Contributor
81 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2015 NEW

Based on the NPS website for Jewel Cave, we decided to go early on a Monday (they say Tuesdays and Wednesdays are their busiest days) to get tickets for the lantern tour. The visitor center opens at 8 and the first lantern tour is at 9:45am. We ended up arriving around 9:15 and there was already a short line at... More 

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Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2015 NEW

Make sure you take a jacket and be prepared for a very long and strenuous walk. Was very awesome will definitely be going back

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

Thank you for the positive feedback. We hope to see you soon. If you took the Scenic Tour, you may be interested in the Historic Lantern Tour ... or the other way around. Whatever the case, please do keep the Monument in mind if you return to the beautiful Black Hills. Take care, More 

Lafayette, Colorado
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2015 NEW

We took the Scenic Tour (there are several to choose from). It was really cool. I've been to a few other caves (Carlsbad and Cave of the Winds in Colorado, and Wind Cave NP). This was a really cool tour - but I think all caves are neat to see. There are several different kinds of formations and the areas... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
NPSParkRanger, Public Relations Manager at Jewel Cave National Monument, responded to this review

Great recommendation! Both Wind Cave and Jewel Cave are beautiful sites within the National Park Service. We also encourage visitors to take part in tours at the private caves in the Black Hills. There are an assortment of options available, and as you indciated ... all caves are "neat." More 

Center Valley, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
35 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2015 NEW

Bring the kids. There are several tours available which run for different lengths of time. (If you are claustrophobic you may want to skip the tour(s) and just walk around the visitor center. Get your Nat'l Parks Passport stamped. So many caves in the area, who knew? A great stop, especially with kids.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
NPSParkRanger, Public Relations Manager at Jewel Cave National Monument, responded to this review

Thank you for the positive feedback. We are so happy to read that you enjoyed your experiences on site, and we especially enjoyed the statement about youth activities. The National Park Service is working hard to create the next generation of park enthusiasts, and your willingness to include the Monument within your vacation is much appreciated. We encourage you to... More 

McHenry, Illinois
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2015 NEW

Jewel cave was an awesome tour and my kids had a lot of fun doing the Junior Ranger program which earned them badge and patch. However GET HERE EARLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We got there at just after 10 a.m. and were the last ones in to the 12:00 tour. I talked to one of the rangers and they said on rainy days... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
NPSParkRanger, Public Relations Manager at Jewel Cave National Monument, responded to this review

Excellent advice ... we appreciate the personal feedback. The Black Hills has witnessed numerous rainy days this spring and early summer. As the staff member suggested, these types of days often cause an increase in visitation. Unfortunately, this sometimes causes issues with visitors not being accommodated on tours ... capacity. Visitors that arrive early in the day have more tour... More 

Kansas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2015 NEW

I took our scout troop here as part of our high adventure camp. The staff helped me plan a fantastic service project at the park, provided our troop with a couple of fantastic tours, and had an educational book that earned our boys a unique Scout Ranger Program patch specific to Jewel Cave. It is an experience they will treasure.... More 

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

Best wishes to Troop 117 ... we appreciated the service project assistance from your Scouts, and our staff thoroghly enjoyed working with your group. Most important, we were impressed by the schedule of activities you crafted for your troop, and we are delighted to know that the Scout Ranger Program was a success. Please keep the National Park Service in... More 

Pine Grove, California
Level Contributor
40 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2015

You end up 30 stories under ground! The scenic tour: An elevator takes you down and you walk back up a lot of it. Must be able to walk the 723 steps. Then the elevator takes you up the rest of the way. No tight areas, or crouching down. The cave is beautiful.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
NPSParkRanger, Public Relations Manager at Jewel Cave National Monument, responded to this review

Great review! Thank you for sharing your feedback and for taking the time to promote the Monument to future visitors. Your positive comments help others prepare themselves for the guided cave tours, and your feedback makes our staff feel proud of their interpretive work ... making connections with the public. Much appreciated ... More 

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Additional Information about Jewel Cave National Monument

Address: Address: 11149 US Hwy 16, Building B12, Custer, SD 57730
Phone Number: +1 605-673-8300
Location: United States  >  South Dakota (SD)  >  Custer
Open Hours:
Sunday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Monday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Tuesday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Wednesday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Thursday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Saturday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?