We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Jewel Cave National Monument

11149 US Hwy 16, Building B12, Custer, SD 57730
+1 605-673-8300
Website
Improve this listing
Ranked #9 of 26 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
Write a Review

465 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    261
    133
    43
    17
    11
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
20 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014 NEW

I really enjoyed this cave visit. My daughter had fun on the short Discovery Talk tour of the cave ( a perfect 20 minutes just on the first level- perfect for little ones!) and working to earn her Junior Ranger badge and patch. The short hike we did outside was nice too. The Rangers were very helpful and especially Lydia... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Bensalem, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2014 NEW

As with every National Park or Monument I have ever visited, I have another rave review for this site. The rangers are always completely professional and knowledgeable, the sites are always in perfectly maintained condition, even the gift shop is nice--your tax dollars are well spent! We did the standard 1 1/2 hour tour which did involve some stair (and... More

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

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments about Jewel Cave National Monument. Your feedback will be well-received by future visitors, and your comments offer some excellent recommendations / suggestions. If you ever return to the beautiful Black Hills of western South Dakota, we hope you consider another visit to the monument, as well as to Wind Cave... More

Mpls
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2014

Our first time in a Cave and it was very cool! Greg Hanson our tour guide was excellent. He really knew his stuff and seemed to have a passion for cave exploration. The tour could be cut by about 30 mins if there was less talk and more moving...

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

Thank you for sharing your comments about Jewel Cave National Monument. Our staff tries very hard to create memorable experiences for all visitors, and we are thrilled to read that Ranger Greg complemented your expectations. Best wishes with your future travels ... More

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
16 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2014

We arrived and they had some technical difficulty, so they were only offering the lantern tour of Jewel Cave. They were also reconstructing some of the roads so it was a pain to get there. The guide was a little snippy, but we had a lot of disrespectful kids and adults on the tour which really hindered our experience. We... More

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

Thank you for taking the time to share your constructive thoughts about Jewel Cave National Monument. The Historic Lantern Tour is a 1 hour and 45 minute tour within the natural entrance of the cave. The tour is geared toward a historic theme, with park staff dressed as if the year was 1941. You are correct in suggesting that this... More

Bloomington, Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2014 via mobile

This was the second time that I visited Jewel Cave. There are many steps that you have to walk down during the tour. The cave is very cold, so make sure to wear long pants, a sweater or jacket and non-slip shoes. You can take photos I. The cave, but they turn out pretty dark c with a flash.

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

Thank you for the positive review. You are correct in suggesting that photographs can be taken inside the cave; however, we (too) would state that flash images are often overly exposed ... while no flash may cause for dark pictures. Cave photography is a delicate art. Interested visitors are welcome to contact the visitor center at 605-673-8300 and speak with... More

Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
12 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2014

Jewel Cave is the 3rd largest cave in the world. It is over 180 miles long and 208 ft deep. At one point you will be at the 208 foot depth. The cave has a elevator to the bottom. The scenic tour will be around 1 1/2 hrs. It has over 700 steps, and you do go up and down.... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2014

This is a large cave tour with very cool formations. Their are a few stairs on this tour but they are wide with good handrails, elevators take you down to the cave eliminating much of the work. National Park managed and guided well worth the price, and the beauty of the cave made this a highlight of our trip.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Cincinnati, OH
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2014

I would recommend planning a visit to the Jewel Cave and taking a tour! Based off Trip Advisor reviews, I chose this cave over the Wind Cave and was satisfied. This was my first stop of the day, due to the first-come, first-serve tickets and the comments about construction traffic. To my surprise, there was an unpublished Scenic Tour at... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Port Orange, Florida
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2014

This came has many neat features, but most interesting to me was the emphasis on cave exploration. I had no real concept of what was involved until I toured this cave.

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

Thank you for the wonderful comments. Our interpretive staff tries very hard to stress the fact that Jewel Cave continues to be one of the last frontiers in the world. Even at 170+ miles of mapped and surveyed passages, studies indicate that over 95% of the cave remains to be discovered. If you happen to return to the Black Hills,... More

Farmington, CT
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
5 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2014

I guess once you have seen the Carsbad Caverns, it take a lot to impress. As a cave goes, it was nice and Ranger Melissa was very informative and entertaining. From talking with other visitors, this attraction is better than Wind Caves. From our perspective it was informational. If you have not been in a cave, this is a good... More

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

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Each cave offers different features, and what captures a visitor's attention may not complement another visitor's expectation. Nonetheless, we are happy to read that you have visited other caves, such as Carlsbad Caverns National Park ... a truly special cave site within the NPS. If you have an opportunity to return back to the... More

Travelers who viewed Jewel Cave National Monument also viewed

Wind Cave National Park, SD
 

Been to Jewel Cave National Monument? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Do you own or manage Jewel Cave National Monument?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing