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Jewel Cave just for Discovery Tour?

Peoria, Illinois
Level Contributor
550 posts
319 reviews
Jewel Cave just for Discovery Tour?

We will be in the Black Hills for three full days later this month. (We also have time in the Badlands, Devils Tower/Spearfish and TRNP). I had initially eliminated Jewel Cave from our itinerary because my husband and I are both claustrophobic and I didn't think we'd be up for cave tours. We are going to Wind Cave just to do a little bit of hiking above ground, and I'd like to eventually visit every national park.

Out of curiosity, I was reading up on Jewel Cave and read about their short Discovery Tour. It says it only has 15 stairs and is easy enough for kids of all ages. I figure I might be OK with this tour; it also doesn't sound like claustrophobia is an issue.

Do you think it's "worth it" (I know that is subjective) to go to Jewel Cave for this 20 min tour? Do you still get to see some cool stuff? (I've never been in a cave before due to aforementioned claustrophobia). Is this a tour that sells out frequently? It also sounds like there a few nature trails above ground--maybe we could hike a couple miles too?

Ultimately, if we don't have enough time for everything, I think we'd cut this, but if we have an extra couple hours one day, I was thinking of adding this in. Thoughts?

1 reply
Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
Level Contributor
6,425 posts
61 reviews
1. Re: Jewel Cave just for Discovery Tour?

I am a cave lover, so to me, this little amount of time inside would not be worthwhile. However, since you haven't been in a cave, it could be a good introduction for you. I am not sure how quickly these tours sell out, as it's never been on my radar.

I would personally only include this if it works in with the rest of your schedule. The good news is that Jewel Cave is very open, so I don't think you would feel as claustrophobic there. Wind Cave has a much more closed in feel, so I am glad that's not on your radar.

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