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Which cave?

florida
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76 posts
5 reviews
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Which cave?

If I can only go to one cave which one should I choose? Wind Cave or Jewel Cave? Thanks.

South Dakota
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4,547 posts
214 reviews
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1. Re: Which cave?

Jewel. If, for some reason, that does not work out, Wind is a good second choice.

Pitman, New Jersey
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for Rapid City, South Dakota
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5,694 posts
62 reviews
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2. Re: Which cave?

This is a very common question for which there is no easy answer. My easy answer is to see both. Jewel gets the most recommendations; however there are some factors to consider.

Is this anyone's 1st cave tour? If so, I'd recommend Jewel just because it's more open with higher ceilings. The formations are also quite varied, and you will see the typical stalactites, stalagmites, cave bacon, cave crystals, and popcorn. Jewel is the 2nd longest cave in the world in terms of discovered passages.

Wind Cave has a unique formation called boxwork, which resembles spider webs. It's has the largest concentation of boxwork of any cave. It's the 4th longest cave in terms of discovered passages. It's ceilings are much lower, and it's not an ideal 1st cave tour because of the closed in feel. It's not for those who are claustrophobic. The formations are not as diverse as Jewel.

Both caves are extremely unique, and as I said, I'd recommend seeing both. However, if you just can't find the time, I'd probaby opt for Jewel. You can also google images of both caves and see which one's formations interest you more.

florida
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76 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: Which cave?

Thank you for your replies. I did look at people's photos but it was still difficult to choose which one. I may just have to find the time to see both. Thanks.

Apple Valley...
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736 posts
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4. Re: Which cave?

For the sake of planning, Wind Cave is nearer the Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park. Jewel Cave is more west and closer to Crazy Horse and the Needles Hwy side of Custer State Park There are also several privately owned/managed caves if this is a main interest of yours.

Toronto
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157 posts
33 reviews
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5. Re: Which cave?

I went to Jewel Cave today. It is nice, but has only a few tiny stalactites, and no stalagmites that I could see. The jewel parts. (IE. crystals) are few and far between. I was a little disappointed, as I've seen many more beautiful caves than this one.

South Dakota
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4,547 posts
214 reviews
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6. Re: Which cave?

Nauru, I would agree that there are better caves out there. Jewel, in most people's minds, is the best one in the Black Hills, so if someone really wants to see a cave in that area, that is the best we can recommend. I guess it depends on your previous caving experience. To a first timer, Jewel might be fantastic. I was in Marvel Cave in Branson, and had to hunch over and scoot through a corridor with bats hanging a short distance from my head. I have never seen a bat in Jewel, so that gives it bonus points from me.

And by the way, I totally respect your opinion of the cave. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

7. Re: Which cave?

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