I first visited Jewel Cave NM in 1983 and was amazed by the jewel-like minerals in the cave walls (thus its name "Jewel" Cave).
In the 30 years since, the National Park Service has obviously skimped on maintaining the cave because the entire cave (at least the 1 hr 45 min tour) was grimy and dirty and I saw absolutely none of the jeweled cave minerals. The entire cave is coated with a dark, dirty grime from all the people who have visited it over the years. I asked the Ranger giving the tour (who was about 20 years old) why the walls were so dirty and she denied that there had ever been "jeweled" cave walls. This was obviously her first year at the monument.
A sad let-down. If you have been here before and loved the jeweled walls, stay away now. Keep your memories. You will only be hurt by what you see now.
Perhaps they need a new Park Superintendent, someone who actually cares about the cave.
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