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Jewel Cave National Monument, South Dakota, United States - OutdoorPlaces.Com

 Jewel Cave National Monument, South Dakota, United States, The Facts

Operating Hours
Improved Campsites
Improved Shelters, Cabins
Related Web Sites

Fees & Permits
What To See
Children's Activities
Mountain Biking
 Cave Exploration
Backcountry Primitive Camping
Lodges or Motel Type Facilities
Major Airline Access
Food, Fuel & Shopping


Address:  top
Jewel Cave National Monument
Custer, SD  57730

Phone:  top
(605)-673-2244, (605)-673-2288

Click for Custer, South Dakota Forecast

Operating Hours:  top
Visitor center open from 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM, from September 12, 1999 to May.   May to September, 8:00 AM - 7:30 PM (call ahead to confirm hours).  Open all year although Historic Tours are only given during the summer months.  Scenic Tours operate about every 45 minutes from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM.  Historic Tours start at 9:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 3:00 PM.  Spelunking Tours are by reseravation only.  Jewel Cave National Monument is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.

Fees & Permits:  top
Park access is free as well as access to all of the hiking and picnic facilities.  Scenic Tour:  five years of age and under, free, six to 16, $3, adults $6; Historic Tour:  five years of age and under not permitted, six to 16, $3, adults $6; Spelunking Tour:  under 16 not permitted, adults are $18 and reservations are required.

Climate:  top
Above Ground

  Cool, and wet.  Temperatures ranging from the 30'ies to the 80'ies by June
Summer:  Warm with afternoon showers and thunderstorms.  Temperatures in the 70'ies to 90'ies.
Fall:  Cool and dry.  Temperature ranging from the 70'ies in September falling to below zero in  December
Winter:  Cold,  snow happens often.
Below Ground
Year round 49 degrees F. with 98% humidity

What To See:  top
Jewel Cave is the second longest cave in the United States, and fourth longest in the world.  Scenic, Historic and Spelunking Tours.  Almost five miles of hiking trails through ponderosa pine forest, excellent wildlife viewing opportunities.

Activities:  top
A variety of ranger led activities are available during the summer months.  You should call ahead for more information and a current schedule of events.

Children's Activities:  top
Jewel Cave National Monument has a Junior Rangers Program for children ages 4 to 14.  Teaches children about the park, cave, nature and the environment.  Enrollment is free and children completing this self study program earn a certificate and a patch.  Some parks charge a nominal fee for the patch to offset the costs.  You can contact the park directly for more information on this educational and fun program.

Hiking:  top

  • Nature Trail (walk on the roof), 1/4 of a mile loop, easy

  • Canyon Trail, 4 mile loop, easy to moderate

Mountain Biking:  top

  • Prohibited on hiking trails, local outfitters can obtain permits but you must cycle with a group

Equestrian:  top

  • Prohibited

Paddling:  top

  • None available

Cave Exploration:  top

  • Cave exploration is possible.  You should contact the park management directly.  The cave commute to exploration areas is six hours one way and requires outstanding stamina and experience.  Also requires a small girth of 8-1/2" by 24" to enter some areas.  Average exploration is 20 hours, responsible for all equipment and food, and must follow all caving LNT protocol.

Improved Camp Sites:  top

  • None

Backcountry Primitive Camping:  top

  • Prohibited

Improved Shelters, Cabins:  top

  • None

Lodges or Motel Type Facilities:  top

  • None

Transportation:  top
Private vehicle and commercial tours only -- no public transportation

Major Airline Access:  top

  • Rapid City, South Dakota, 50 miles northeast

Accommodations:  top

  • Custer, South Dakota, 10 miles east US highway 16

  • New Castle, Wyoming, 25 miles west on US highway 16

Food, Fuel, Shopping:  top

  • Custer, South Dakota, many options for food, fuel and shopping, excellent jumping off point for all of the Black Hills attractions

  • New Castle, Wyoming, many options for food fuel, and shopping

Related Websites:  top

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