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.
Spring: 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.
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.
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.
Nature Trail (walk on the roof), 1/4 of a mile loop, easy
Canyon Trail, 4 mile loop, easy to moderate
Mountain Biking: top
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
Backcountry Primitive Camping: top
Improved Shelters, Cabins: top
Lodges or Motel Type Facilities: top
Private vehicle and commercial tours only -- no public transportation
Major Airline Access: 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