Jewel Cave National Monument

11149 US Highway 16, Building B12
Custer, SD

Current status of Phased Reopening.  Ranger-Guided Cave Tours Suspended until Further Notice

Due to an elevator construction project, Jewel Cave National Monument is not providing access to the cave at this time. The monument will be rehabilitating the elevators during the off-season and into the spring and early summer months of 2021.

During the off season, the visitor center, park store, and surface trails are open Thursdays through Sundays from 8:30am to 4:30pm  MDT and closed Mondays through Wednesdays. For more information please visit


If you are planning a trip to Jewel Cave National Monument, please be aware of the following requirements and park ranger tips.  Your awareness and attention to these details will help you have a more enjoyable and efficient experience. For additional information, we encourage you to also visit the monument online at

Important - Things to Know:

  • To prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome (WNS), which is a bat disease, all cave visitors will walk across a decontamination mat when exiting Jewel Cave. All visitors are advised that other public / private land sites may not allow them to enter another cave with any item that has been inside Jewel Cave. The reason for this possibility is due to Jewel Cave being identified as a WNS-positive site. For further information related to WNS, please visit the monument online at
  • There are no refunds for missed tours or late arrivals. Visitors are strongly encouraged to arrive on-site at least 45-60 minutes BEFORE their reserved tour time. All reserved ticket holders need to check-in with park staff at least 30 minutes prior to their assigned tour.
  • All ranger-guided cave tours leave on time. Late arrivals will not be allowed to join the tour once the group departs from the visitor center.
  • Sandals, flip flops, slides, or other shoes that are not securely fastened to the foot are not allowed on any ranger-guided cave tour. If questionable, park rangers may ask that you change your footwear before taking part in a cave tour.
  • Food, gum, candy, drinks, tobacco products, monopods, tripods, Go-Pro sticks, large flashlights, large camera bags, pets, strollers, and child backpack carriers are not permitted on any ranger-guided cave tour. We recommend that you secure these items in your vehicle upon arrival to the monument.
  • Infants and toddlers can be carried using a front-carrier only, and the child must remain in the carrier throughout the duration of the cave tour. Please be advised that age limitations are in place for the Historic Lantern Tour and Wild Caving Tour. Check with the monument for further information.
  • The monument provides a wealth of information online, and we encourage all visitors to review their guidance before arriving on-site and/or before taking part in a ranger-guided cave tour. It is your responsibility to be aware of any restrictions in advance. For further requirements and suggestions, please visit


Answers to Common Questions:

  • Know your limits! Ranger-guided cave tours often require visitors to climb many stairs / steps. Visitors who cannot negotiate stairs should not attempt these tours. As an example, there are 734 stairs / steps along the Scenic Tour. Furthermore, the ranger-guided cave tours are moderately strenuous and are not recommended if you have a heart condition, breathing issues, poor balance, trouble walking, issues with climbing stairs, or mobility problems.

  • There are no self-guided cave tours available at Jewel Cave.

  • There is minimal food service available at the monument; the park store, operated by the Black Hills Parks and Forests Association, does provide limited snack options and healthy beverages. Vending machine services are also available near the visitor center parking lot.
  • The temperature in Jewel Cave is 49°F / 9°C year-round. It is recommended to wear long pants and a sweatshirt, sweater, or light jacket.
  • For additional information related to Jewel Cave, such as books, educational media, patches and lapel pins, clothing items, and other memorable souvenirs, please contact the Black Hills Parks and Forests Association at (605) 745-7020 or visit the Park Store online at

Reservations are not accepted for the Historic Lantern Tours or Discovery Talks. Tickets for these ranger-guided cave activities are purchased on a first come first served basis directly at the monument. For those interested in the Wild Caving Tour, please call the monument directly at (605) 673-8300 for additional information and assistance.