Jewel Cave National Monument

11149 US Highway 16, Building B12
Custer, SD

Current status of Phased Reopening

Ranger-guided cave tours remain suspended due to COVID-19.

Jewel Cave National Monument is working to increase access to its facilities and visitor services in a phased approach. At present, the visitor center, Park Store, surface trails, and picnic areas are open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Jewel Cave Historic Area is also open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


  • Jewel Cave National Monument is working to increase access to its facilities and visitor services in a phased approach.
  • For updated information, please visit the monument online at or call the visitor center directly at (605) 673-8300 and select Option #1 to speak with a park ranger.

  • * Please PRINT confirmation e-mail as proof of purchase for check-in at Jewel Cave.
    *Important Information For All Cave Tours*
    *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 cave 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.
    *Furthermore, footwear, clothing, or gear worn in any other cave (including Jewel Cave) will NOT be allowed on the Candlelight and Wild Cave Tours at nearby Wind Cave National Park.
    *Sandals, flip flops, slides, or other shoes that are not securely fastened to the foot are not allowed on any cave tour. If questionable, park rangers may ask that you change your footwear before taking part in a cave tour.
    *There is minimal food service at the monument. The closest town is Custer (13 miles east on highway 16).
    *All scheduled cave tours leave on time. You cannot catch up to a tour group once the cave tour leaves the surface.There are NO REFUNDS for missed tours or late arrivals. Visitors are strongly encouraged to review and follow the restrictions carefully before arriving on-site.
    *There are NO self-guided cave tours at Jewel Cave.
    *The temperature in the cave is 49°F/9°C year-round. It is recommended to wear long pants and a sweatshirt, sweater, or jacket.
    *Tennis shoes, sneakers, or hiking boots are REQUIRED for the Historic Lantern Tour. Open-toed shoes and Close-toed sandals (including Crocs, Teva footwear, and KEEN hiking sandals as examples) are not acceptable.
    *Cave tour participants, of all ages, must be able to navigate the tour route unassisted.
    *Know your limits! The Scenic and Historic Lantern Tours require visitors to climb a large number of stairs. Visitors who cannot negotiate stairs should not attempt these tours. There are 723 stair steps on the Scenic Tour. These 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 back, knee, hip, ankle, or foot problems.
    Important Information Regarding Young Children:
    *It is recommended that young children participate on a Discovery Talk rather than the Scenic Tour.
    *Children may NOT be carried on any portion of the Scenic Tour route. Strollers, diaper bags, and child backpack carriers are prohibited in the cave.
    *Infants and toddlers can be carried using a front-carrier only and the child must remain in the carrier throughout the duration of the Scenic Tour.
    *There are many other activities available for young children during the summer season; including the Junior Ranger program, Ranger-led activities and surface hikes.
    What to Bring:
    *Warm clothes-Jewel Cave remains 49°F/9°C year-round
    *Good walking shoes, tennis shoes, sneakers, or hiking boots. You will be walking on pathways or the cave floor in close proximity to cave rocks.
    *A camera-Jewel is a very unique and beautiful cave. Photography is permitted on the Scenic and Discovery Tours; however, cameras must be small enough to fit in your pocket on the Historic Lantern Tour. Due to safety concerns, camera use is not allowed on any stairs in the cave.
    What NOT to Bring:*All Backpacks, Purses, Handbags, Weapons, Hiking/walking sticks/poles-For your protection as well as that of the cave resources, these items are NOT allowed on ANY cave tour. Secure all items in your vehicle.
    *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 cave tour. Secure all items in your vehicle.
    * 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 their Park Store online at

NOTE: Reservations are NOT ACCEPTED for the Historic Lantern Tour or Discovery Talk. Tickets for these 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.

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