Jewel Cave National Monument

Overview

Jewel Cave is the second longest cave in the world. To date, over 150 miles of passages have been explored and surveyed, and airflow studies indicate that most of the cave has yet to be found. Each year, explorers discover and map about three additional miles of the cave. Cave tours provide opportunities for viewing this pristine cave system and its wide variety of speleothems including stalactites, stalagmites, draperies, frostwork, flowstone, boxwork and hydromagnesite balloons. The cave is an important hibernaculum for several species of bats. Jewel Cave National Monument was established by Presidential Proclamation on February 7, 1908.

Additionally, the park is popular for wildflower viewing. There are 393 documented plant species at Jewel Cave National Monument. Wildflowers are commonly seen in bloom near the visitor center, at the historic area, and along all surface trails.

Map

Seasonality / Weather

The Visitor Center and surface trails are open daily. The Visitor Center will be CLOSED on Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1st. In the event of inclement weather, visitors are advised to call ahead. Hours of operation are subject to change during severe weather and emergency situations.

Directions

Driving: 

The main Visitor Center and cave entrance is thirteen miles west of Custer, South Dakota on RT 16, 24 miles east of Newcastle, Wyoming on RT 16 and 54 miles from Rapid City, South Dakota via RT 16 & 16 -385.

Flying: 

The nearest major airport is 54 miles away in Rapid City, South Dakota.