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96 votes

Jewel Cave National Monument

11149 US Highway 16, Custer, South Dakota 57730 USA

Closed Now
Opens Thu 8a
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Not Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
  • Outdoor Seating
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“Home to sparkling calcite crystals”

Jewel Cave is a unique world of sparkling calcite crystals and other spectacular cave formations. The cave is currently the second longest in the world, at 155.12 miles.

Immerse yourself within the second longest cave in the world. With over 160 miles of mapped and surveyed passages, this underground wilderness appeals to human curiosity. Its splendor is revealed through fragile formations and glimpses of brilliant color. Its maze of passages lure explorers, and its scientific wealth remains a mystery. This resource is truly a jewel in the National Park Service.

Jewel Cave is world renowned for its crystal-lined passages and rare cave formations such as hydromagnesite balloons and conulites.

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Reviewed by

  • 7 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
September 1, 2014
Rated 5.0

Do get there before they officially open. Don't miss this one. Wide open caves won't make anyone feel claustrophobic. Learned a lot!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 18 Reviews
  • 16 Helpful
July 30, 2014
Rated 4.0

Jewel Cave was great. Large rooms. Get there early for tickets, they sell out fast.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • Road Warrior
  • 10 Reviews
  • 7 Helpful
July 29, 2014

We were very disappointed to miss this cave. Didn't think the tours for the afternoon would sell out in the morning

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 5 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
July 6, 2016
Rated 5.0

Great hiking options from visitors center, fun to see the cave and take the discovery tour! Love this park.

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Reviewed by

  • 18 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
June 28, 2016
Rated 3.0

I wish we could have done the Scenic tour. The rock formation examples in the visitors center were gorgeous. The slots filled up quickly just as reviews here have stated, so we did the historical tour instead. You carry a lantern and go down steep stairs, but overall, it was a bit of a disappointment. Money would have been better spent elsewhere. We also have an "every kid in a park" pass that did not qualify for this tour but would have for the scenic tour.

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Reviewed by

  • 9 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
June 27, 2016
Rated 5.0

Very educational and fun stop! As others have said, you do need to get tickets early. We arrived at 10 and the first available "scenic" tour (1 hour 20 minutes) was at 12:40. We just went down the road to the historic site, had a picnic lunch, a quick short hike and had a very informative talk from the volunteer park ranger so it all worked out well. Just a word of caution if you have kids: the junior ranger program was pretty involved. At other parks it didn't take the kids very long to complete it but this one took quite a long while. It was a bit frustrating for all of us since we were used to them being completed during the tour/drive/hike and they weren't allowed to bring them in the cave so had to be done before and after. It probably took an extra 90 minutes to complete the entire thing (including a talk from a park ranger). Having said that, it was very educational and the place is cool and well run.

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Reviewed by

  • 14 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
May 24, 2016
Rated 5.0

I'm 7 months pregnant and was worried about being able to go on one of their guided tours. We did the more strenuous 1hr 20min tour and it was great! There were young kids and older adults. Lots of stairs but they are staggered. It was really fun! $12.00 / adult.

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Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
September 22, 2015

No one under 5 allowed? That's a fairly crappy thing to read for a family.

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Reviewed by

  • 2 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
August 14, 2015
Rated 5.0

Well worth a stop, it is an amazing cave!

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Reviewed by

  • 2 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
August 13, 2015

I got there thinking I could tour the cave with a 4 and 7 year old, to do the main tours, kids have to be over 6....such a bummer. The other thing to note is that tours can only take 20 people at a time. I made the mistake of just showing up to get on a tour but would have had to wait 2 hours for the basic 20 minute one. Unfortunately, I didn't have that kind of patience. I am sure it's cool, just a tip... Plan ahead on this one.

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Jewel Cave National Monument

11149 US Highway 16
Custer, South Dakota
57730 USA

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Closed Now
  • Sun - Sat: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm

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  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Not Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
  • Outdoor Seating
  • No Wifi
  • Street Parking
  • Private Parking

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