Jewel Cave National Monument, South Dakota

Last Updated: November 19th, 2018

Park Information

Rating: ★★★★★(5/5) - Must Visit

Jewel Cave National Monument protects the third longest cave system in the entire world, with 198 miles of mapped passageways. Surprisingly, geologists estimate that only 5% of the cave has been explored! To enter the cave, you must purchase tickets for a guided tour. Tours are available for all ages and ability levels, ranging from the accessible Discovery Talk to the strenuous, adventurous Wild Caving Tour. The Scenic Tour is the most popular but is moderately strenuous with over 700 stairs. There is no lodging available in the park, but there are plenty of camping opportunities in the nearby Black Hills National Forest, Custer State Park, or Wind Cave National Park or more glamorous options in the nearby town of Custer.

In addition to the cave tours, there are two developed trails in the park. The Roof Trail is a quarter mile loop around the visitor center perfect to do while waiting for a tour to start. The Canyons Trail is a 3.5 mile loop that gives a more comprehensive look at the nature located above the famous cave.


A seam of crystals near the start of the tour
Jewel Cave Scenic Tour
Jewel Cave National Monument, South Dakota
The view of Hell Canyon from the wooden platform
Roof Trail Loop
Jewel Cave National Monument, South Dakota

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