Jewel Cave National Monument | Black Hills & Badlands - South Dakota

Jewel Cave National Monument

  • Jewel Cave National Monument
  • Jewel Cave National Monument
  • Jewel Cave National Monument
  • Jewel Cave National Monument
  • Jewel Cave National Monument

Beneath the Black Hills of South Dakota is the intriguing underground world of Jewel Cave. With over 202 miles of explored passageways, Jewel Cave ranks as one of the longest caves in the world. The cave was discovered at the turn of the century by brothers passing through Hell Canyon.

This underground environment can satiate even the most curious of humans. Brilliant color and fragile rocks reveal an amazing ecosystem not visible anywhere else. The third longest cave in the world has much to offer to a wide range of those interested in its natural glory. The monument is also home to a variety of plants and animals and has a fascinating wildfire history. This resource is truly a jewel in the National Park Service.

Guided cave tours provide opportunities for viewing this pristine cave system. Jewel Cave is a unique world of sparkling calcite crystals, delicate strands of gypsum, and other spectacular cave formations. It contains large rooms strewn with boulders, tight crawlways, and dark fissures leading into the unknown.

Tickets are required to enter the cave, are limited by tour type, and tours can often sell out at any time during the day. During peak season or a holiday weekend, it is advised that you arrive in the morning to purchase tickets in person or purchase Scenic Tour tickets in advance between 72 hours and 90 days using an online service: or by calling 605-717-7629.

Cave Construction Update and Progress- The cave construction project is moving forward at #JewelCave and progress is being made along the Scenic Tour route. Although ranger-guided cave tours are not available in June, the monument does offer two beautiful hiking trails and several picnic areas for visitor enjoyment. #getoutside and #findyourpark.



Jewel Cave National Monument's surface trails & facilities are available free of charge. Fees are charged for cave tours.



  • Reservations are recommended as tour tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Online tour tickets are available for advanced purchase.
  • On-site tickets must be purchased at least ten to fifteen minutes before a predetermined tour time.
  • Teachers/educators may call the Visitor Center to learn more about educational programs and academic fee waivers.
  • Call ahead for tour availability or visit Operating Hours & Seasons for current cave tour schedules.

* Please visit the Activities & Programs page or the Official Jewel Cave National Monument U.S. Park Service website for current information and rates.


Jewel Cave National Monument is located in the Black Hills National Forest. It is located just off Hwy 16, 13 miles west of Custer, SD, 24 miles east of Newcastle, WY, and about 54 miles from Rapid City, SD. 

Additional Stories About Jewel Cave National Monument

Things to See and Do at Jewel Cave National Monument

You May Also Be interested In

Black Hills & Badlands is prioritizing safe travel.

Learn more at