Surface Activities | Black Hills & Badlands - South Dakota

Surface Activities

In addition to the cave tours and Discovery Talk, there are many opportunities for exploring the surface of Jewel Cave National Monument. The 1,279-acre park is located in a Ponderosa pine forest. The Jasper Fire of August 24, 2000 has changed the scenery of the monument but it is an opportunity to see firsthand the forest recovery process.

There are two surface trails that allow you to take a walk on the “roof” of Jewel Cave to discover the relationship between the cave and the monument’s ponderosa pine forests, meadows, hills and canyons. A variety of ranger talks, demonstrations and guided walks are offered on the surface as well.

Program topics include cave exploration, wildlife, fire ecology, Jasper Fire and wildflowers and plants of the area. These programs are regularly scheduled from mid-June through mid-August. Some are offered year-round. These programs are free of charge.


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