The “jewels” of Jewel Cave include calcite crystals known as nailhead spar and dogtooth spar, along with formations of boxwork, cave popcorn, flowstone and a long ribbon drapery known as "cave bacon."
Make your reservations — we recommend getting them as early as possible — to experience the world's third-longest cave. You can choose your level of underground expedition, from the 20-min and handicap-accessible Discovery Talk to the intense exploration of the Wild Caving Tour.
Check out the popular Historic Lantern tour, a classic summer experience where provided lanterns light the way as you explore the cave just like people did nearly 100 ago. Enter the cave via the historic entrance on an unpaved trail led by a park ranger dressed in a 1930s-style uniform who will guide you along this 1-hour-and-45-minute tour.
With more than 200 miles of surveyed passages, explorers are still discovering and mapping one of the last frontiers in the world.
The wonder of nature doesn't just show below ground at Jewel Cave. With 1,274 above-ground acres of Black Hills forest and open prairie, park visitors won't want to miss the chance to stop and smell the diverse array of wildflowers. Species range from the elusive Pasqueflower, South Dakota's state flower that blooms March into May — to blooms of irises, lilies, and verbena coming later and displaying through the summer.
Needing to pass time before your tour? Jewel Cave's above-ground acreage includes two self-guided hikes and also one Black Hills National Forest trail. The trails provide amazing views of the surrounding Hell Canyon-area and a chance to see how the above-ground terrain helped form the wonder below.
The cave's location incorporates Black Hills pine forest and open meadows, prime for a variety of birds to either call the area home or visit during migration.
An underground wilderness sparkling with brilliant color.
11149 US Highway 16, Bldg. B12
Custer, SD 57730
America's Shrine of Democracy, Mount Rushmore National Memorial features the 60-foot faces of four great American presidents who represent the birth, growth, development and preservation of this country. Beginning summer 2019 and lasting approximately 18 months, enhancements are being made to the park grounds. Mount Rushmore remains open during this time.
The third-longest cave in the world features a variety of cave tours below the surface and a 1,279-acre park with nature trails above ground.
Few truly wild places remain in this country. Custer State Park is one of them. Nearly 1,300 bison wander the park’s 71,000 acres, which they share with pronghorn antelope, elk, mountain goats and a band of burros.
Walk in the footsteps of historic Old West legends like Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Seth Bullock. This 1870s gold rush town became a National Historic Landmark in 1961. Today, it teems with Black Hills entertainment and things to do including concerts, casinos, museums, historic sites, spas and parades.
History and adventure abound along and on the waters of the Mighty Mo’. Free-flowing sections and four reservoirs – Lake Oahe, Lake Sharpe, Lake Francis Case and Lewis & Clark Lake – are prime for fishing, boating and water recreation.
This striking South Dakota landscape boasts a maze of buttes, canyons, pinnacles and spires. Skeletons of three-toed horses and saber-toothed cats are among the many fossilized species found here. Wildlife abounds in the park’s 244,000 acres and can often be seen while hiking, camping and traveling the Badlands Loop Scenic Byway.
The first cave to be designated a national park, Wind Cave National Park features the world's largest concentration of rare boxwork formations along with 33,851 acres of forest and prairie on the surface creating a sanctuary for wildlife.
Korczak Ziolkowski began work on Crazy Horse Memorial in 1948. Once complete, this tribute to the Lakota leader will be the largest mountain carving in South Dakota, and the world. The on-site Indian Museum of North America and the Native American Educational & Cultural Center also provide educational and cultural programming.