JEWEL CAVE NATIONAL MONUMENT, SD – Jewel Cave National Monument is changing its hours of operation and tour schedule beginning November 1. The visitor center will be open Mondays through Fridays, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Guided cave tours will only be available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays of each week through early March. The visitor center will be closed on weekends, and cave tours will not be available on Mondays, Tuesdays, or federal holidays during the winter months.
Scenic and Discovery Tours are scheduled on Wednesdays, Thursday, and Fridays. The one hour and 20-minute Scenic Tour takes place at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The 20-minute, wheelchair accessible Discovery Tour occurs at 9:05 a.m., 12:45 p.m., and 3:45 p.m. All cave tours during the off-season are first come first serve; reservations are not taken during the winter months.
Superintendent Larry Johnson comments, "With the budget uncertainty we face, we have to make choices like everyone else. By reducing our visitor services and utility costs this time of year, we hope to be in a better position to provide the full range of services our peak season visitors expect and deserve. We regret that we’ll be disappointing some winter guests by conserving our resources for use during the busier summer season. But, we typically see fewer winter season visitors, and we have to be as creative as possible to stretch our budget."
Although guided cave tours will not be available on Mondays and Tuesdays during the winter, local visitors are still encouraged to see the newly installed exhibits and displays at the visitor center. The one-quarter mile Roof Trail and three-mile Canyons Trail remain open for hikers during the off-season. If adequate snow conditions exist, snowshoes will also be available for loan at the visitor center during the working week for interested outdoor enthusiasts.
For more information about Jewel Cave National Monument, please contact the visitor center at 605-673-8300 or visit the monument online at www.nps.gov/jeca.