JEWEL CAVE NATIONAL MONUMENT/WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, SD - The two National Park Service caves in the Black Hills will be raising their rates as of April 30. Prices were raised after park managers solicited public comments on the proposed changes via public meetings, media releases, and on-line postings.
"We never like to raise fees, but this revenue source parovides funding for a variety of projects designed to benefit visitors," said Vidal Davila, superintendent of Wind Cave National Park. "Here, we are building a new airlock at the Walk-In Entrance this winter using fee revenue. At Jewel Cave, they funded new visitor center exhibits using cave tour revenue."
Rates for Jewel Cave's Scenic and Historic Lantern Tours will increase from $8 to $12 for adults and from $4 to $8 for youth ages 6-16. The Wild Caving Tour price will be $31, up from $27.
At Wind Cave, prices for the Natural Entrance, Fairgrounds, and Candlelight Tours will increase from $9 to $12 for adults and from $4.5 to $6 for youth 6-16. The Garden of Eden Tour will increase from $7 to $10 for adults and from $3.5 to $5 for youth 6-16 years. The Wild Cave Tour will change from $23 to $30. Camping fees at the Elk Mountain Campground will go from $12 a night per site during the summer to $18 a night per site. The new price for group camping is $40 per night.
At both caves, children 5 and under are free. Holders of the Golden Age or Senior Pass, along with Golden Access Pass, are half price.
For a complete listing of fees, visit each park's website at www.nps.gov/wica or www.nps.gov/jeca.