This Day Trip To The Deepest Cave In South Dakota Is Full Of Adventure
Do you ever wish you could escape to another world, and leave behind all the hustle and bustle of everyday life? While a Hawaiian vacation would be ideal, that is out of the cards for most of us (unless, of course, you have an extra $10K lying around), so we have the next best thing: getting lost inside the deepest cave in the Mount Rushmore State! If you are ready to journey below the earth’s surface, come with us as we take a day trip to the deepest cave in South Dakota:
Welcome to Jewel Cave National Monument: the (unofficial) crown jewel of South Dakota!
See what we did there?
Located near Custer, Jewel Cave is not only the largest and deepest cave in South Dakota, but the third largest in the world, coming in behind only Mammoth Cave (Kentucky) and Sistema Sac Actun (Mexico).
Just how deep is Jewel Cave? As of this publication, Jewel Cave houses a whopping 200 miles of mapped and surveyed passages, only a few miles of which can be accessed by the public.
How can you tour Jewel Cave? The National Park Service offers a few different tours of this South Dakota gem, beginning with a Discovery Talk, which consists of a short and sweet 20 minute tour complete with information on the cave and quick look at one cave's larger rooms.
If you want something a bit longer and more in-depth, take the Scenic Tour. It lasts approximately an hour and a half, and takes you through more rooms and more of the cave's unique features.
Please note: The Scenic Tour does consist of 723 stair steps and is considered to be moderate.
For adventurers who want to REALLY see Jewel Cave, you are going to want to sign up for the Wild Cave Tour. It lasts three to four hours, and features a vertical rope climb and extremely narrow passages.
If you do choose to go the Wild route, you must be at least 16 years old, have no heart and/or health conditions, and be able to maneuver through a 8 1/2 inch x 24 inch cement block before entering.
Are you extremely claustrophobic? Me too. See you on the Scenic Tour!
Tours of Jewel Cave are offered daily on a first come, first served basis, so make sure to get there early!
For more information on tours, please visit the National Park Service's
or call 605-717-7629.
Address: 11149 US-16 B-12, Custer, SD 57730
Have you taken one of the Jewel Cave tours? Which one? Let us know in the comments! While you’re visiting Custer, be sure to also check out
This Restaurant In South Dakota Used To Be A Bank And You’ll Want To Visit.
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