"Caver standing near the Crushing Deep" by NPS photo / Dan Austin , public domain

Jewel Cave

National Monument - South Dakota

Jewel Cave National Monument contains Jewel Cave, currently the third longest cave in the world, with 192.99 miles (310.59 kilometers) of mapped passageways. It is located approximately 13 miles (21 km) west of the town of Custer in Black Hills of South Dakota.

maps

Official visitor map of Jewel Cave National Monument (NM) in South Dakota. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Jewel Cave - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of Jewel Cave National Monument (NM) in South Dakota. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

https://www.nps.gov/jeca/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewel_Cave_National_Monument Jewel Cave National Monument contains Jewel Cave, currently the third longest cave in the world, with 192.99 miles (310.59 kilometers) of mapped passageways. It is located approximately 13 miles (21 km) west of the town of Custer in Black Hills of South Dakota. Immerse yourself within the third longest cave in the world. With over 208 miles of mapped and surveyed passages, this underground wilderness appeals to human curiosity. Its splendor is revealed through fragile formations and glimpses of brilliant color. Its maze of passages lure explorers, and its scientific wealth remains a mystery. This resource is truly a jewel in the National Park Service. By car: Jewel Cave National Monument is located 13 miles west of Custer, South Dakota and 24 miles east of Newcastle, Wyoming on U.S. Highway 16. The monument is about 54 miles from Rapid City, South Dakota via U.S. Highway 16 / 385. By plane: The nearest major airport, Rapid City Regional Airport, is 63 miles away. Jewel Cave National Monument - Visitor Center The visitor center offers two rooms of interactive exhibits and engaging displays, featuring the surface and sub-surface resources. A large classroom area is also available for school field trips and special events, with large windows facing to the south toward Lithograph Canyon. A park store connects the classroom to the exhibits and is operated by the Black Hills Parks and Forests Association. Ask to view our award winning film about the park. Restrooms are available at the visitor center too. Jewel Cave National Monument is located 13 miles west of Custer, South Dakota and 24 miles east of Newcastle, Wyoming on U.S. Highway 16. The monument is about 54 miles from Rapid City, South Dakota via Highway 16 / 385. Target Room The target room inside Jewel Cave. The target room inside Jewel Cave. Hourglass Lake A cave explorer sits on some rocks and looks at a clear blue lake in Jewel Cave. Volunteer cave explorers discovered Hourglass Lake in October 2015, the first sizable body of water found within Jewel Cave. Inner Sanctum A park ranger is standing on a metal platform within a long passageway with a vaulted ceiling. The Inner Sanctum is one of the longest and largest passageways along the Scenic Tour route, located near the Torture Room. The Brain Drain A caver squeezes through a very small and tight opening, surrounded by multi-colored rocks. The Brain Drain is approximately eight inches high by 24 inches wide and is the tightest passage on the Wild Caving Tour. The Heavenly Room A park ranger stands as a silhouette in a large room in Jewel Cave. The Heavenly Room is a large room along the Historic Lantern Tour within the historic entrance of Jewel Cave. Nailhead Spar White-colored crystals with blunt tips sparkle against a black background. Calcite crystals, such as nailhead spar, cover most of the walls, ceilings, and floors within Jewel Cave. Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep A bighorn sheep ram stands in the highway, with a camper stopped in the other lane. Rocky mountain bighorn sheep are commonly seen within the monument, usually along Highway 16. Red Squirrel A small red squirrel stands on a dead pine branch. Red squirrels are commonly observed along the Roof Trail near the visitor center. Fall Season Foliage in Fog Fog filters through a stand of pine trees, with red and yellow foliage on the forest floor. Autumn is a beautiful time of year to visit the monument. The colors of fall are often the best during mid to late September. Winter in the Pines Snow covers the ground and flocks pine trees. Although a "slower" time of year, the winter season offers some of the best scenery of the ponderosa pine forest. Canyons Trail Descending toward the Historic Entrance A paved path with steps heads down a hillside, with rock overhangs and pine trees nearby. A portion of the Canyons Trail passes the historic entrance of Jewel Cave, with breathtaking views of nearby Hell Canyon. Theodore Roosevelt Addresses an Audience A look-alike Theodore Roosevelt speaks to visitors on the patio of the visitor center. The monument hosts special events each summer, such as living history presentations of President Theodore Roosevelt. The Ranger Cabin at Jewel Cave A small, dark-brown cabin sits on top of a hill with a walking path leading to its front porch. The original park ranger cabin, built during the 1930s, is available for public access during the summer and early fall seasons. Visitor Center Exhibit Area A wall mural showing red-colored rock transitions into a room with a large cave map on the wall. The visitor center provides several engaging exhibits and displays about the resources within the monument. Pasque Flowers in Bloom White to light purple flowers with yellow centers poke through pine needles. Jewel Cave is home to several species of wildflowers, such as the South Dakota State Flower - the pasque flower. Bats at Jewel Cave A small brown bat rests on a red-orange colored rock. Nine species of bats live within Jewel Cave National Monument. At times, visitors may see bats outside the historic entrance. First All Female Ascent of Devils Tower In 1952, Jan Conn and Jane Showacre became the first all female team to complete a technical rock climb of Devils Tower. Read about the account as written by Jan Conn and published in Applachia Magazine later that same year. Two women standing with rock climbing equipment. NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Jewel Cave National Monument, South Dakota Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. Links to products from Baseline Geologic and Soil Resources Inventories provide access to maps and reports. [Site Under Development] frostwork in jewel cave Plant Community Monitoring at Jewel Cave National Monument Jewel Cave National Monument might be best known for its outstanding subterranean system, but above the ground the park is just as special, encompassing 1,274 acres of ponderosa pine forest and open meadows. The park hosts a rich diversity of native plants. Plant community monitoring is critical for understanding the current health of habitats, and can alert park managers to degradation of an ecosystem. A cluster of delicate blossom flowers and new leaves on a twig PARKS...IN...SPAAAACE!!! NASA astronauts have quite literally an out-of-this-world view of national parks and take some pretty stellar pictures to share. Travel along with the space station on its journey west to east getting the extreme bird’s eye view of national parks across the country. And one more down-to-earth. View of Denali National Park & Preserve from space Bat Acoustic Monitoring at Jewel Cave National Monument Bats use one of the smaller cave entrances at Jewel Cave National Monument as a winter roost, and the Northern Great Plains Inventory & Monitoring Network is helping the park understand more about bat populations and activity patterns in the park using acoustic recorders. Monitoring helps protect the bat communities that live and forage in the park. a microphone on a tall tripod stands in a pine woodland clearing near some cliffs Bat Projects in Parks: Jewel Cave National Monument There's more to bat habitat than caves. Find out where the bats of Jewel Cave National Monument hang out! A view of the forest above ground Jewel Cave National Monument Cave Exploration in the National Parks Most Americans may not realize that their National Park caves lie at the forefront of on-going cave exploration. Some of the longest caves on Earth are managed and protected by the NPS. And all of these caves contain unexplored passages and rooms that cavers seek to find and document. These giant cave systems are the site of on-going work by cavers to explore, map, photograph and inventory the extent of National Park caves. delicate thin mineral formations in a cave Wildland Fire in Ponderosa Pine: Western United States This forest community generally exists in areas with annual rainfall of 25 inches or less. Extensive pure stands of this forest type are found in the southwestern U.S., central Washington and Oregon, southern Idaho and the Black Hills of South Dakota. Recently burned ponderosa pine forest. Series: Geologic Time Periods in the Paleozoic Era During the Paleozoic Era (541 to 252 million years ago), fish diversified and marine organisms were very abundant. In North America, the Paleozoic is characterized by multiple advances and retreats of shallow seas and repeated continental collisions that formed the Appalachian Mountains. Common Paleozoic fossils include trilobites and cephalopods such as squid, as well as insects and ferns. The greatest mass extinction in Earth's history ended this era. fossil corals in a rock matrix Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Series: Plant Community Monitoring in Northern Great Plains Network Parks Plant communities are essential components of all major ecosystems. Plants are the ultimate source of food for other organisms and the main source of organic material in soil and water. They also influence climate and provide the scenery that park visitors enjoy. The NPS Northern Great Plains Network monitors the number, identity, and relative abundance of plant species, as well as their horizontal cover and vertical structure, to determine the health of park ecosystems. Two people sitting on the ground looking at plants Series: Cave Week—Featured Articles More than 20 parks across the US are participating in Cave Week via social media posts, cave tours, exhibits, school events, web pages and much more. The theme for Cave Week 2020 is, “Why do we go into caves?” This articles shares a few stories about why people (and bats) enter caves. person standing by underground lake in a cave Mississippian Period—358.9 to 323.2 MYA The extensive caves of Mammoth Cave and Wind Cave national parks developed in limestone deposited during the Mississippian. Warm, shallow seas covered much of North America, which was close to the equator. fossil crinoid Paleozoic Era During the Paleozoic Era (541 to 252 million years ago), fish diversified and marine organisms were very abundant. In North America, the Paleozoic is characterized by multiple advances and retreats of shallow seas and repeated continental collisions that formed the Appalachian Mountains. Common Paleozoic fossils include trilobites and cephalopods such as squid, as well as insects and ferns. The greatest mass extinction in Earth's history ended this era. fossil corals in a rock matrix Visitor Safety Project at Jewel Cave Recognized by South Dakota Engineering Society The Black Hills Chapter of the South Dakota Engineering Society awarded the Jewel Cave National Monument reconstruction project the Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award in February 2021. Jewel Cave deck Blanket Cave National Youth Park—Activity Enjoy a fun activity and learn about caves even when you can't get out to a park. In this activity you will build your own cave and learn how to make it like a "real" natural cave. Find out about cave formations and wildlife, and how to be safe and care for caves. New "Blanket Cave National Youth Parks" are springing up all across America! Join the fun! cartoon drawing of a childs and a park ranger exploring a cave Top 10 Tips to Visit Jewel Cave Plan Like a Park Ranger with these Top 10 Tips for visiting Jewel Cave National Monument. Park Ranger lights up crystals for a group of people

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