Jewel Cave, what can I say, this place was a gem! 💎💎 Just minutes outside of Custer, South Dakota, this is a great morning or afternoon stop.
When we got there we grabbed our Junior Ranger books and set off on one of the hikes that Jewel Cave has to offer. They have 3 hikes to choose from. We chose the Roof Trail because we didn’t want to miss the ranger program that was starting in 30 minutes. The Roof Trail was extremely easy, it does a loop around the visitor center and has a viewing deck to stop at. We stopped and took some photos of the overlook, it is quite nice.
We continued on the trail. They say to set about 30 minutes for the trail but I think that might be if you are crawling or resting every 2 minutes for 5 minutes. Not sure but it didn’t take us that long at all. Below are pictures of the boys on the trail. Easy, smooth and relaxing. Very peaceful. This park didn’t have many people at all, less crowds=happy mom!! We skipped doing a cave tour since we had just done Wind Cave. So I have no comments on cave tours, sorry.
Once back to the Visitor Center the Ranger program was starting. This was a cool program on animal hides. Kids got to touch, feel, smell many animal hides, and learned what animals could be found in different parks. My kids were very impressed and excited because we had many of these parks left to visit on this trip. Yeah for excited kids!!! 😍😍
We then went back to the visitor center to finish the Junior Ranger booklet, this one was a little tough. We really had to search the center for the answers and use our thinker on this one. In the end they earned those badges 🤓🤓
We went to the gift shop to get our usual passport stickers and cancellations! Small gift shop, but lots of goodies! We even got ourselves a new friend to take home with us.
All in all, this is a great place to stop if you are in the area. Just a few good hours here will be enough. 3 hikes to choose from, .25 miles, 3.5 miles or 5.5 miles. Also 3 cave tours to choose from as well; Discovery Talk, Scenic Tour and the Historic Lantern Tour (summer only). I think we might come back to do the Historic Lantern Tour someday.
I hope you enjoyed our visit to Jewel Cave National Monument, have you been there? I would love to hear your thoughts or experiences!
Until next time, keep collecting those cancellations ❤️❤️