Jewel Cave announces cave closure

Construction crews are again working inside Jewel Cave along the popular Scenic Tour route. Ranger-guided tours are suspended until early May 2020. (photo by National Park Service)

Jewel Cave National Monument will temporarily suspend ranger-guided cave tours from October until early May 2020 in order to make necessary improvements along the popular Scenic Tour route. The visitor center, park store, and surface trails will remain open during the closure.

“The cave construction project recently entered Phase II, and multiple crews will be working inside the cave through early May of next year,” said Michelle Wheatley, superintendent of Jewel Cave. “Phase II of the construction project will continue to address safety concerns and improvements along the Scenic Tour route.”

In order to ensure for visitor and construction worker safety, the National Park Service will need to shut the cave down in and around the construction site. Work includes the removal of existing sidewalks, stair treads, guardrail and handrails, installation of new guardrails and handrails, stair treads, concrete sidewalks, lighting upgrades, and other improvements throughout the Scenic Tour route.

The monument selected the off-season for the project, due to minimal visitation; fewer visitors will be impacted during the winter months.

For more information on the cave closure, call the visitor center at 605-673-8300. For additional information about off-season programs and services at the monument, visit Jewel Cave online at www.nps.gov/jeca.

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