Jewel Cave Drops Advanced Ticket Sales for 2013
Jewel Cave National Monument has announced that it will not be taking advanced ticket reservations this year, and all ticket sales for its regular cave tours will occur on a first come first serve basis.
The change was precipitated due to a number of upcoming construction projects that will likely cause disruptions and impact visitor experiences.
A new parking area is slated to begin construction early this spring. It will involve replacing the original cement lot, built in the 1970s, and add improvements such as a filter system which will prevent contaminants from vehicles from seeping into the cave. It will also add safer walkways and enhanced picnic areas for visitors to the monument.
Upon completion of the parking lot, we believe that our future visitors will experience a positive first impression. The picnic spaces will extend the length of time on site for visitors, and the overall filtering system under the parking area preserves and protects the fragile cave features. Larry Johnson, Superintendent, Jewel Cave National Monument
Then, starting in June, the South Dakota Department of Transportation will begin a project to straighten the sharp curves of Highway 16 which runs through the monument. The project will also see the addition of wider pull-offs and shoulders to help make an overall safer driving experience for visitors.
Although both projects will make for better visitor experiences in the future, we do realize that the construction may delay visitor traffic. Since our programming schedule offers specific tour times, some visitors may arrive late and miss their cave tour. Because of this, we feel as though a first come first serve approach for ticket sales will make for better customer service. Larry Johnson, Superintendent, Jewel Cave National Monument
The highway is scheduled for completion in the fall.
Jewel Cave Changes Reservation Process in 2013 [Jewel Cave National Monument]