The Wild Caving Tour is your passport to the underground wilderness of Jewel Cave. With hard hat secured and headlamp turned on, you are ready to experience the cave in its natural state. This extremely strenuous tour at 2/3 of a mile is a real caving adventure.
You scramble over cave "breakdown," chimney between cave walls, use a rope assist to climb a nearly vertical wall, and belly-crawl through tight passages. Along the way you learn about low-impact caving, caving techniques and safety. The Wild Caving Tour lasts 3-4 hours and is extremely strenuous. Anyone having a fear of closed spaces or heights should not attempt this tour.
Feel the wind at the famous Hurricane Corner, ascend Martha's Kettle, crawl through the Roller Coaster, and squeeze into the Brain Drain. See the place where hydromagnesite balloons were first discovered, including the balloon known as the earring, and view several beautiful and fragile cave formations.
Participants must be in good physical condition and are required to pass through an 8 1/2 inch by 24 inch crawl space before beginning the tour. Refunds are not given for those visitors unable to negotiate the block located on the patio of the visitor center. For safety reasons, there is an age requirement, which is strictly enforced. Participants must be 16 years of age or older, required to provide proof of age, and a parent or legal guardian is required to sign a permission waiver, on the day of the tour, for any 16 or 17-year-old minor participant. The parent or guardian must remain on site during the entire tour.
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This tour is extremely strenuous. Participants must be in good physical condition. Persons who have heart or respiratory conditions, joint problems, have recently been hospitalized, have a fear of enclosed spaces or heights should consider different tour offerings. Please contact our visitor center if you have questions.
Participants must bring the following: sturdy, above the ankle, rubber-soled, lug-soled, lace-up boots; long pants or coveralls; a long-sleeved shirt; gloves; soft knee and elbow pads (hard plastic pads are NOT acceptable); a clean change of clothing and shoes; and a plastic bag for carrying soiled clothes and boots from the visitor center after the tour. Bring your caving clothes, boots, clean clothes and shoes to the visitor center when you check in and meet your tour guide. Clothing and footwear will be permanently stained by black manganese deposits encountered during this tour.
Food, gum, candy, drinks, tobacco products, monopods, tripods, Go-Pro sticks, large flashlights, and pets are not allowed inside Jewel Cave. These items need to be left in the security of a personal vehicle or at home.
Additionally, tennis shoes, cameras, backpacks/fanny packs, and loose fitting jewelry are not permitted on the Wild Cave Tour.
Due to the strenuous nature of the tour, participants may NOT bring their cameras. Wild Caving Tour guides will take pictures along the tour route and email them to participants after the tour.
There are NO REFUNDS for late arrivals or missed tours. Visitors are encouraged to plan their travel schedules carefully and be on-site at least 30 minutes prior to their scheduled tour time.