The Historic Lantern Tour is an adventurous tour into Jewel Cave.
Step back into the past on the Historic Lantern Tour where your Park Ranger is dressed in a 1930s-style uniform. This adventure gives you a sense of what it was like to tour the cave in earlier days. Visitors enter and leave the cave through the historic entrance using an unpaved trail. The only light is provided by a lantern most tour participants carry along the route. This tour is considered strenuous and lasts about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
The tour route is approximately 1/2 mile long through low, narrow passages, and includes roughly 500 steep wooden steps (ladder-like stairs). This tour requires some bending, stooping, and duck walking along an unpaved, rocky trail. There is an age requirement, which is strictly enforced for safety reasons, youth must be 8 years old or older.
Each Historic Lantern Tour allows for a maximum of 20 participants. This tour is offered from June through Labor Day Monday in September. Participants must be at the Historic Area, which is one mile west of the visitor center, at least 30 minutes before the tour time and prepared for the cave tour.
Select a date to see a list of times
All tour participants should arrive at the Historic Cabin 30 minutes prior to tour time. There are NO REFUNDS for late arrivals or missed tours.
Sneakers, tennis shoes, or hiking boots are required. Any type of sandals or shoes with any openings are NOT acceptable. This is for visitor safety to help all best navigate the cave trail. Also, all cave tours exit through a white-nose syndrome decontamination mat with a liquid solution.
Persons who have heart or respiratory conditions, foot or lower joint problems, have recently been hospitalized, have a fear of enclosed spaces or heights should talk with a park ranger before selecting this tour. All tour participants must be able to navigate the stairs unassisted.
Backpacks, purses, or bags of any size, 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.
The temperature inside Jewel Cave is 49 degrees F / 9 degrees C year-round. Visitors are encouraged to wear long pants and a sweatshirt, sweater, or light jacket.
Photography is permitted along the Historic Lantern Tour; however, visitors are encouraged to use small cameras and/or cell phones to avoid large lenses, bags, etc. Pictures are not allowed on any stairs within the cave.
For safety reasons, youth must be 8 years old or older.