Jewel Cave National Monument
For cavers, poking their heads into dark places can often lead them into new passages. And at Jewel Cave National Monument in South Dakota, that sort of poking around recently led to more than a mile of charted cave.
The Black Hills have long been considered sacred ground by the native people, and after a visit here, perhaps you will too. Start your journey in Rapid City, South Dakota, which is set against the eastern slope of the mountains. The history here, of miners, soldiers, and native tribes, is fascinating. Gold drew the original settlers, but tourism now sustains the region.