Acidic groundwater cut through rock creating the cave's passages. Draining water created cave formations, such as stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, draperies, and popcorn formations.
Tourists began visiting Jewel Cave in the 1910s. In the 1930s, the National Park Service began caring for the cave and building tourist infrastructures.
You can only enter the cave on a ranger-led tour. Short guided walks leave daily. Check the park calendar for more adventurous spelunking tours.
Explore the forests above the cave on one of three trails, ranging in length from 1/4 mile to 5.5 miles.
Jewel Cave is still being mapped. Spelunkers added an additional 1,004.05 feet of previously unknown passages in January 2010.