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Jewel Cave
Park headquarters

The book store, and ticket counter.
Tours meet right in the main building, and line up here. Entrance is via elevator.
A small museum, and theater give visitors an idea of what to expect down in the caves.
Portions of the cave are not yet developed, and are largely still being explored. These so called wild sections are open to the public on a limited basis, through "wild cave" tours. In order to qualify, you must be able to fit through this small block.
The elevators to the caves below.
At the bottom of the elevator ride, our ranger gives us some warnings, and advice, before taking us out into the caves.
Out in the cave, it is immediately obvious that this is a much larger, and more open set of caves than those of nearby Wind Cave.

Stairs lead to some of the lower levels of the cave system.
This is the same area s that above; but under the green glow of the florescent lights of the cave.
Stairways are all around. We stand on a metal platform, above the cave floor.
A look back at the entrance to the elevator lobby.

The stairs down.
Broccoli anyone?
A look back up the stairs.
We gather under a big rock, after our trip down the stairs.
On one of the deeper levels of the cave, we pass through the jeweled tunnels of Jewel Cave.
Crystals form over nearly all of the cave surfaces, which is how the cave got its name.
Sadly, still photos can not show the way that the surfaces of the cave glitter and change, as the light passes.
Parts of the inside of this cave, almost appear to be living things.
Traveling through the tunnels and canyons of this cave are like going through a coral reef. If there were water in these caves, it would not seem out of place to see reef fish here.
The walls sparkle, and show different colors and odd, curved shapes.
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