Jewel Cave Spelunkers Make Major Breakthrough

Jul 27, 2014

Earlier this year a team of spelunkers, about five hours from the entrance of Jewel Cave crawled their way into what’s being called the most significant find of the last decade. 

Caver Rene Ohms mapping a newly discovered cavern on the western flank of Jewel Cave.
Credit National Parks Service

The explorers pushing the south western edge of Jewel came across a series of huge previously undiscovered corridors. Some of the new cave passageways reach more than five stories high, 15 feet wide, and over a hundred feet long, and they keep going.

SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray spoke with some of the explorers who are planning a return trip later this week.

Caver Steve Baldwin in a tight spot during a 2010 cave mapping trip to push for the 150th mile of Jewel Cave. Four years later the cave is now at over 170 miles long.