Jan and Fred's Summer Adventure 2013 travel blog

outside the cave


we had to walk a long path to get to the natural...




this natural opening to the cave is a dead end

this is the natural opening we used to enter the cave

receiving our instructions from the guide

yep - that's what it looked like during the tour!

most of the ladders looked like this - or worse

this was the best one we used

A strenuous old fashioned lantern tour of Jewel Cave National Park was on Fred’s bucket list of things to do – we had already taken two tours of the cave system on another visit to the area. I managed to do it even with my bad arthritic knees, but boy did I hurt for the next few days after the tour. We were the eldest two on the tour, which included us and a bunch of boy scouts and their no more than mid 40s leaders. It was fun and we did keep up well with the rest of the group! Here is the website description of the lantern tour:

“Step back in to 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 and you will visit passages to the Dungeon Room or the Heavenly Room. The tour lasts approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. The tour route is approximately 1/2 mile long, and includes steep wooden steps (ladder-like stairs), and requires bending and stooping. This tour is considered strenuous.” I need to add that the tour included not only wooden steps but also many places where we clambered up and down rocks to lower or higher parts of the cave!

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