One of the stops I made between Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore was at the Jewel Cave National Monument just outside of Custer, South Dakota. This adventure was a real treat to say the least. After descending about 420 feet below the earth’s surface, I followed a guide through underground trails and was amazed and in awe, the shapes and colours that surrounded me were exquisite.
As of March 11th, 2013, 169.9 miles of cave have been discovered with approximately 3 new miles per year being explored. It is currently the 3rd longest cave in the world and airflow studies indicate that there is a lot more to be discovered and explored. A base camp was established deep inside the tunnels that takes about 6 hours one way to reach, the explorers spend about 4 days at a there while finding new caves. I am not too claustrophobic but I couldn't live down there!