Top

Stay in the loop!

Want to know when we share big things? Subscribe today & keep up-to-date with our posts.


5 Things About Mount Rushmore People Think Are True

From movies rearranging the layout of the Black Hills to jokes that have been taken too seriously, people have some funny and unrealistic ideas of what to expect when they visit Mount Rushmore.

1. There is a literal backside to Mount Rushmore.

This is a joke I’ve heard my whole life, but some people think there is actual truth to it. If you drive around the memorial you won’t find the umm…backsides of the presidents. You’ll find nothing but natural granite on the “Canadian Side” of Mount Rushmore.

2. We store Mount Rushmore in Rushmore Cave during the winter.

I worked at a tourist attraction when I was in high school and I will never forget the day I was asked this, and others have asked since. If you've never been to the memorial let me just clear a few things up: 
A. it’s a mountain.
B. the faces alone are 60 feet tall.
It doesn’t move, and if it could I’d be really impressed with the people doing it.

3. You can climb Mount Rushmore.

Climbing the Mount Rushmore National Memorial is strictly forbidden. But if you’re hoping to get a closer look at these four faces, I’d suggest sticking to the designated trails like the President Trail which will get you the closest.

4. A lake is located directly behind Mount Rushmore.

Many of us have seen the movie. Actor Nicholas Cage is on an adventure of a lifetime looking for a hidden treasure at Mount Rushmore and suddenly Sylvan Lake is directly behind the memorial. In reality, Sylvan Lake is located in Custer State Park and is actually a 34-minute drive from Mount Rushmore. The closest lake to the memorial is actually Horsethief Lake, but it’s still a 12-minute drive away. However, this isn’t the lake featured in the movie and it definitely isn’t as close as they make it seem in the film. So don’t wear your bathing suit to Mount Rushmore expecting to find a body of water, it’s not there.

5. They might add to Mount Rushmore.

It is extremely unlikely that anyone will ever be added to Mount Rushmore. Gutzon Borglum designed the memorial with only these four faces, and the mountain carving was completed it 1941. According to the National Parks Service, the remaining rock surrounding the faces isn’t suitable for carving. They actually started carving Thomas Jefferson’s face on the opposite side of George Washington and after 18 months they realized the granite there wasn’t suitable. They had to dynamite off what they’d done and start completely new on the other side of George.

Learn more about Mount Rushmore by checking out our other blogs! Or quiz yourself on your existing knowledge of this famous landmark with our pop quiz!

Meet the Author

Kelsy Peterson

Raised in Rapid City and lucky to call it home, this outdoor enthusiast loves to explore the Black Hills with her husband and two dogs. When she’s not at work you’ll find her out hiking, at a local ice cream shop, or perhaps home taking a nap.

latest blog posts

Kelsy Peterson
Social Media and Content Manager

Raised in Rapid City and lucky to call it home, this outdoor enthusiast loves to explore the Black Hills with her husband and two dogs. When she’s not at work you’ll find her out hiking, at a local ice cream shop, or perhaps home taking a nap.

View More

Latest Blog Post

  • Hibernation Is Overrated For The Critters Of The Black Hills
    December 5, 2019 - Anne
  • 5 Reasons I Love Downtown Rapid City
    May 31, 2019 - Anne
  • A Day At Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
    March 25, 2019 - Anne
  • Latest Blog Post

  • 5 Reasons I'm Thankful for Rapid City
    November 27, 2019 - Kelsy
  • Who’s Ready For A Boot Scootin’ Good Time?
    November 14, 2019 - Kelsy
  • The Season Of Fun At The Civic Center
    October 23, 2019 - Kelsy
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Rapid City's "Little Secret"
    November 20, 2019 - Chris
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Planning A Meeting In Rapid City Is Easy - And Adventurous
    November 13, 2019 - Tyson
  • 5 Reasons Meeting Planners Love Rapid City
    February 6, 2019 - Tyson
  • Amazing Rush Season 2: Day One Adventures
    October 27, 2017 - Tyson
  • Latest Blog Post

  • The Best Of Both Worlds
    November 5, 2019 - Cody
  • Construction at Mount Rushmore? More Like Enhancements
    September 3, 2019 - Cody
  • Latest Blog Post

  • The 7 Wonders In and Around Rapid City, SD
    October 10, 2019 - Allie Bast
  • Latest Blog Post

  • IN HISTORY: 1st Custer State Park Buffalo Auction, Feb. 12, 1966
    August 23, 2019 - Black Hills Knowledge Network
  • In History: First Blast On Crazy Horse Memorial, June 3, 1948
    April 5, 2019 - Black Hills Knowledge Network
  • IN HISTORY: Rapid City Founded, Feb. 24, 1876
    February 22, 2018 - Black Hills Knowledge Network
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Summer In Rapid City
    August 1, 2019 - Stephanie
  • Latest Blog Post

  • An Oz Experience: Flying With The Oldest Balloon Company In The USA
    July 26, 2019 - Danielle
  • My Daughter's First Time At Storybook Island
    June 7, 2019 - Danielle
  • Big, Bold Flavors Where The Buffalo Roam
    December 8, 2017 - Danielle
  • Latest Blog Post

  • 10 Must-Do Adventures In And Around Rapid City
    July 3, 2019 - Chris Brinlee Jr.
  • How To Get The Most Out Of A Black Hills Adventure
    August 17, 2017 - Chris Brinlee Jr.
  • Latest Blog Post

  • The Most Exciting Social Event Of The Summer
    May 10, 2019 - Jennifer
  • Get Lost, Play Tag…Be Brave
    May 8, 2019 - Jennifer
  • Make Unbearably Perfect Memories at Bear Country USA
    March 2, 2018 - Jennifer
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Outdoor Campus West: Free Family Fun!
    April 24, 2019 - Shiloh
  • Experience the Magic at Storybook Island
    December 5, 2018 - Shiloh
  • Add Some Color to Your Life
    April 25, 2018 - Shiloh
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Mount Rushmore Questions You’ve Been Dying to Ask
    February 8, 2019 - Michaela
  • Top 5 Trails Within 30 Minutes of Rapid City
    March 8, 2018 - Michaela
  • Rapid City from Michaela’s point of view.
    October 17, 2016 - Michaela
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Rapid City Myth Busting
    January 25, 2019 - Sarah
  • Downtown Shopping
    January 3, 2019 - Sarah
  • My Favorite Parks and Monuments
    January 29, 2016 - Sarah
  • Latest Blog Post

  • The Custer State Park Trail Challenge
    October 26, 2018 - Amy
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Our Family Vacation To South Dakota
    September 21, 2018 - Liz Beatty
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Black Hills Powwow: A Kaleidoscope of Color
    September 5, 2018 - Kris Monroe
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Wild Adventures Out West
    July 12, 2018 - Kevin Stinehart
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Rapid City Blog: Spearfish Canyon
    June 25, 2018 - Aiden Lynn-Klimenko & Madison Perrins
  • Rapid City Blog: Trail System
    November 14, 2016 - Aiden Lynn-Klimenko & Madison Perrins
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Top Picks For Outdoor Adventure At 9 Parks & Monuments
    April 11, 2018 - Lisa
  • Latest Blog Post

  • The Mount Rushmore of Summer Vacations
    April 9, 2018 - Ginny
  • 8 Great Reasons to Love Spring in the Black Hills
    January 29, 2018 - Ginny
  • Four Ways Rapid City Lives Up To The Hype
    June 23, 2016 - Ginny
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Refresh Your Adventure At Rapid City Microbreweries
    January 16, 2018 - Stephen Sebestyen
  • Latest Blog Post

  • In The Spirit Of The Season: The Story Of Devils Tower National Monument
    October 10, 2017 - Amanda Hitchcock
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Rapid City's Wildside
    October 5, 2017 - Adrian Munoz
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Rapid City - Reptile Gardens, Bear Country USA, Watiki Water Park, Outdoor Campus West
    July 7, 2017 - Heather & Pete Reese
  • Rapid City South Dakota - We Made It!
    July 6, 2017 - Heather & Pete Reese
  • Custer State Park Jeep Tour, Chuckwagon, Buffalo, Antelope!
    July 6, 2017 - Heather & Pete Reese
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Beginners Guide: Being A Tourist In Your Backyard
    June 2, 2017 - Tessa
  • Latest Blog Post

  • The adventure of a lifetime in Rapid City
    March 20, 2017 - Ellen and Mike
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Basil, Tomatoes, Olive Oil, Wine…Just A Few Of My Favs
    January 27, 2017 - Stacie
  • 1,200 Degrees of Taste Bud Paradise
    January 15, 2017 - Stacie
  • Latest Blog Post

  • A Black Hills Winter
    December 23, 2016 - Jesse
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Travelin with Tiff: Rush Mountain Adventure Park
    December 13, 2016 - Tiffany
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Downtown Trails and Recreation
    July 5, 2016 - Lisa
  • Latest Blog Post

  • 3 Mountain Bike Rides to Jump Start Your Black Hills Adventures
    May 20, 2016 - Craig
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Shredding in the Black Hills
    March 10, 2016 - Bill