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5 Things About Mount Rushmore People Think Are True

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.

March 15, 2019

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!

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