Ready for back-to-back moments of thrilling adventure? Located just outside of Keystone, SD, and around a 30 minute drive from Rapid City, Rush Mountain Adventure Park offers a whole lot of bang for your buck. Dubbed the most unique amusement park in the world by the Travel Channel, this attraction offers a variety of rides like the Soaring Eagle Zipride, the Rushmore Mountain Coaster, the 7D Gunslinger and more! However, the most unexpected part of this adventure park is Rushmore Cave – the original attraction at the park and the closest cave to Mount Rushmore. So, on top of epic adventures above ground, visitors can explore beneath the earth’s surface for a great mixture of learning and fun! 

How It All Began

Touring the Rushmore Cave the closest cave to Mount Rushmore

Let’s dive deep into Rushmore Cave. For years adventure seekers have been exploring this fascinating, underground world. The cave was discovered by accident in 1876 by area miners who were building a flume. Since no valuable minerals were found within the cave, the miners had little use for it. Their children, however, had a blast exploring the passages. Over time the cave became more and more popular as visitors flocked to experience it. In 1927 the cave officially opened as the Hermosa Crystal Cave. Eventually, under different ownership, the name was changed to Rushmore Cave and more additions and improvements were made to the attraction to make it the exciting adventure park it is today. 

The Cave Tour

The Big Room inside Rushmore Cave at Rush Mountain Adventure Park

A cave tour is the ideal way to cool off during a hot day, especially after exploring above ground. Rushmore Cave remains 58 degrees year-round due to it’s location – underground. Fun fact: caves remain unaffected by weather patterns and their temperature is somewhat related to the average temperature of the region. Underground, visitors will find different rooms such as the Big Room, the Floral Room, the Image Room and the Post Office. In these rooms you can discover beautiful cave formations like stalactites, stalagmites and helictites. The tour distance is a ½ mile and takes about an hour from start to finish. Along the way your tour guide will reveal hidden gems and walk you through the history of this intriguing cave.