Home of the BIG ROOM. More stalactites in one room than any other route room in the Black Hills. It is amazing!

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Try the Adventure Tour

Xpedition Adventure Tour

Go on a true caving adventure through some tight crawls to see rooms off of the main tour route that almost no one else sees. This extreme adventure is not for the faint of heart. Tour lasts approximately 2 1/2 hours.

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Rushmore Cave - Black Hills Greatest Stalactite Cave

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An ancient Black Hills' treasure, buried beneath the earth's surface is now yours to discover and explore, just a few miles east of Mount Rushmore. Here you will find beautiful Rushmore Cave, where winding passageways lead you 60 million years back in time. Icicle-like stalactites hang from cavern ceilings, while spires of stalagmites rise from the smooth rock floor. Experienced cave guides escort you on your journey, past mysterious chambers, many of them still unexplored.


The Black Hills are home to the 2nd largest cave system in the US. The Black Hills are one of the oldest mountain ranges in the US. Geologists believe this cave, with its world-class big room, began forming 60 million years ago.


You never know where you might find a cave, and many are discovered by accident. Rushmore Cave was discovered when adventurous gold miners, searching for their fortune, stumbled upon the cave entrance instead. A guide can show you where this happened.


One of the most fascinating things about a cave is the beautiful formations that develop inside. In this cave these speleothems grow in many shapes and sizes. Some of them resemble familiar objects. Part of the fun is naming what you see in the rocks.


The Black Hills' Largest Column.
The Black Hills' Largest Column.

Rushmore Cave was discovered by placer miners in 1876. The miners were digging a flume into the mountainside to carry water to the gold mines below when they found the cave opening. The cave was opened to the public in 1927, just before the carvings of Mt. Rushmore began. Since its opening, the cave has blossomed into a major attraction.


Not all Black Hills caves contain stalactites and stalagmites. This one has a ton of each. The cave is also a great retreat from the heat. If you go in the summer be ready for 80-100 degree weather. Inside the cave, the temperature stays around 58 degrees all year. Even on the busiest of days, you never have to wait long for the next tour. The cave is well lit, and you can easily see the fossils which are embedded in the rock.


Tours last about one hour. But you can spend as long as you want in the gift shop. The large, air-conditioned gift shop is staging area for the cave tour. This shop offers a unique and affordable assortment of cave and nature-oriented gift items. T-shirts, novelties and children's toys along with books, music and artfully crafted mementos are sure to please any taste. Modern, clean and well-stocked restrooms are located in this facility.