• Mount Rushmore, Washington, Jefferson, T. Roosevelt, Lincoln framed by ponderosa pine trees under a bright blue sky.

    Mount Rushmore

    National Memorial South Dakota

Cave / Karst Systems

Boxwork, a calcite formation common in Wind Cave.

Boxwork, a calcite formation common in Wind Cave.

NPS Photo

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is located in the granite core of the Black Hills. While there are no caves located within the memorial, numerous caves can be found in a ring of limestone that is exposed around the edge of the Black Hills. This limestone layer was laid down at the bottom of a shallow sea that covered the area around 350 million years ago.

Two of these cave are National Park Service sites, Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave National Monument. Visit their websites to learn more about the formation of each of these caves and which special features they contain.

 
Nailhead spar calcite crystals and dripstone formations in Jewel Cave.

Nailhead spar calcite crystals and dripstone formations in Jewel Cave.

NPS Photo by D. Luchsinger

Jewel Cave

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Mountain Goats are not native to the Black Hills. The population can be traced back to six goats, a gift to Custer State Park by Canada in 1924, that escaped from their pens and found their home among the granite peaks of the Black Hills. There are now approximately 200 mountain goats in the area.