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Rushmore Eyes Climbing Area Access

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Mount Rushmore is an internationally known tourist destination, but it’s also increasingly known as a world class rock climbing area.

The granite spires that dot the landscape behind the monument are a very popular space for rock climbers.

SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray reports that the National Park Service is taking a closer look at rock climbing at Mount Rushmore – they’re asking the public to comment on a proposed trail system in the climbing area.

The National Parks Service is taking up an Environmental Assessment that proposes to enhance the hiking trails in the area behind Mount Rushmore.  Bruce Weisman is with the  Park Service at Rushmore.    He says the proposal includes input from the Black Hills Climbers Coalition.  

“This small area is very special to the climbing community. And what I heard from them is minimal signage, protection of the resources, and a route by which they could reach all their climbing destinations,“ says Weisman.  

Weisman stresses the proposal does not set out to limit access to the current climbing areas, but rather enhance that access while curbing erosion and resource damage.  He says a new guide book recently published climbing at Rushmore may increase usage.   Weisman adds that comments from the public help the Park Service manage the area.

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